DSCN0356Vacation with Mom and the folks from Seattle. A nice place on the bay in northern Michigan. 8 days away from the grind of life.

We’ve been back about 3 weeks, and I’ve taken a bit of a break. Not much has happened that is earth shaking or life changing. The drone of life continues. The routine is in place once again. But it has been interesting to see the contrast from a few weeks ago to today with Mom.

On vacation she was more talkative. Now she isn’t. She will come out of her room and say nothing. If we talk to her she talks but she never greets us, never says good morning, never initiates a conversation. We could spend an entire day in silence if we never started the topic. Probably the only time Mom would talk would be when Kathy or I start dinner. Then she asks “Can I do anything?”

Up north she would sit outside. Here she never goes out unless there is a lot of prodding. We have a pleasant patio, she just sits in her chair in the family room. I wanted her to garden this summer. Since winter was brutal I thought she would enjoy being able to take care of a plot of land. That wasn’t to be. She took no interest and I was too tired or involved or ambivalent to lead her and work with her daily to do gardening chores.

Up north she would have coffee. Here never. I offer about every other day. She declines.

Up north she would eat breakfast other than toast. Here I offer eggs, or something different from toast. But other than pancakes she will always say no.

We realize we cannot give her the stimulation and engagement she needs to live a fuller life. We can take her out to dinner or shopping but that isn’t a daily event. There are long periods in the day where Kathy and I are at work. Mom is in the chair when we leave, and in the chair when we get back. We take care of her life, we wish more were involved to take care of her entertainment. But I guess everyone is busy. Everyone has other priorities. Everyone works. Everyone has chores.

We are moving ahead with assisted living. ¬†We know our attempt at caring isn’t the best arrangement. At the time it made sense. Now, not so much.