Yesterday I went to see my sweetest Grandma who turns 90 in a week. For years I went to visit her often but recently I have not been going as much. It got hard between work, my kids, so many chores in between and she was so forgetful perhaps I justified it that way.
She has been ready to die for a longtime. She is not dreary about it, never really depressed but she often chirps about that one time she died and how it was not scary. It is true, she did die once but that is another story. She quite likes her word puzzles, Bingo, church and the entertainment in her building but she essentially says “I am ready anytime but it’s not so bad right now”. Kind of a take it or leave it attitude. I just listen.
But Life has gotten harder for her recently especially with her memory when changes in her routine occur. I walked with her through A LOT of confusion at Christmas when my dad and uncle (usual visitors) were away. The cancelled activities at her seniors centre had her reeling like a little girl so scared. Scared she would forget her pills, forget to get dressed, forget to eat. She needed support but at least she could get to her activities and back to her room after.
The worst thing that could ever happen JUST happened ~ she got diarrhea really bad and did not make it to the toilet. It kept coming until they found her in her mess and sent her to the hospital for a couple of days.
Back now she is afraid to go to dinner, to Bingo, to Church and all of the things that got her out of her room. Her confidence since the hospital interruption has created so much confusion that she is getting lost in the building and so chooses to stay alone.
She says “it’s a terrible thing getting old”. She was reasonable when it was just me and her chatting about her terrible week but when my dad came she regressed and got very little, very small, very negative about her own abilities. I wanted to just cradle her like a baby but WE listened.
Dad and I talked after, apparently it has always been like this where she acts worse around my dad and uncle. We speculated about the why’s, but it could be so many things.
She is getting assessed later this week and might end up in a full care home which we all were hoping would not ever be her reality. I doubt she will handle one last move.
Nobody ever taught her the power of her mind but I threw out a couple of “you can do it Grandma, of course you are scared and can’t remember, but you felt the same at Christmas and you bounced right back”. She has to figure it out fast and I am not sure it is going to happen in time. She can’t stay there if she keeps forgetting.
It is Mothers Day tomorrow and it was interesting sitting with my dad as he took his turn taking care of grandma. They (dad and uncle) moved her closer after my grandpa died 15 years ago.
I am going to find a piece I wrote about her for my next post. She is one of my favourite people. Life is beautiful, make the very best of it💙 you won’t live forever.