Enjoying yourself with your Dementia loved one

Proudly shows you her room
Proudly shows you her room
New Year's Eve 2008
New Year's Eve 2008
My daughter and I  curling her hair and doing her fingernails
My daughter and I curling her hair and doing her fingernails
Mom's 89th BD at my house
Mom's 89th BD at my house
In her backyard where she is living
In her backyard where she is living
Getting a pedicure.
Getting a pedicure.
Picking flowers at a local flower farm
Picking flowers at a local flower farm
Going for a walk in the mountains
Going for a walk in the mountains
Mom and her grandaughter's wedding
Mom and her grandaughter's wedding
Grand children and great grandchildren come to visit
Grand children and great grandchildren come to visit
Mom enjoys her 2 great grand daughters
Mom enjoys her 2 great grand daughters
Painting ceramics at a local shop
Painting ceramics at a local shop
Mom helps me make apple pies
Mom helps me make apple pies
At the local Pumpkin Patch
At the local Pumpkin Patch

Fun can be had

Yes even with dementia it can be a lot of fun...

And one should try to do all the fun things you can.

Each person may enjoy different things, but each thing you do with them is enjoyed.

They may only remember it for a short while, but when you show them pictures it helps them remember.

As you can see mom and I do many things together...although she only lasts for a couple of hours we do manage to get around.

On New Year's Eve she was very relaxed and enjoying the company. she actually stayed up late with us.

My daughter and I were having a great time curling her hair and polishing her nails. They need the touching and caring to help them feel loved and cared for...much like a child.

Here we were celebrating her 89 th birthday and back then she was still wearing her wigs...she has since given them up to be more comfortable. I must admit it changed her looks a lot. For many years none of us saw her without her wigs.

She is here in the backyard of the home she stays in...it is very cheerful and we walk the paths for exercise and fresh air. To try to keep their moral up and their bodies in good shape. They cannot get out but are free to enjoy these grounds anytime. As you can see she is a Happy Lady, which is fortunate for me...as some can be very angry and agitated as they know their memories are fading.

Every 6 weeks or so I take her in for a professional pedicure. The chair vibrates to relax them, this local place gives their legs a good massage and paints their nails. Usually I have them paint a flower on her big toe, which makes her feel very special and pretty. It is wise to be open and explain that she has Dementia to the owners so they understand her and her feelings. Actually I try to explain anywhere I take her...quietly though without her hearing.

We also like to go to a local flower farm to pick flowers. It is refreshing to do these things and is like their own yard to them...We also take drives into the mountains and get out for fresh air. She always loved the outdoors and the mountains so this is a way to make her feel good.

We often see many wild creatures and she so loves the deer. She is usually tired by the time 2 hours is up...but you can see how happy she is to be out and about.

We also had a wedding and I took her to it for a couple of hours. Not for the ceremony because it was too long, but where the laughter and music and food was...she so enjoyed the children and the family members that were there. It's true the next day she didn't remember, but while we were there she enjoyed it very much.

And it is so important to have them see their family, since many of mine live out of state, she forgets them, cause she doesn't see them much

One of her grandchildren and their children came to visit her this summer...so she got to see her great granddaughters...And though she didn't recognize them at first after a while her memory did come back a bit...and all had a good time.

It is so amazing how wonderful children seem to understand the elderly. We went to the park where the children could run around and play and mom could sit and watch. The girls picked dandelions and made a necklace out of them for her. You should have seen her smile :o) They swang on the swings and walked to the pond (mom did too) and though she was very tired she had so much fun.My point is don't be afraid to take your loved one out..( I do have a tracking device on her...in case she was to wander away ) You can never be too careful or cautious.

I also take her a local ceramic store. You pick out whatever you want to paint and then she fires it for you. Mom used to paint ceramics when I was growing up so she still enjoys it. Though she doesn't remember exactly how to use the brush and gets the colors mixed up...it doesn't matter one bit...she is enjoying herself and so do I. We are together doing what she is capable of.

Also we spent sometime at my house this summer when the apples were ready...We peeled and peeled..actually I peeled and l cored them..and she sliced them for me. Then we made pies...which was her favorite kind to make as a young mother. I remember helping her in the same way.

I also took her to the local pumpkin patch to see all the pumpkins on the ground waiting to be picked for their special night. Also she has fallen in love with a baby doll I had and she takes it most places we go...she sings to it and holds it and sleeps with it. It brings her much comfort...she used to be a foster mom...So as you can see you can make new memories...even if they can't remember, you can, and they are feeling wanted and loved and cared for. It is a disease that does not get better. They are working on research now and may be able to catch it and stop it where it is...but not stop it completely...So prayers and being with them is important...as a matter of fact i need to go get her right now...we go for a lot of rides and have an ice cream cone...G:Ma Hugs :O)

Comments 31 comments

Lazur profile image

Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

G-Ma This hub shows what kind of good, loving , caring person you are. Big hug for you and GG-Ma. Hope you both enjoyed the ice cream:)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Awww sweetie thank you...and we sure did enjoy the ice cream and the scenery was outstanding today here...I was simply trying to show people that you can enjoy your  dementing loved ones , no matter what...It can become overwhelming...G-Ma :o) Hugs


Lazur profile image

Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

You certainly can enjoy it. I wished everyone with a parent or grandparent could say this. But not all can see the positive things. They only feel the shame because their (grand)parent can act really strange sometimes, only feel the pain because their (grand)parent doesn't know who they are and so on. It's hard to see your parent fade away, but it's even harder to be able to enjoy the positve moments:) At least, those are my experiences when I worked on the ward for elderly with dementia and a lot of those people didn't get visitors anymore.

*hug*


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

So my dear I see you have experiences with this sort of thing...and know you do understand..and yes it is sad to see people with no visitors and wanting to leave with me and mom...but is not possible... and thought thy ask her when we return she can't remember...God Love them...G-Ma :o) Hugs


maureenltc 8 years ago

hi there, i absolutely loved your hub! my mom is 89 and i have been looking after her for over 6 years. i love every minute of it, well almost every minute of it. thank you for an awe inspiring story. and yes there is lots that can be done with them. mo


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Well I thank You you sweet thing you...and I am glad to hear you are so dedicated...because it sure takes a lot to be...God Bless you for your wonderful attitude...G-Ma:o) Hugs


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Beautiful hub and a good lesson about how we must always take the good with the not so good. I am glad to see you love your mom so much :).


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

G-ma thought I'd just pop in and have a read and you brought back some great memories for me, as we looked after my wife's mum with the same condition.

We had some very fun times with her and wish she was still with us regardless!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Thank You SweetiePie...and yes i do love her very much...but have to admit wasn't always that way...but we do grow up eventually..I am hoping anyways LOL She is a 'sweetie pie' also...G-Ma :o) Hugs


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

agvulpes...Thank you my dear for 'poping in' and it is always nice to know we are not the only ones going through these things.  The research goes on and it is always hopeful that one day they may be able to catch the disease early and stop it at that point. " I'm gonna miss these days and wish they hadn't gone by so fast"..though sometimes they drag...but I am fortunate that she is a sweet, fun, good natured lady and God has His plans...G-Ma :o) Hugs


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi G-Ma. It takes a lot of heart to be able to go beyond the painful times. I was teary eyed looking at your photos of your mom. Yes, she is looking happy. And I know you have done so much to care for her and this is one way of choosing to see the perfection in the imperfection. I am proud of you, my dearest G-Ma. Sending you loving hugs all the way from where I am now..in my room. Take care...:)


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

awwww Thank You and I can feel the hugs and the love all the way here...AND SHE IS A love ...G-Ma :o) Hugs


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

G-Ma,

I wish that I could do so good with my Mom. She is still driving and getting around but I see her mind fading and she does too. It is hard to be so very patient and with all that has happened this year I have to admit that I am not 100% up to the trial of Mom's needs. I get angry with my siblings for not helping out more. Lately I am so drained that when I sit down I fall asleep within 5 minutes.

Sometimes I feel like I am trying too hard to meet all of Mom's needs. I do have one sister to vent to so that helps a lot. It is hard but I have to do this for myself. Thank you for sharing this hub and all the nice photos. You are a very special lady. C.S.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Awww...please talk to me if you feel like it, I totally understand and it is not easy, a hard road, and very trying...You would not believe what I have been through with my sweet loving mom and I could tell you so many stories...which may help you, or may not....but remember it is not their fault and is a disease that does not get better...God Bless you for recognizing what is happening and remember there is much help out there....and I am always here, as I have said....Thanks for commenting...G-Ma :o) hugs


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

G-Ma thank you for this beautiful sharing. Your love shouts out the goodness in every experience. What may seem unpleasant could be the very thing that allows one to give and receive unconditional love. Big hugs to a magnificent angel and my best to your mom:) Love heals:)


moonlake profile image

moonlake 7 years ago from America

I hope my kids take as good care of my husband and I when we need it as you have with your mother.

My Mother is 86 and not near us so my youngest sister has to pretty much do everything for her. I know it is hard she is very demanding and jealous of my sister's little grandkids. She thinks they get to much attention and she doesn't get enough.

Great Hub.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

I am sure they will take good care of you...especially if you have insurance to help like my parents did.  I could not do this without the coverage they provided for themselves...

Yes it is a difficult job and can be very frustrating, but must remember they can't help the way they act or feel...it is the nature of this disease and does not get better...so exercise your brain I wrote a hub about that...Thanks for commenting and the best to your sister and to your dear mother...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

dayzeebee...sorry somehow I skipped you...Had company for 4 days so am behind I see...Thanks sweetie for your loving comment and Love does Heal...G-Ma :o) Hugs & Peace


The Real Tomato profile image

The Real Tomato 7 years ago

This is so needed. Too many don't take time like this BECAUSE of the dementia. My own mother is in the early stages- pictures help her a lot too.

Gosh, I hope my kids are half a good to me when I am old as you are to your mom. What a gift you truely are for eachother.

Beautiful Hub.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Real Tomato...glad to meet you sweetie...and it is a tough disease...but if you can go to some support groups it helps so much...I wrote another hub  about exercising your mind  there are a few good books out too...One is "dancing with Rose" and the other is "The 36 hr. day"  good reading...Thanks for commenting...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

i had a dear friend with dementia, she was 80 when she died, i missed her so much, we had a wonderful time just going to the doctors, joy can be found everywhere, thank you g-ma


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Dolores...Nice to meet you my dear and I joined your fan club and am looking forward to reading your hubs...Yes is a very trying time and my mom is such a dear lady...we try to have fun but now she is getting worse and doesn't remember 15 min. ago what happened. Is so sad to watch but I keep a smile always for her...though my heart bleeds terribly knowing what is coming...

Thanks for the comment and I know I am not alone in this...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

My 98 year old grandmother has dementia. She does remember us quite a bit of the time (although she confuses me for my mom), but my 3 year old is the one that can get the most out of her! They have the most interesting conversations, and her face lights up when he crawls up on her bed for a "chat". She is bedridden and living with my mom. It's wonderful to have those moments with her!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Proud Mom...yes my mom too loves the little ones...I gave her a life like doll to care for and she loved it for a while...but now she gave it to another lady...I think they trade off...Wow 98 years old Bless her heart...there is a lady where my mom stays that is 101 yrs. mom is healthy other then the alzheimer/dementia so who knows? I just hope her money lasts as long as she does...I am very careful with it believe me...

Thanks for the comment sweetie...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Peace


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Well, she is blessed to have you, G-ma! I always knew you were a very special lady!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Takes one to know one sweetie...Thanks...G-Ma Hugs


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

We are going down that same path. My mother is now living with my husband and me. She is more and more forgetful and I do realize that she cannot help it. Your hub is a good reminder to make every day special and try to incorporate some fun into it instead of just getting through each day doing mundane things.

You are a very special lady! I love reading all your comments on other people's hubs.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Peggy...It is a big job and there is a great book called "36 hour day" if you care to read it. Is in paperback and very informative and helpfull...Another good one is called "Dancing with Rose" if you want to do any reading...It sure helped me as do the support groups I attend twice a month.

Understanding about this is the main thing...it is a never ending thing and does not get better...My best to you and if you have any questions I may be able to help with...feel free to ask me...

Thanks for commenting and my best to you and your hubby, it is a big job, but you seem a very kind lady...God Bless...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Prayers


cynthia 7 years ago

I can see these pics so much easier than trying to download them from my email. dial up sucks


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free Author

Yes dear this is true...Heard about Bert? Pray hard for her...Love you sweetie...:O) Hugs MOM


cindizzj@yahoo.co profile image

cindizzj@yahoo.co 7 years ago from Northern California

Susan told me something, but not much. I hope she will be ok. Love you too.

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