Pathways to Memory – specialized memory care for Utah seniors and individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments
For me, Alzheimer’s care means thinking about my mother, Marvelle, who died peacefully in her home on October 23, 2009.
Dying peacefully in her home was our goal when we started sending a caregiver to help her. Of course, she didn’t want the help. She could do it on her own, she thought. I convinced her that my sisters could no longer help clean her house and that if she allowed someone to come in to help, she could spend time doing fun things with her daughters. She agreed. On October 16, 2006 we sent her first caregiver. This is a picture of mom from around that time. For the next year and a half, working with mom meant helping her around the house, cleaning, cooking and going on errands.
We could tell that she was declining over time. By December of 2007 she wasn’t engaging in conversation very much. When I visited, I would generally find her on her couch, sometimes with the curtains closed in the middle of the day. She didn’t do much when the caregiver wasn’t around. When she visited my house for Sunday dinner, she and dad sat on the couch and waited to be called for dinner. Directly after dinner, my sister would take them home. I knew we needed to take quick action or she would slide into advanced Alzheimer’s disease, just like her sister Ethel did. In January 2008, we started her on our Pathways to Memory program.
The change wasn’t immediate, but it was dramatic. After about six weeks, when she came for Sunday dinner she was no longer sitting on the couch. She asked how she could help. She set the table, washed potatoes and engaged in conversation. In April she was able to attend my son’s wedding. Most of her time at the wedding was great. But, she was lost at times, as you can see in this picture.
She continued receiving Pathways to Memory sessions until July of 2009. At that point, the sessions were no longer very effective. She declined quickly and passed away peacefully. I recorded her last couple of months in a blog. Check it out here.
I’m grateful for the resource I had to share with my mother of Pathways to Memory. She knew me until the end. A few days before she died, she spoke her last words to me, “I love you.” Pathways to Memory provided the means by which mom was able to stay in her home and know me until the end.
We offer Pathways to Memory as a free part of our Alzheimer’s and dementia care services if you want it and your loved one will participate in it. We can discuss it at our FREE initial consultation. Call us today, our phones are answered live 24/7. For immediate help with your loved one, please check out our Guide to Living With Dementia, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to bring one to your home.