Is your family facing Alzheimer’s? Looking for advice? Barbara Ivey is a Certified Dementia Practitioner whose Mom had Alzheimer’s for 15 years. She’s here to share what she learned along the way. If you have questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
My family is practicing social distancing. We dropped by my Mother-in-Law’s house today with groceries. We rang the bell to say a quick hello. Within 5 seconds of opening the door, Mom had flung her arms around me. When she headed for my husband, he tried to push her away. (I encouraged him to enjoy the hug.) With Mom’s Alzheimer’s I think she forgot the rules!
What should we do next time?
Don’t Stand so Close to Me
Dear Close to Me,
Mom’s response caught you by surprise. You did your best in the moment. Life is a balance of risk and reward. The brief hug may have really lifted Mom’s spirits and done her a lot of good. Your advice to your hubby was sound. If he had continued to push Mom away, she may have felt the rejection deeply. In these moments we must remember that learning a new habit, like social distancing, is likely beyond Mom’s abilities at this point.
Do me a favor. Next time you visit, be prepared. Put on your mask and sanitize your hands before you knock. Take steps to eliminate as much risk to Mom as possible. With her Alzheimer’s, you need to take responsibility for both of you.
Your friend on the Alzheimer’s Journey,