What weird things might my mom do? Will she forget where she lives? Will she still know who I am?
Are you curious about what the future holds for your loved one with dementia?
If questions like these are swirling around in your head then you’ve come to the right place.
This blog will be about dementia, documents and downsizing. That has been my world since I moved back home in 2012 to live with my mom and be her caregiver, until she passed away in December of 2018. To this day, I am still working on the downsizing end of things as I was named the executrix of her estate.
This blog is for all of you who are just finding out that you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with dementia. In my mom’s case, it was Mild Cognitive Impairment.
I didn’t know anything about that at the time. I just knew that Mom repeated things a lot and some tasks were a little more difficult.
Maybe you want to know what the future holds for you and your loved one. Are you curious as to what symptoms you’ll notice? Maybe you want to know how long each stage will last. Will you be able to notice that your loved one has moved to a different stage? How long will it be before your loved one doesn’t recognize you anymore? These may be just a few questions that I’m sure are swirling around your head.
I will give snippets of my mom’s dementia life, what she did, what I noticed, how I coped (or in many cases didn’t cope) with her impairment and the progression of this insidious disease over time. Whether you are the caregiver of the loved one with dementia or just a family member, I’ll give you a taste of what life was like.
You can’t talk about dementia without talking about documents as well. With their failing cognitive skills, your loved ones need someone who is around to take care of the paperwork, the billing, the financial accounts, the mail and all other things paper related.
Paper management will be a topic of discussion. I’ll tell you how I managed the mail and Mom’s bills. And, I’ll throw in some talk about managing files.
The downsizing has really come into play after the progress of the dementia has taken its toll. Often times, the caregiver is an adult child of the loved one. In addition to the caregiver duties, you may end up being the one who has to take care of the estate which means trying to figure out what to do with all the “stuff” that has accumulated in the house over many, many years. Where do you start first? What do you do?
You never know what you’ll find in the house! In getting the house ready to sell after Mom’s passing, I was cleaning out a piece of furniture and found piles of paperwork over 20 years old!
My dad passed away in 2009 and there was still stuff of Dad’s that wasn’t taken care of. I will be passing on what I have done in the way of downsizing over the past few years. After Mom passed away, I will tell you the process I went through to get the house ready for an estate sale.
Back to the Why
Rosalyn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States, had these words to say about caregivers:
Those who have been caregivers – that would be me. I’ve been there, done that! I’ll be candid about being a caregiver for my mom. I’ll pass on what I did that did or didn’t always work or rather, what I did wrong.
Those who are currently caregivers or who will be caregivers – You are the ones to whom I am writing. You are the ones that need the support and the encouragement to keep doing what you’re doing. You are the ones wondering what you might be facing ahead on your journey down the dementia road with your loved one.
Those who will need caregivers – In a way, I am writing to you, too. That could be any of us. Perhaps this blog will help guide you in what you can do to prepare for your future.
A part of me is writing this blog to pay homage to my mom. She was such a creative person. I’ll show you her artwork she produced throughout her lifetime. It breaks my heart that this fickle bitch called dementia reduced my mom to the point where she didn’t have the cognitive ability to figure out what to do with a colored pencil and a coloring page.
If you are interested in learning more about my mom and her dementia journey and the reason why I’m calling dementia insidious you can start here.
If you’re currently a caregiver for a loved one with dementia send me a comment and let me know how it’s going for you. Who is your loved one with dementia & what’s the relationship? What do you struggle with?