My mom does not have a formal diagnosis, but we all know she has some form of dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s. I’m hoping to get her one of those 3-hour long formal geriatric assessments this summer. The trick is what to say to her to get her to go and then sit through the whole thing? She’s an educated, independent, stubborn, former entrepreneur who even with severe memory loss cannot be easily fooled into doing something she does not want to do.
She came for a visit last month for 5 days (that’s our limit together and her limit away from her comfort zone = home). The saving grace is always her grandson (1.5 years old) and he son-in-law. I may have mentioned in previous posts that no accomplishment I’ve had is as great to her as me being married and having a child.
So here are the ways in which my mom and my toddler are similar – it’s cute and amusing, bitter sweet, and just the reality of who they each are and where they are in their stages of development (every good social worker recognizes that):
- I love them both unconditionally
- They both assert their independence and resist assistance with most tasks
- I have to repeat what I say to each of them, at least 3 times, maybe more for mommy
- They both eat small meals and require snacks throughout the day (1 for overall growth & development and the other to keep her brain turned on)
- They both should take naps
- They both need assistance with bathing, although one resists the assistance more than the other
- They both need help picking out clothes and getting dressed
- Neither can sit still for longer than 1 to 2 minutes – both are easily distracted
- They both use words in interesting ways – one just learning new words, the other having forgotten what words to use or how to use them
- They are perfect companions for each other because they love each other unconditionally