wings and things

Dementia adventures

on March 25, 2017

Well today was a bit different from the norm in the sense that my visit to Anthony was fleeting. I was on my way to see a movie with my mother and I literally only had about 10 minutes to spare.

So I rushed into Anthony’s room, admitted I was in a rush (to go to work – my latest ruse) and he was delighted. I knew he was delighted because he smiled and seemed happy to see me so buzzed. I hugged and kissed him multiple times and his smile got bigger.

And when I said, ‘seeya’ he was absolutely fine!

Is it possible that a fleeting visit like this can bring the same amount of joy and comfort as a prolonged visit? Would friends and family be more willing to visit if they knew it could be easy, fleeting, short-lived?

Anthony doesn’t know he has dementia on top of everything else and I don’t see the point in telling him this. But he does know who we are – his friends and family. Sometimes he is confused about who is who but so what!

We still have a lot of joy, and a lot of joy to come, if Ants keeps living and defying the odds. He is an absolute legend and has taught me so much!



14 responses to “Dementia adventures

  1. Ann Koplow says:

    You are an absolute legend and have taught me so much!

  2. You’re right… If friends and family thought they could just pop by, it would make Anthony’s day brighter and they wouldn’t have to wonder what they would do or say for a longer period of time. When my mother was in the home, I wrote an article about visiting loved ones, and suggested a few things, but mainly I just said ‘being there’ was the main thing, to show them that they were not forgotten .. Diane

  3. Judy says:

    I believe the insight from your story, is that how YOU felt after your visit. Visiting with upbeat energy while rushed let to a better outcome.
    I can only imagine that it would be hard to maintain feeling upbeat. Mostly, I encourage you to let go of guilt as much as possible, Julie. That will drag you way down.
    Remember this visit – it will sustain you.

  4. a perfect visit then!! c

  5. susanpoozan says:

    If such a short visit brings him pleasure then let that be known. Short visits are often easier all round.

  6. Those times are great times his smile would make you feel good

  7. lensgirl53 says:

    Honestly, I do believe short visits or conversations on the phone seem better for them….and us, in some ways. My mom even seems quite happy to end a conversation before I am ready to say goodbye. Whatever makes them happy, right? It’s part of that “dementia adventure.” Just a glimpse of you and a precious hug was all Anthony needed.

  8. Vicki says:

    I guess one can’t know what is going on in the mind of any Dementia sufferer. Perhaps if family and friends made the effort to drop in more for 15 minute segments, they could visit more often.

    Depends how far they’re travelling from I suppose.

    I don’t socialise at all as I find keeping up a conversation for 2-3 hours tiring (with my own health conditions).

    Sometimes I wish friends or family would drop in (after a phone/email notice) for just a short while on the way to somewhere else (if you know what I mean).

    Visiting doesn’t have to be for “xyz” hours.

    • jmgoyder says:

      You’ve expressed it perfectly Vicki!

    • jmgoyder says:

      I am really struggling atm

      • Vicki says:

        Sorry to hear that, Julie. Sometimes I think it is the caregivers (and loved ones like you) who suffer more than the chronically ill. Having one way conversations must be extremely tiring.

        Personally, I find the hardest part of being chronically ill is that there is no end. There is no point in planning what you’ll do when you get better. There is no better, so one has to accept what is (and make the most of a restricted life).

        This applies to partners, spouses or caregivers.

      • jmgoyder says:

        I don’t say it enough, Vicki, but I so appreciate your support and wisdom. I am so grateful to you as you were the first person (I think?) to respond to my first tentative post over five years ago. I admire your determination, resilience and artistry so so much! Thank you for your friendship and thanks for your understanding.

  9. Hubby and I took his mom out for her 91st birthday. She would go all the time if we could arrange it, but we live too far away. It is hard for her because her world is small, but it is hard for us because our world is getting smaller but still much too busy, and then there is the guilt.

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