Lately, I have been sharing stories of my wonderful mother. Since becoming her caregiver, I have learned so much about the woman who is my mother. In January 2014, I wrote a story about her trip to Minneapolis to live with my father and oldest brother. Here is the link to that story that was published on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room.
Talking about things that are going on in the day to day sometimes gets frustrating. Mom cannot remember what is here and now. She struggles with things that we take for granted. She has always baked. She remembers that she loved to bake, but the process has become very confusing to her. The ingredients of a box of cake mix are just to complicated and she gets frustrated. She still wants to bake because she has those memories of making her family happy.
The way we have worked around it is this: I keep several boxes of cake mix and icings in the pantry. If she is in the mood to bake I will gather all of the ingredients that are required and set them out on the counter along with the appropriate measuring cups. I will get the correct pan out and put the Pam next to it. I will turn the oven on to preheat and this is where I get out of the way.
She will put all of the ingredients together and mix it up, put the cake mix in the pan, and put it in oven. I’ll set the timer. So far so good, except for the time a couple of months ago when I happen to be making a delicious pot of potato soup. I walked out of the kitchen for a few minutes and when I came back she had taken my soup put it in a cake pan with some cooking spray and put it in the oven to bake!
I am assuming because it is similar to the color of yellow cake mix. She just thought it needed to be baked. I sometimes have a hard time remembering to slow down and let her do things. I am getting better at this I think, or at least I am better some days. She is still working on her quilt trying to get it finished.
When she starts getting agitated in the here and now I will travel back to her past and ask questions. She loves to talk about the old times because she can remember those so clearly. She tells me stories of her family and our family before my time. I am the second youngest of five and the only female. Talking about these”golden times” always makes her feel good.
Sometimes we just talk and other times we get out the old pictures and go through them. We did this on Monday and had a great time. I keep old pictures on my computer in the kitchen and let them run when I am doing other things and she will just sit and watch them flash by. She loves this and sometimes she will see someone she hasn’t talked to for awhile and decide to call them and catch up. Which is always good for her mood. The past is a welcome gift around here.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!