In April of 2012, my mom and dad traveled to the next town for several appointments with a team of doctors to understand why my dad, Ed, acted so confused and forgetful. On this occasion, they would find out the diagnosis.
They walked into the waiting room and didn’t have long to wait. A nurse took Ed to a room. But mom was ushered into a small room across the hall from him.
She remembers waiting and wondering. What would be the diagnosis? Then she glanced at the beautiful print hanging on the wall. A pastoral picture brought her peace as she waited.
The doctor entered, hesitated a moment, and then began talking about some of the findings. My mom willed herself to listen and remember the phrases – Lewy Body Dementia, will only get worse, and there is no cure.
The Diagnosis: Lewy Body Dementia
At that moment she realized her dream of holding hands, sitting in rocking chairs, and rocking their way to Heaven together had come to an abrupt end.
They left the hospital together. She enjoyed visiting with Ed about everything. But she could not share with him this diagnosis.
Then many decisions came. She wavered on choosing to move near her son, deciding for it one week and against it the next. But in the end, she understood she couldn’t do it alone.
My brother, Tim, came and advised her to ‘downsize.’ It was an impossible task. She put the house on the market and began to sort and pack box after box.
My brothers and I each took turns with my mom helping her pack and with decisions. I marveled at the enormity of the task.
One thing, surprised my mom, as my brother, Tim, drove her away from their home of 33 years. She chose not to look back, but to look to the new life ahead. My mother closed the door to the knowns and moved to the unknowns.
After she could no longer physically care for my dad alone at her home near my brother, my dad was moved to a nursing home. Then she began driving three times a week, and later, every day for lunch to visit my dad.
She played recorded hymns for him
She read her writings to him, and he didn’t understand. So she played recorded hymns on her telephone. They held hands and listened. He mouthed the lyrics to the hymns.
She spoke of the wonder of their new Home in Heaven. My mom told him he would be able to see and walk again. Sometimes, he squeezed her hand.
She wrote every week of the hymns she played for him. Each one has a unique story of how it was written. And she added tidbits of what the songs meant to her.
Whether you are caring for your spouse, a parent, or even a paid position, the video available with this book will bring peace to your patient. Read the book, Sing Me To Heaven, to find more meaning in the hymns yourself.
Download the new printable PDF, “Dementia Dos and Don’ts”, today.
And learn how to be a gentle and compassionate caregiver.
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