So first writing, now reading. It’s really amazing how differently mom is doing after one month of having a momsitter three times per week.
The typical menu of activities includes walking, reading, and puzzles. They also do whatever activity may be happening in the activity room: exercise, crafts, BINGO. It’s no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that anything involving music and especially singing is a hit.
And one of the best parts of what’s happening with the momsitter is what’s happening when the momsitter is not around. Mom is sitting independently and reading.
When I went on Sunday morning she was sitting and reading a Maya Angelou book we’d given her a decade ago for Mother’s Day and she’d always kept in her bedroom on her nightstand. The nurse told me she’d been sitting and reading it for almost two hours that day, every word and every page. By the time I get there she is on the last few pages. Who knows what of it she comprehends or what of it seems familiar having read it several times. I’m so happy she remembers how to read and has the patience and attention to sit and read for now.
She will sit and read the captions in a photography book from start to finish. She’s even been reading the recipes from cookbooks; reading the very detailed description of ingredients and the descriptions of techniques. My mom always did love to read and try cooking new things.
I think we will add a second momsitter for two additional days per week, so someone will be there five days per week for three hours each day. Three hours of time where someone is singularly focused on spending time with mom and doing things she loves and will stimulate her.
I have to laugh at the ongoing discussions we have about the myriad of meds she’s on. We are preoccupied with the how to tweak the meds to get her to behave differently. It’s an impossible riddle…raise this med but lower this med. Observe any behavioral results? None? Then change the med, or the dosage, or both.
In the end what’s caused her to behave differently in the shortest amount of time has been having another person to spend time with her, learn her, love her, and help her as needed.
There is a lesson in there about all the best efforts to control behavior by meds… it isn’t fully successful without care, respect, generosity, acceptance, patience, and love.
I’d say this momsitter experiment is a success.