Parental Journal 119 from Planet Elderly: Still Can’t See Mom

Friday, January 15, 2021

It has been a long time since I last saw my Mom. I understand the cautions that must be taken to protect the residents and staff where she lives, but not seeing her has become worrisome. The attempt to visit via phone one time showed me that she can talk on the phone for a very short time, but is more focused on what is going on around her.

I wonder about her all the time. Is she doing any walking at all, or is she permanently in a wheel chair? Does she still have a good appetite? Is she still staying up until beyond midnight and sleeping in until almost lunch time? Does she ever ask about me? Will she recognize me the next time we visit?

I don’t call to ask those questions. Staff are busy and I hate to bother them with a phone call. I know that if there are any major changes, they will let me know. We have regularly scheduled conference times, so I will wait until then.

Meanwhile, I truly miss just sitting next to her and watching her watch everyone else…eavesdropping on conversations…snoozing… enjoying a visiting music group or scheduled activity. I miss having lunch with her…doing her nails in her favorite pale, frosty pink color.

I hope we will have time in the months ahead to continue those things…or at the very least, to have some chatterbox visits again. Meanwhile, I drop by with flowers…disposable panties…personal care creams…and candy now and then. They are given to a front area security person who lets staff know that Pearl has had a delivery. Each time I stop by I leave with tears in my eyes.

Today I will send an email to ask if there is any word about when visits of any kind might resume. I know it’s hard for headquarters to predict and give the okay to communities. At least staff and residents are getting their vaccinations. I think I read that here in Missouri, people age 65 and older will start getting theirs soon.

Most days I walk around shaking my head. Chaos in DC…threats of more violence in the days ahead…worsening numbers with the original virus and now concerns about variants…millions of people in economic peril…small businesses barely hanging on by a thread…a new administration that has so much to do in such a divided nation.

In a way, it’s fortunate that with her dementia, Mom doesn’t remember what happened ten minutes earlier. She no longer asks questions about anything. She simply lives in the moment. I need to do more of that.

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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2 Responses to Parental Journal 119 from Planet Elderly: Still Can’t See Mom

  1. I empathize totally. Distanced , masked, short, once-a-week visits with my Mom (90 with dementia) have been on hold for the past month or so here in Massachusetts. So difficult. Keep breathing 😷

    Liked by 1 person

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