It is difficult if not impossible, to talk to Mom about her condition. For one thing, it is not openly acknowledged that there is a problem at all. We all carry on as though everything is just as it should be. So I am grateful for Dementia Daycare and the periodic medical appointments – in some ways, these affirm to us that we are doing the best we can, and not completely in denial!
At the last medical appointment, when the nurse ran the depression checklist on Mom, I sat at a distance and listened in. Mom’s answers were a bit surprising and enlightening. To most of the questions, she gave stock answers, for example confirming that life is worth living, and she does not feel worthless. But when she was asked if she felt unluckier than most, Mom hesitated, then said, “Of course, the young are luckier.” The nurse wanted a Yes/No answer, so in the end Mom said, “We should not compare. It is not the same after all.” And so No, she does not feel unlucky.
So there it is.
There is a lot more going on under the surface than meets the eye. I believe Mom is very stoic and does not want to cause us trouble. But there’s more we can do to help her fit in, and to make everyday count. Let me give it some thought.