Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Count it all JOY! MA=love!


Not much is written about seniors with DS. My precious MA has finally hit the "world's" standard of a senior citizen. But if you have that extra something special, you age much earlier than others. So MA was really a senior citizen in her early 40s.
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In her early 40s we decided working in the community was no longer an option for her and she joined the Senior citizen program for adults with disabilities. She has never qualified for Senior benefits there, like free dinners etc. Because her "age" was under 55 yrs or 65 yrs old! This is not fair because many people with DS do not live to 65. And by age 65 we can already tell that MA will be home with us and unable to attend the Senior program any longer. They should really take that into consideration but they won't. :o(
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Excuse the rash on her face. Winter wind burn on her delicate skin is hard to fight. She'll rub a napkin over and over it, removing the lotion we put on for it!
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These photos were taken in her bedroom. She loves pink so she made me paint the room pink for her! It had been painted purple before for her room-mate Susie.
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MA has become quite the pack rat. She saves everything now and even digs in waste baskets for treasures! We really need to weed through her stuff, but I hate to make her angry. She loves to spend alot of time in her room and the bathroom. It is getting harder and harder to get her out of these two rooms and into the kitchen or dining room to spend time with us!
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In the top photo she is modeling a prayer shawl I made for our fund raiser.
She really is this cute and sweet and we just love all of the hugs we get from her!
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She is sorting her socks from the laundry in the other three pictures. This takes her several hours to do now as she likes to inspect each sock before matching it up.
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MA won the Citizenship Award from our city in the 90's. She was a model citizen in our community! Everyone knows her and loves her. We share her with everybody! But God chose us to be her 2nd family for the last 25 years! She always used to remember our anniversary- July 17th. The day she moved in with us. But her memory is failing now. She used to put her Christmas stocking on her bedroom door handle for Santa, but she now forgets that too. So we do it for her.
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Her room-mate Susie lived with us 16 years until Alzheimer's took her home to Jesus. Susie was only 44 but if you add the pre-mature aging from DS, she was closer to 64. Now MA has Alzheimer's, MA's is progressing much slower, but still it is progressing. We've been down this road before with Susie, it is familiar road, in a sad way. We cherish that God chose us to go down this road with Susie and now MA. Even though it is a hard road. We are honored to hold their hands and wipe their brow.
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It is so easy to spoil MA. She is sweet and funny and huggable. We tell her this every day. We just absolutely adore her. The hard part is then she often uses this against us when she is having a tantrum. She wants everything her way! She argues that the mean things she does are not "her" fault. That "she" did not do it. She can slam doors, throw and break things and hit hard! The best remedy is to sit it out with her at a distance, ignoring her. She'll tire of arguing and realize if she wants to talk to us she needs to set things right.
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When the dementia first hit MA became very quiet and did not communicate verbally much. This lasted about 5 years. Then suddenly she became very verbal again, only now her responses were confused and very much only in the moment. She can laugh so hard, long and loud watching a movie that we can't hear it! Oh! how she loves to laugh! She doesn't remember people or names. She needs to be dressed and watched 24/7. She used to take the city bus to work and write checks. We do everything for her now, she forgets the steps and order of how simple tasks are done. She forgets to use the bathroom.
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Last summer when we told her we were going on vacation she became very angry and threw a fit. She pouted and cried for days. Each year it has become harder and harder to get her to do things other than the Senior program. Once on vacation she's happy as a clam and even talks of how she doesn't want to go home!! :o) It's become difficult to get her to understand because of the dementia.
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So when it came time to do her Biometric Fingerprints for Immigration, a 140 mile round trip, we lied to her. We told her we were going to drop her off at the Senior Center. She really enjoyed the ride there, but was confused, thinking eventually we were dropping her off. She cooperated super well for her fingerprints! But by the time we got home it was to late to take her to the Senior center. Thankfully she was less angry about it than she would have been if we'd told her the truth before hand.
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Our group home teaches adults with disabilities- independent living skills. When MA was 30 I taught her how to live independently. She lived in her own apartment for about 6 years. It was a mile from our house and I was paid to supervise her there 24/7. By her late 30s she had developed health issues she couldn't care for on her own and she moved back in with us. The dementia first presented with paranoia and depression. As with Susie, it just didn't seem fair.
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Tom and I have aged along with our gals. Our prayer is that we can care for them all of their years. But I have had health issues as well.
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There is so much written about children and young adults with DS. They are so adorable and fun. But they do get old just like us. And I wanted to share a small glimpse of what that is like.
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When I sit at my computer there is always a small key chain made with beads laying under the computer screen. It says "JudithPual" on it.(for Julius & Paul) MA made it for me at the Senior center in October. I cherish it.
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Interesting to note- our Susie was an ornery feisty gal. But when Alzheimer's hit she became very very loving and sweet. Our MA was always a very very sweet agreeable gal. But when Alzheimer's hit she is now feisty and ornery! We never would have guessed this!

4 comments:

  1. Oh thank you for writing about Ma! I love reading about "older" individuals with Ds. She has such a very sweet smile. God bless you Eliz!

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  2. What a lovely post about someone you have loved for a long time.
    You are right, not much is written about "older" people with DS. Thank you for giving a glimpse into her life and your life caring for her.

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing MA's sweet story. Just curious, have you ever thought of adding coconut oil to her diet? There have been amazing results buy adding this simple food. The brain needs the special kind of fat it provides.

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  4. Hi! Momma of Many! Yes, I have thought of this. I have read of children with DS taking it. What would you recommend for a 55 yr old woman about 150 pounds? Does it interfere with medications at all? MA takes Excellon and a few other meds for depression and mood.
    Anyplace special you recommend purchasing it?
    Thank You! My e-mail is tarcher30@charter.net

    ReplyDelete

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