Helping Aging Parents with Dementia
When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…
Today, she turns exactly one… The Lola Diaries, that is. But, Lola herself is 87 years young! And you know what, she hardly has any wrinkles!? It must be because of her complex to avoid too much time in the sun (like most older Asian generations). Currently, Lola is not very responsive; she sometimes won’t chew/swallow anything down (not even water) so Romie and I have been dealing with a lot of challenges lately. However, at the end of the day, she’s still stronger than we could have imagined she’d be over seven years ago when she suffered her second stroke … The entire right side of her face was so numb that she couldn’t communicate to us at all; she could only look at us as if she was desperately trying to tell us something. Yesterday, the doctor said that she has yet another bladder infection which is what we tend to overlook when Lola lapse into an “episode.” She’s being treated for it now and we’re starting to see her come around again … This morning she smiled for us!
On my own birthday this summer, Lola sang Happy Birthday to me so in a way this is her birthday song, too— but, you have to wake up, Lola! Let’s get crackin’ already!