Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Living With Dementia

Thursday, my sweet friend Trina's husband John, admitted his mom to a nursing home.  John has siblings so this decision was made by all of them....but it does not make it any easier.  It is never easy to lose a parent to dementia.  On Thursday night I fed my mother her supper for the first time.  It felt weird to be sitting on the side of her bed spooning creamed corn, stuffed bell peppers, pie and corn bread into her mouth while she just looked at me as if she had not clue who I was.  The unit my mom is in is a true dedicated dementia unit.  The residents wear GPS units in case they manage to get outside the doors of the nursing home.  Some of the residents just lie in their beds with blank stares on their faces.  Others have forgotten words and talk like my daughter did when she was learning to speak.  You can see the frustration in their eyes because no one understands what they are saying and in their minds they are speaking plainly.  There are some who strike out at the CNA's.  There are others who are very compliant.  When my mom first went there I was told she had the mind of a 7 - 10 year old.  I thought that was awful....that was until I realized that the rest of them had the minds of between a 15-36 month old.  It makes a difference.  What saddens me I guess is that I have met the family members of many of them.  They visit once a week.  I have seen others who never have company.  Not one soul!...Not a church member, not a child, not anyone and that is very heartbreaking.  I visit 4-5 times a week.  Everytime I go I leave either laughing or never changes.  This morning I was searching the web for something profound on dementia and came across the most beautiful poem that sums up what it is like living with dementia.  I thought I would share it with you.
Living With Dementia

© Annabel Sheila

She’s trapped inside the prison walls

That used to be her mind.

The woman that she used to be,

Has long been left behind.

There are times she’s quite alert,

Her memory’s still intact.

Then there are days when she disappears,

And we know it’s not an act.

No longer able to care for herself,

We couldn’t leave her alone.

Her safety had to be assured,

So we placed her in a home.

Good days are when we visit her,

And she calls us by our name.

She’s grateful for the company,

And thankful that we came.

Most of the time it’s difficult,

To see our Mom that way.

All we can do is love her now,

As we take life day by day.

To those of you out there this morning who are dealing with dementia, have lost someone to dementia, or have dealt with dementia....God bless you real good.  It is not just a disease that affects one affects us all.


Mimi said...

My grandmother had demetia before she passed & it was horrible.

It's a really moving poem.


Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Amen, my friend! Amen!

Sweet Tea said...

I lost my Dad to Alz 3 yrs ago. I understand how this goes, and it goes sadly. So glad you can visit your Mom often.

Jerralea said...

Great poem, Karen. I have not had to deal with dementia in my family, but my heart goes out to those who do. It's got to be one of the toughest things ever to deal with. Hugs to you!

Love Bears All Things said...

My MIL had Alzheimer's. Your poem says it all so well.
Mama Bear