Long Overdue Updates

My last post here was just over three years ago. Wow.

November and December of 2017 were very difficult. So much so that, even with my niece staying with us and helping, Mom’s needs increased to the point that we made the decision to move her to a memory care facility in January of 2018. I guess those 2-3 months were so very hard that I was too traumatized to revisit it, even to write about it. But today, she turned 91, and I feel like I need to start sharing our story again.

Her 88th birthday was celebrated at the Day Center at Suncoast PACE program. Her 89th birthday was at her cottage at the memory care facility. Her 90th birthday was at the same facility, and her dishevelment in that photo was indicative of the decline in care that spurred us to move her to a different facility a few weeks later, at the beginning of March. March of 2020, that is. Three days before all the care facilities were locked down due to COVID. We moved her on a Tuesday, and that Friday was the last time I was able to visit with her until last month.

I won’t name the old place, but her current home is at Angels Senior Living of Dunedin, and they are wonderful. It is only three miles from our home, so I am able to check on her regularly. Since she can’t see faces (no central vision) and she’s VERY hard of hearing, all those Zoom and through-the-window visits that many were able to make work, just didn’t work for us. I am so grateful that a few weeks ago I was able to sign up and be trained as one of their compassionate caregivers and can finally visit with Mom, again–at least on a limited basis.

And that’s how I was able to be there for cupcakes and party hats this afternoon. Yay! Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!