I spoke to my mum in Sweden today.
For newcomers to this blog and for those who don't know me, you can read an earlier post about mum here. She is 90, will be 91 in March. (Yes, I know that makes me old but to my defence, she had me quite late in her life!) Mum suffers from Alzheimer's and has been living in a home for the last couple of years.
She is very fit and mobile for her age, it's her memory that's failing her. But – she still remembers a lot. Somehow, I get a feeling that everything is there, but she doesn't always manage to 'get' to it.
If I want to tell her something about someone, I have to take one thing at the time and make sure that sinks in, before attempting the next 'thread'. If we are lucky, she remembers the first thing which then leads to the next. Other days, it's completely blank. Then there are times when she remembers something very far and distant which I can't recall myself!
And – she sometimes gets down and depressed. That's when she hallucinates and gets totally confused. Nothing can cheer her up then. She doesn't want to leave her own little 'mini-flat', within the home. She just wants to be on her own. I don't blame her. Just because you live in a 'home' doesn't mean you want to socialise every day...
However, today was a good day. She was happy and told me she had been dancing to a live band which visits regularly. Yes, it is a good care home, with loving and caring staff. One member of staff sometimes brings her two dogs and my animal-loving mother is in seventh heaven. They come into her room and sleep on her bed or lie on her lap. The dogs, that is – not the staff.
Talking of heaven... Mum asked me, whilst enjoying my YouTube clip of Fred Astaire (from my Mac in England to her phone in Sweden):
"Do you think I get to dance when I'm in heaven?" I assured her she would.
"Yes, she said. I will dance once I'm there. And sing: 'Heaven... I'm in Heaven... la-la-la-la...when we're out together, dancing cheek to cheek!"
She has never been taught English but as she puts it – she learnt her English from watching films at the cinema when younger.
I hope she stays happy for a long time to come.