Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Welp... it's official - my 85 year-old grandmother no longer recalls who I am. Its not that I didn't see it coming, just a little saddened by it all. On Monday, I stopped by the nursing home (with my father) to visit her, a task normally performed each week by my mother. But she's in Africa this week, so the job fell to my father & I during her absence.

The last time I saw Gramma was Christmas Day. It was then I realized many of the things & people she loved would soon be locked away in some hidden corner of her mind. I often wonder how frightening an experience it must be for her & whether it'll become more or less terrifying as her state of dementia progresses.

Unfamiliar surroundings, strangers coming & going; all professing to know things about you, the home you recall - nowhere in sight... how agonizing it must be to realize you can't make sense of 'anything' around you. If you ask me, I'd say, "that's a pretty fucked-up way to go."

It's ironic, when people we love experience conditions such as dementia, or any disease, we often selfishly consider ourselves the victims, sometimes even more than our loved ones! Exorbitant assisted living costs, rising medication bills, outrageous insurance premiums - I know... poor-poor us left holding the God-damned bag, lol.

Granted, no one looks forward to shelling-out their hard-earned money to a less-than-deserving healthcare staff or to an insurance company only concerned with the bottom line, but it's a necessary evil right about now & there really doesn't seem to be any way around it.

Suck it up! After all, what else can we really do? As I look deeper into my own situation, I realize I've got to do this at least 2 more times when my parents reach their twilight years. Might as well look at this as an opportunity to observe what does & doesn't work (when it comes to elderly care) in the hope that I can provide the best quality of life possible for the duration of their respective lifetimes...


  1. I had to do this for my Great Grandmother from the time I was 16 to 19 years of age. Me and my kid visited her almost weekly, more than I can say about my father, uncle or cousins. I was the youngest out of them all and was responsible for her care.- talking to her was interesting. She would talk to me about her family that I never met, how she was mistreated by whites and how she enjoyed life. All the while having no idea who I was. She was never sad, and she was pretty well taken care of; mostly because they knew I wasn't one to be fucked with. I asked questions and I called all the time to check in on her. She was my granma, she took care of me and I took care of her. - she might not had any idea who I was in the last few years of her life, but days before she die, she knew I was her Mimi. Broke my heart when I had to leave her in the hospital to go back to college. Hurt me even more when I missed her funeral due my family...- I digress.

  2. Anonymous2

    My grandmother had dementia prior to her passing (actually she lived about 7 years with it progressively getting worse). My mom and her sisters decided to have caregivers come into the home to maintain some stability in the hidden corners you referenced above. It was painful to watch, the hopeful moment when you would be right in her face praying she knew who you were (when in her mind she had no idea and probably wondered why you were in her personal freakin' space :-). Once accepted I talked too her in her world, loved on her and my personal favorite combed her beautiful gray hair. Those are the moments I treasured.
    Sometimes you could even find humor--cause NOW--you were libel to hear her say anything.
    Grandma #2 ..Well she outlived all of her children and currently lives with me (LOL--Go figure I was named the most responsible grandchild---still scratching my head about that one.) But I take care of her and love her.

  3. 1st off, many thanx to the both of you for your comments. Always helps to know the thoughts of those who've experienced similar situations - gramma is still hangin in there. She's hilarious - that's my boo :-D