“What was that?”

“It’s your mom; she’s keeps yelling out ‘good morning’.”

I look at the clock. It’s 4:20 am. I sit up, swing my feet over to the side of the bed, and feel around for my slippers.


Gracie jumps up and starts dancing around as I get my robe and move toward the bedroom door. I’m up–it must be Doggie Breakfast Time! She is very disappointed when I pass by her kennel.



“Good morning! I just woke up and so I got up.”


“What? I can’t hear you.”

I grab the white board off the fridge and write: Why are you yelling ‘Good Morning’?

“I didn’t know I was yelling.”


“I don’t need to go to the bathroom.”


“I will in a little while.”


“I don’t want to.”


“Okay, okay. I’ll go change now.”

I call the PACE On-Call Nurse, and tell her about Mom’s odd behaviors over the past couple of days. We concur that she may have a UTI, which the nurse confirms is something they can check in the clinic after Mom arrives at the Adult Day Center.

No use trying to go back to sleep. I’m up for the day.

Good morning!



This morning’s coffee mug is one of two Valentine-themed cups I found last week in high cabinet and pulled out for use over the next couple of weeks. I have a tablecloth with hearts that I bought to use for Valentine’s, and a welcome sign for the front door with hearts on it, but the new tablecoth is still in the cabinet and the Christmas wreath is still hanging on the front door.

Because I’m tired.

I need 8 hours sleep to be a fully-functioning human, but I rarely get much more than 7, and sleeping in a little on the weekends (the bath lady comes at 9:30, on Saturdays) never quite catches me up. Mom’s alarm goes off at 6:30 every morning, and I’ve been setting mine for 6:00 so I can get finished with the dog circus and get her meds and coffee ready, just trying to be half a step ahead.

I used to get up when I heard her alarm, but now I have to already be in the front of the house to make sure she visits the bathroom and puts on new briefs before coming to the breakfast table. I can’t ask her for confirmation because she tells me she’s done it, whether she has or not. I never know if this is because all the bathroom visits from before have merged to create what seems like an always-recent memory, or if she’s just lying because she doesn’t want to delay getting her coffee and cookies. Could be either one. I can sometimes tell, but it’s just easier if I’m there to witness.

Mom goes to bed around 9 pm, and since I have to witness at least the beginning of her nighttime bathroom preparations to make sure she’s actually done them, I have to be nearby for that, too. If I forget, and she calls out that she’s ready for bed, I can never be sure that her “ready for bed” includes all the things that I think are required, but she feels are optional. What this also means is that I can never go to bed before she does, no matter how much I’d like to.

This week, I have done three loads of her laundry across the mornings, and her shirts and robes from the last load are still hanging in the laundry room. My personal laundry is two weeks behind.

And this is a jumbled mess of a blog post, but it’s all I’ve got for today. At least it’s almost the weekend, for what that’s worth.


Neighborly Care Network

Mom’s birthday at Neighborly in 2014 – Can you spot her?

Mom is now a participant in the Suncoast PACE program, but for almost five years, we were very fortunate to be a part of the Neighborly Care Network. She attended their Adult Day Program from January 2011 through November 2015, and loved going every day.

Mom’s time at Dietert Center had broken the ice on her willingness to attend a day group, but after we moved to Oldsmar in late 2008, we had to start over. Oldsmar has a nice senior center, but it is more of a meeting place and clubhouse, with a calendar of activities for active retired folks. I tried taking Mom up there, but she’s always been pretty shy, and her dementia had by then robbed her of her ability to negotiate new situations and any real interest in doing so. She just sat in a chair by the door, waiting for me to get finished with whatever errand I was doing, with no curiosity about what was going on with the people around the room and no inclination to join in.

I had called Neighborly Care and talked to them about their program, but it took me awhile to find a regular job. Until I was working full-time, we didn’t have as much of a need for Mom to attend, but as soon as I had a job that kept me away from home all day, it quickly became apparent that she needed some outside source of social interaction and enrichment. And Neighborly Care was right there. A nurse and a social worker came to our home to do assessments to make sure she was right for their program. I took Mom over to visit and have lunch (she likes lunch) and meet the staff. They arranged from the van to pick her up one day a week, and then it became available for Mom to attend two and then three days each week.

We are grateful for the PACE program and all the services it offers, but I’m not sure Mom would even be here if we hadn’t had Neighborly Care all those years before.

Thank you, Neighborly Care Network!