The virus is now a pandemic, the stock market has tanked, schools are closing and were all supposed to be practicing extremely good hand-washing routines and social distancing.  It’s a scary new world we’ve entered: uncharted territory — terra incognito.  It’s doubly concerning if you’re over a certain age and tend to be a bit…

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(My mother passed away Jan. 28 after years of struggling with dementia and diabetes.  She was 96.) “Goooood morning!  Time to wake up, sleepy head.”  I always reluctantly headed for Mom’s bedroom to get her up after I had finished my breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, juice and coffee, and had glanced at the headlines In…

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It’s a strange and quiet new world since my mother passed from this life in the early morning hours of Jan. 28.  I can hardly believe I’m writing this.  I thought I was prepared for the day, but how could I have been? I don’t think anybody is.  The images from that final 24 hours,…

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Mom is at rest now, her more than decade-long struggle with dementia and diabetes is over. She passed away in a deep sleep early this past Tuesday. It surprised me, and yet it didn’t. All I could do— along with the Hospice nurses, the caregivers who were with us until near the end, and my…

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This is probably the most difficult entry to write up until now.  I’ve done a lot of  thinking and soul-searching but could only come up with vague ideas that didn’t deal adequately with the gravity of the situation.   Basically, I stalled and  procrastinated up until now.  I just couldn’t write it.   I’ve also been in…

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How can I even describe what things are like now?  I struggle to find the words that even begin to approximate the surreal world of advanced dementia.  Not only is Mom increasingly anxious, fearful and angry , but she’s this way more and more of the time now.  I’ve seen a change over the past…

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It is getting more and more difficult to write this Dementia Journal as I fear I’m repeating myself and rehashing some of the same thoughts and feelings. But continue it I must until the very end when Mom is at last released from a brain and mind grievously ravaged by dementia over many years now. As…

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One of the most frequent comments I get from people who read my journal is this, “I don’t know how you do it. I could never do what you’re doing.” Before I say anything else, I’ll say this. If circumstances were different, you might find yourself caregiving as I am doing. There are reasons you…

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It’s unbearable to think about when she’s gone and my whole reason for being vanishes (or so it seems, since caregiving so totally preoccupies my life). It will all be gone before long, this only life I know.

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5 am Deborah Barr wrote a beautiful and wise book for caregivers titled, “Grace for the Unexpected Journey: a 60-day devotional for Alzheimer’s and other dementia caregivers.” I’m only about half-way through the book, but it’s already extensively marked up and tagged. Caregiving is indeed an “unexpected” journey for most of us who embark on…

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