My neighbor, Miss D died last night. She had a stroke at home a few days earlier. Her home aide and nephew were with her. I am so grateful this did not happen to her when she was all alone two years ago living with dementia.
Life can really change in an instant. Mine changed the beginning of this year as my husband and I became caregivers for my 91 year-old mother-in-law also with dementia. We sublet our apartment and moved in with mom, to keep her in the home she knew, for as long as possible. This meant I would not see Miss D regularly as I did every week. Now the visits were only two days a month when we were back in the city on our days off when other family could care for mom. Miss D was our biggest supporter for the decision my husband and I made. She missed me not visiting and wished we could move mom into the city and live in our apartment. I told her when our allowed sublet is up in two years we will.
That’s so far away. You’ll forget about me.
Miss D is always with me. Her dementia was not as advanced as mom’s, but I learned to really care for people with dementia through my experience with Miss D – to have patience, go with the moment no matter where it leads, gain trust and show lots of love through touch.