We have been on the journey of dementia with mom for five to six years now. Her mental stability has gradually declined.
In February 2014, mom broke her arm and all her health issues became more severe including her dementia. This is when our roller coaster ride began, moving faster and with more hills and valleys.
Due to the break in her arm, mom required around the clock care, from February through July of 2014. We arranged for caregivers to come to her home, but we were never certain who would be caring for her on any given day.
In August of 2014, my sister, brother and I decided to move mom to Belvedere Commons of Franklin- Assisted Living Community. We were not ready for such a change, but it was time for a more stable situation. We fell in love with the staff and caregivers at Assisted Living. Everyone was kind to us, mom and the other residents. I visited mom several times a week and formed relationships with staff, caregivers and residents. Even though her care was important to the staff and caregivers, I do not think mom enjoyed or grew in the assisted living community. Mom would smile but did not talk much. She was by herself a lot and I believe lonely. There was much for her to do but she had lost her confidence and motivation to be a part of most activities.
On an evening in November 2014, after leaving Williamson Medical Center, mom relocated to Belvedere Commons of Franklin Memory Care Community. That was HARD, really Hard! We were not ready. Mom begged for me to not leave her. I was an emotional mess! My sister, brother, husband and myself were with her the evening of the move, stressing. A caregiver that had loved on mom at an earlier time at the assisted living community, came by with a radiant smile, warm hug and encouraging face. She again tenderly loved on our mom. She and mom conversed a little while, and this precious caregiver asked mom to show her where she lived. Mom stood, laughed and walked away from us. We heard mom say that she did not know where, but we will find it. They left the community room and we went home. Was it hard to walk away?—Oh my-YES!
As I write two months later, I see a more confident smiling, radiant face on my mom. She is more talkative and interacts with the staff, caregivers and residents. I have seen her play sporting activities with a competitive attitude. She has walked away from me on more than one occasion to go to her activity or special care giver. She tells me that I can come too!
What is different? Assisted Living Caregivers assist with love and care. Memory Care Caregivers assist, mother, touch, hug, encourage, love on, smile endlessly. Did I mention encourage? This has been the hardest journey so far that we have taken with mom. But we are walking with smiles and enthusiasm and confidence not knowing what the next day will bring.
The staff have also loved, hugged, encouraged and counseled me. Did I mention encouraged?
Belvedere is not where I planned to be with mom in her life, but I thank God often that we have these people!