Mom’s Other Doc Weighs In

Mom’s psychiatric nurse practitioner wrote to me this morning, with apologies, in reply to a note I wrote to him in early December about our observations about mom’s hygiene.

I think your mom is more confused by things such as the shower more than anything; not an anger thing or a parnaoid thing, more of just ‘this makes no sense, what is this all about’, and that is just the dementia we cannot change.   Cares are harder for her, and she needs more cueing, but she is generally as cooperative and going with things as well as I think she can.

His words make sense to me, and are profoundly upsetting. My mom looks at her shower, and can’t connect the dots? Holy cow. I thought it was about her stability and fear of falling. This has nothing to do with how fastidious one was prior to dementia. Suddenly that layer of the onion is peeled away, and the patient loses showering. Devastating. To me, not her (thank goodness!). Maybe this, in part, is why she hasn’t kicked up a fuss about Elvis’ absence.

The upside of this is that maybe she just needs cueing from staff to take a shower, rather than actual help. GO crystallized memory!

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