9 Comments

How much of me is me?

teacupsWhen we moved mom into the new community, they warned us about her teacup collection. They were worried that residents would be attracted to the cups and saucers. My mom has a lovely collection that has been in her primary living residence for at least the last two decades. I wasn’t moving mom in without them. We also left on her rings. My mom didn’t need anymore changes and we felt the symbols of her possessions were worth more than protecting them from loss.

When they called last night to tell me there has been an accident and a resident knocked one of the display shelves off the wall, I wasn’t surprised. However, I was somewhat alarmed. What was someone doing in her room at 9:45 PM? My mom is usually asleep by 7:30 PM and her PDA leaves at 8:00 PM.

When we first moved mom, my sister mentioned that I should ask for a locking door. I asked the first week and it dawned on me that I never got an answer. Today I was told they won’t put locks on doors for residents that can’t remember how to open locked doors, could my mom do that? I am not sure.

As I’m looking at her cup collection, it dawns on me that a few missing cups won’t really change the collection. She will still have something to look at. However, it makes me envision my mom as the collection. How much of her is missing now?

I recently posted my internal struggle with how to manage mom forward and consider the options in front of us. The slogan “If I’m not me, I don’t want to be” rattles in my brain. I don’t think we have the right options, but I really don’t know how you would measure “me-ness.”

My mom doesn’t recognize me on most days now, but she is pleasant when I visit. She would prefer to nap and eat cake, but I can’t really fault her for that.

I know a day will come when I visit my mom and no teacups are left. I will cross that bridge when I come to it and enjoy the collection that is left for me to visit. Foreshadowed. 

9 comments on “How much of me is me?

  1. “My mom doesn’t recognize me on most days now, but she is pleasant when I visit” – this reminded me of dad not recognising me but seeming to decide I was a pleasant enough woman who gave him nice things to eat.
    Hope your mum doesn’t lose too many more of her cups and saucers and can enjoy seeing them near her. It’s horrible to think other people can rummage around in her room while she is asleep, though.

  2. I think I would slowly replace the tea cups with ‘thrift store’ pretty cups. One at a time to see if she notices.

  3. Interesting and very fitting analogy for anyone caring for someone with dementia.

  4. I visited a aged care facility today and on the entrance to each room (on corridor side) was a two tiered glass locked cabinet called “memory box” and I thought, what a special touch. It was really comforting to see the possessions that the residents and/or their families had placed in their box. Walking down the corridors seemed so much more personal: photos, ceramics, service medals, newspaper cuttings, handmade articles of love. collectables. It is just not for the dementia ward but for all residents in the nursing home section of the facility.

    • Most of the communities offer these shadow boxes and my mom’s has one … but it can’t hold the collection the way she has alway kept it displayed. We were hoping to keep it as she always displayed the collection. I was surprised when she knew that one of the displays was missing from her room. Thanks for your note.

  5. There is stuff, I think it’s called artist putty, you can stick the cups to the saucers and the saucers to the shelves. They may not survive an earthquake, but it might let them survive a little jostling. Or loops of duck-tape… Or a plexi-glass cover… or take a photo of the shelf and get a large poster made of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: