Mondays With Mother: An Alzheimer's Story

In 2002 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is a hard road, and we live it one day at a time. This is a chronicle of her disease and my Monday visits with her.

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Name: Anne Robertson
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Next Chapter

Well, Rob and I did visit Mother a couple of weeks ago. There isn't all that much to report from that. She was in a new room at The Birches, a shared room with another resident. But the shared rooms at The Birches are very nice. A full wall separates the beds with a common living area. All her things were moved over, although the pictures weren't put back up on the wall since another move would be imminent.

I don't recall that she spoke while we were there. Rob and I looked through the old yearbooks, which included the years of each of our graduations from the same school. So that provided some diversion as we showed Mother various pictures of us and her and others she worked with for so many years. We stayed about an hour and laid her down on the bed before we left. She was pretty tired.

In the intervening weeks things could not be worked out for Medicaid in time to get the bed available at Pine Rock Manor, where Rob and I had left a deposit on Mother's Day. A note from David tonight indicates that tomorrow she will move to The Clough Center in New London, NH. This was the place that Rob looked at right after we both looked at the place in Concord that looked to me like a prison cell.

Rob's report (and he sent me pictures) was that The Clough Center was quite nice and with it's affiliation with one of the best hospitals around, that is a plus. The negative for me is that it is a full three hours one way (without traffic) from me. But it is only half an hour from where Rob now lives. Apparently she will be with two other residents to begin with. I don't know any other details at this point. Since I didn't know this was coming and have a full day booked in the office tomorrow, I won't be able to be there for the move. Of course it is also much further from where David lives and I wonder if he will move. I don't know. He is renting now, so it is possible.

I have a lot of anxiety. I know the move has to happen and The Clough Center has a good reputation, including from some of our extended family who have some experience with it. When Rob first visited there months ago I liked what I found on the web, including several artists whose websites listed the Clough Center as a place where they performed or displayed their art. Colby-Sawyer College also has a student program there. All good.

But of course she won't understand what is happening or why. At least I think she won't. It's one of the hardest things in this disease. We have no idea what she understands--whether the problems are greater in communication than perception. I wonder if she will notice that there are no more familiar faces from day to day. But then I don't know if the faces she now sees every day are familiar or if they seem new to her each time.

I just want her to feel as happy and contented as she can. When I think about what I hope for her, my eyes well up. I can have no part in helping it be one way or another. Que sera, sera as it were.

So for those of you who might read this soon, please pray for a smooth and happy transition. And pray for the staff at the Clough Center as they provide not only for my mother's care but for all those who find themselves in such circumstances.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

New London and New London Hospital have played an important part in my life, too. From attending the New London Hospital Fair as a kid when my family owned a summer cottage in South Sutton and going to plays at the New London Barn Playhouse in the late 1950's, to living in New London for three years during the '70's and working at New London Hardware before moving to Dover, including Mindy's birth at New London Hospital. We lived right at the end of Little Lake Sunapee, and attended the little Methodist Church in Georges Mills, where Dave Svenson was the pastor. Lots of good memories of New London! In His love, BobJ.

9:35 PM  

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