Stages

Moved Mom from assisted living to memory care on Friday; not my favorite thing to do, but not entirely awful either. I timed the move to occur while she was at breakfast so she could be taken directly to her new space. I know that at this stage of her dementia she’s not going to really notice she’s in a new room, but I think timing still matters; as does space. I had a choice of a shared room with two twin beds or a semi-private room with a divider wall. I chose the latter because there was a bit more space for family visits and wall space for pictures and knick-knacks. Again, I know she’ll forget about all the little touches whenever she leaves her room, but our house was always filled with framed family photos as well as photo albums. Documenting the family through photos was an obsession of my dads and I wanted to surround her with the joy and love he captured.

Going back and forth between her old apartment and the new space I again started thinking about life’s milestone’s/stages and how the parent-child roles have been reversed. I walk past residents on both sides of the facility, assisted living and memory care, each in their own stage of life, some sleeping in a chair, some chatting in the craft room, some just sitting; all essentially waiting. I wonder about their lives, if they have anyone to visit them.

When I had finished setting up Mom’s new space I directed her from the dining room to the memory care wing, where she was immediately greeted by a caregiver and guided to a common area where another caregiver was reading the paper to everyone and discussing the day’s news. I took this opportunity to finish emptying her old room and returned shortly after as she was sitting down to lunch.

“Is this your son?” Asks one of the other ladies at the table.

“Yes, this is my son Mike,” Mom replies with a smile.

“Your mother is absolute delight.”

Most of the time,” I say with a grin.

“Spoken like a true son,” adds the lady.

Upon leaving I started thinking about some of my favorite pictures of my mom which I thought I’d share.

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