Parental Journal 110 from Planet Elderly: New Chatterbox Visit Setup with Mom

June 10, 2020 late morning


Chatterbox Setup

When I visited Mom Monday at 11, Lenoir Woods had a new setup for visiting called Chatterbox.  I don’t know if this is something circulating in care homes or if this is something that originated at Lenoir, but it was much nicer than visiting with mom through a screened window.

This is what it looks like:


20200608_104731 (1)

Visitors are screened with a survey and temperatures are taken.  We have a walkie-talkie thing we press when we speak and release when we want to hear the loved one speak.

I thought it was terrific and was delighted to see Mom recognize me when she was first brought to the area.  She said something about “my daughter” and “Jeanette,” and she smiled.

We had 15 minutes to visit and I did most of the talking.  She is quite good at responding to a conversation with little phrases, but her ability to form complete sentences is quite diminished.  She looked around at the surroundings and at one point started talking about her daughter.  I waved and she refocused.

When asked, she claims she is eating well, still sometimes stays up until 2 or 3 a.m. as the resident night owl, and appreciates the staff who work in her community.  “It’s really nice.”



I’ll have another chatterbox visit with her next Monday, but then won’t be able to visit for a few weeks because I’ll be recovering from knee replacement surgery.  I mentioned that to her and she said it was no problem.  Two minutes later she had no memory of my mentioning knee replacement surgery.  That’s fine.  Mom lives in the moment now…minute by minute…meal by meal…bite by bite.

When it was time to leave she told me it was nice of me to stop by.  We told each other, “I love you,” and I left with tears in my eyes.

About jjmummert

This blog was originally titled "Drifting Toward Planet Elderly," and it shared a journey I had with my elderly parents as they both finished their lives battling the complexities of dementia. After both passed on, I changed the title to "Living on Planet Elderly." I am a retiree who is reluctantly adjusting to the reality that she is now elderly. In July of 2021, I relocated to Middleton WI after living in Columbia MO for over 40 years. I decided that I want to experience a new and vibrant location in a cooler climate with lakes...a bucket list item of mine. I have a first cousin who lives in Madison. We have nice childhood memories, and I thought it would be wonderful to spend some time together as elders. It was. AND March 2023, I returned to Columbia. I had a wonderful time experiencing the Madison area of Wisconsin, spending time with my cousin, and making some wonderful friends. No regrets.
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