Friday, July 03, 2009

At Grandma's House

My sister, Ky, and I have been visiting with Grandma for the last few days. We will be here for another week and a bit yet. Posting will be slow and lean until then, so come back later and I will try to make up for it.

Part of the reason we came up this week (apart from the fact I am now homeless for 2 weeks) is to check on Grandma's ability to care for herself and to see how bad her level of confusion is. So far, I'm not too worried about her ability to care for herself. She's still eating (and over feeding her guests), she's still able to dress herself and take care of her personal needs, and she's remembering to turn off the stove. She's good for another few years, I'm sure.

Her level of confusion though? It's through the roof. Part of that has to do with Ky and I being here and interrupting her steady schedule. Also, I brought a ton of food with me, so Grandma's thrown off from being the provider and caregiver. However, Grandma's also always been a little forgetful, so it goes without saying that will get worse with age.

One day we were having a particularly hard time with supper plans. I had supper all planned out, but Grandma was having difficulties grasping it. Four or five times, we went over the plans - steak stroganoff, potatoes, and greens from the garden. Finally, I was sure she had it figured out and all was well.

Until she went to the fridge, opened it, and turned to ask "So, what are we having for supper?" I stood and stared at her, absolutely at a loss for words. She stared back for a moment, eyes wide with innocence. It took her a bit, but she realized we had had this discussion moments before. She didn't remember any of it, but she knew we'd had it. She just looked at me and grinned.

I wrote it down.


  1. i am going through the same thing with my mom. things are okay because my dad is there, but we both have to learn to be patient with her ... in her words, getting old sucks.

  2. We're going through that with my Grandma too. In the past year she's been in 3 car accidents, all her fault, and so her doctor finally had the guts to step up and tell her to stop driving. The did some tests and found that she's entering the early stages of Alzheimers, which sucks. She is also becoming aphasic, and she berates herself constantly for not being able to remember all the words for things... The tough part is knowing where to draw the line between self-sustaining vs in need of care...

  3. We went through the same thing with my grandma. She would go to bed when she was tired and then get up and not know if it was 8am or 8pm, and she was dressed already, so she would go for days without changing her clothes and just having snacks instead of meals. As long as your grandma can keep herself clean and fed, all is well.

    the biggest thing we found was that my grandma couldn't follow a recipe anymore. she had baked her entire life, so not knowing what came next in a recipe she had made forever was a clear sign she was having trouble. She tried to add the milk five times, and every time she looked in the bowl and said "oh, i guess I have already done that"

    She probably wasn't really paying attention to dinner plans because she knew you were taking care of it. as long as she is ding the everyday stuff well, she should be fine, but keep checking up on her. maybe get her to do the dinner plans one day, and see how she does.

  4. I can't wait to join you. Then Grandma will call me fat, forget that she's called me fat and then call me fat again later.

    I didn't need self-esteem anyway.

  5. I am so glad you girls love your grandma and visit her. Give her a hug from me. Tell her in a couple months I will give her the hug myself. That should add to the confusion

  6. My grandma has really aged in the last two or three years and it's so tough to watch. She's one of my favourite people on the planet and I don't want to think of my life without her in it.


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