The challenges brought on my COVID-19 during the year have if nothing else, raised our awareness of what is most important.
Creating opportunities for memory making moments
The importance of movement and music for those with memory issues
Family – we have a relatively large family and gathering since March is just not possible with Mom’s compromised immune system. Technology has supported us to some extent, but Mom hasn’t even been able to cuddle with her more recently arrived great grandchildren. For that matter, neither have we had the opportunity to spend much time with our own grandchildren. Family calls have helped with that – but they still seem all too infrequent to keep us all connected.
Health – We’ve been very fortunate that COVID hasn’t come through our door. Mom hasn’t experienced her yearly bout with bronchitis or pneumonia and we’re continuing to knock on wood that our efforts to keep her well will protect her and she will remain healthy.
Time — there are days that despite the fact we spend so much time together in the same room, the time we have to converse and share is getting away from us. We’re grateful that her ability to talk and feed herself is still part of the everyday norm. We are noticing more overnight conversations with others and the joy most of those moments bring to her.
Creating opportunities for memory making moments — Zoom calls with family, sharing a conversation after the call, reflecting on things that were shared. Sharing candid moments with close family members via email or our family FB page. Allowing family not able to visit the opportunity to share in those moments..
The importance of movement and music — the truth is, when we first started using music therapeutically, we never dreamed that we would be building some new neural pathways… We understand that memory won’t magically return. We have been blessed with amazing conversations and moments of clear lucidity and an ability to express needs or wants without fumbling for words. While dancing with us is still not as frequent as we would like, she still has amazing strength in her arms and legs and is still able to transition from sitting to standing and move from one chair to another and so on. She asks for music on a daily basis now and we no longer offer it as a first option. She continues to make choices that will impact her day.
Here’s hoping to more of the great stuff coming our way in 2021 as we continue our journey with Alzheimer’s and Mom.