dementia has to be one of the hardest diseases to deal with as time goes by your loved one recognizes you less they become confused and violent then apologetic somehow realizing the violence agonizing over why they dont understand their own behavior i commend you for your effort taking care of your mom having her give as much of her own history it is very
Virginia Holmes born Waldron
Virginia is my mother. She has always been a very good mother. Now she is 85 years of age and has some dementia and recently a hip replacement. I've had to move her into my relatively small house in Reseda from her own home in Tehachapi, along with four of her cats. It's rather a tight squeeze as both she and my wife have rather strong personalities. So, I'm working at enrolling her into a local program for elderly folks at One Generation (http://www.ONEgeneration.org).
My father, Ken, died in 2001 and Mom has been on her own since then. Tehachapi is a nice town and she has many friends there that have always been good about looking in on her and taking her to local events and such. She was driving herself around, too, even though most people tried to dissuade her from that. A few times she got lost and had to call friends to guide her home again. Finally in January she broke her hip and required replacement surgery. The replacement was done the very next day at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield and two days later she was transferred to a nursing facility here in the San Fernando Valley. This took a 100 mile ambulance ride not covered by insurance, but I had to have her near enough to look in on her daily.
This stay in the nursing facility was rather traumatic and I was afraid it might break her spirit. Upon leaving there and moving into my home she has begun to recover. The nurse in charge of her physical therapy remarked that she would from then on be wheelchair bound and incapable of anything more than the simplest of tasks. The actual physical therapist that came to visit twice a week felt otherwise. A good thing too as now, little more than a month later, she is getting around quite well with a walker and here at home she rarely uses it at all. The wheelchair is in the trunk of the car for shopping trips and excursions that require an extended amount of walking. Shes looking forward to enrolling at Onegeneration and getting involved in some activities with others outside the house.
Meanwhile, I'm working at digitizing all of her collection of photos and memorabilia. Hopefully I can get her to write stories or at least annotate the photos. My ongoing task here is to put together the story of her life linked to the collection of photos I'm compiling. Currently the photos are in a separate gallery on a drupal site using gallery2.