Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dinner was Her Choice

While Lyn was here, we made sure that the food offered at each meal was something we had confidence she would eat.  There was no curry or paprikas.  Mom would have enjoyed it but Lyn wouldn't have eaten it.  The goal during the week was to cater to her needs and make her as comfortable as possible.  For the most part, we succeeded.


She was happy that we even made spaghetti and garlic bread for her one night.  This picture makes me smile because I know she was happy even though her face looks grim.

If you care for someone with dementia, this is one of the changes that takes a long time to get used to seeing.  We expect that a person's expression, even at rest, should reflect their overall emotional state.  We rely on small visual clues provided by expressions to anticipate how a person will respond to us as we engage with them.  When there's a disconnect between the person's facial expressions and their emotional state, we're left guessing and can guess incorrectly.

I really have to acknowledge how Mom works with Lyn and how she's learned to not rely upon Lyn's facial expressions for an indicator of Lyn's emotions.  The truth is that Lyn doesn't always understand her own emotions anymore.  Tears come just as easily through joy as they do through anxiety or fatigue or any other emotion.  The key is just being willing to go along with whatever is being expressed in the moment.  Mom moves along with Lyn's emotions from moment to moment.  She deserves a medal for that.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I've been reading for quite a while now and I appreciate each and every post. We haven't encountered this indicator yet with my FIL, and I've never heard it discussed. It's good to know though and I feel like following your and Lyn and your mom's story, I am able to learn what to expect in our journey with Alzheimer's. I know each and every change isn't evident with every person living with Alzheimer's, but I also am learning what is "normal".

    Thank you.

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    1. Hi Faith! Welcome and thank you for the kind comment. The interesting thing about Alzheimer's is that the progression of the disease varies from person to person. You will find common traits your FIL will share with others. However, you may experience things with him that we don't experience with Lyn. No matter how challenging the behaviors are or how odd an action seems, please be assured that someone has experienced it before and understands. I am delighted you have found us and even happier that our posts are beneficial to you.

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