This blog is not a serial chronicle of my experience. It’s a group of thoughts and experiences–some from the past and some from the present day.
It’s always hard to find a place to start, so I’m going to start with today.
My mother is living in a memory care ward at an assisted living facility. She has Alzheimer’s Disease. She doesn’t know she has Alzheimer’s; we decided that the word “Alzheimer’s” would scare her and cause her unnecessary distress. So, she knows that she has dementia–a “memory disease”–and that the people she is living with also have one version or another of this disease.
The memory care unit is split into two floors. The ground floor rooms are for the people that are more impaired (mentally or physically). The second floor rooms are for the higher-functioning individuals including my mom. They can still easily navigate the stairs, and while they need some guidance and management, they also are capable of personal care. My mother is in the early- to mid-stage of Alzheimer’s, and while we’ve seen some deterioration during the last 18 months since diagnosis, she’s happy and well-adjusted. She has many friends inside of the facility, and she participates in the many activities–all of which is good for her mental and physical health.
Putting her in this place was an agonizing decision, but it has been the very best thing for her well being. I’ll write about that in my next post.