Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour or so sitting with my mom, in her bright and cheery room at Yoder House, playing favorite hymn collections on CD. She mostly dozed, but woke to share non-sequiturs from time to time. This was our first unsupervised, non-distanced visit in about fourteen months. We are both fully vaccinated.
“Are you done cleaning the room?” she asked me, after I’d wheeled her into her bedroom from the common area where I’d greeted her.
“It’s all ready for you,” I responded, side-stepping the question as I opened the blinds of both windows, and cracked the window facing Park Woods for a bit of fresh, cool air.
On my prior two visits in February, one with my brother Donald, we both got smiles and what seemed to be recognition that we are family. Those were scheduled visits, so it’s possible that the staff talked us up beforehand.
This visit was more serendipitous, in that the window for drop-ins had just closed for two weeks the day prior because of a couple of positive Covid tests. My special permission visit fit the loophole for “compassionate care”.
“Thanks for your communication,” the email from the VP of Supported Living read. “You understand our dilemma fully. If you would still like to come today I will let the house know you have been approved for a compassionate care visit with Doris. Just let me know.”
I never make Mom guess who I am. Why do that to anyone with Dementia?! But I take every opportunity to tell her who I am, and to reminisce a bit about others in the family, especially her family of origin, because you never know when something will click.
Yesterday was not one of those days. Maybe next time.