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She had a smile vibrant and radiant with an opened-faced crown on one of her front teeth glistening at every cackle. Friends and family laughed until they cried whenever she entered the room.

70's Christmas Party at Woolco - The F. W. Woolworth

In 2002, I thought I had life planned as best I could being away from Atlanta for about three years; making decisions that would allow opportunities for a better life as a single mother.

After hearing mom share she had been diagnosed with Corticobasal Degeneration, I immediately switched into gear taking charge of her life demanding she move to Texas. She would pack her belongings forgetting about her friends and family; in addition, familiar places and things that comforted her. But, who cared? This was my mom we were talking about.

I was eager to make a place for her. Now, it would be complete because I missed my family a lot after making the move! I would locate the finest physicians and provide the best care. This was it! My plan was coming together, I thought. Mom promised she would pray about it, too. Surely, God would answer my prayers!

One day, mom called to tell me she thought about the move; and it was not good for her. Her voice firm, "if I am going to die, I want to die around family." I didn't understand. Selfishly, I kept asking her questions. Do you want to be closer to your daughter and granddaughter? Do you want better physicians? Do you want me to come home?

Momma was a praying woman who walked the house at different hours in the A.M. annointing us with oil. When God spoke she listened without tarying from what she heard.

I was bothered. It was me who did not understand thinking her memory loss had gradually progressed; while, taking control of her cognitiveness. Also, I felt she was making irrational decisions.

Familiarity is most important to your loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's/Dementia. It allows them to maintain their social relationships, identity, and autonomy. Keeping them calm and relaxed reduces the risk of agitation and anxiety. Continuing Tuesday night Bingo, Wednesday night Bible Study, and visits to the local grocery store provides opportunities for them to feel in charge and control of their life.

Oh, I know mom would have been anxious without family on the holidays! She would miss participating and attending church events. She relied on certain family members and friends to stop by and visit, or she visited them. And, she was accustomed to being in her own home and moving around without parameters or feeling as if she was in the way.

Photo by Flemming Fuchs on Unsplash

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

There is no content written that is an end all to understanding care of a loved one experiencing Alzheimer's/Dementia. We can not make a wish that would help us understand what they go through as the illness progresses. Only Dorothy could click her heels three times believing that every day would be the same as the day before.

Open your minds and hearts inviting family and friends onto your loved ones' journey creating routines and plans minimizing moods and behaviors. Seek out agencies and community facilities for support and advice. Join social groups and organizations that can relate. You do not have to travel this road alone.

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