A Mother’s Selfless Love: Michele’s Story

Enriched Life Home Care Services is grateful for the personal story Michele DeSocio has written about placing her mother with dementia in a care facility. We hope that her story will be a help to others that are dealing with the difficult decision of placing their loved one in a facility versus keeping them at home.

My Mom, Jean DelCampo, was 58 when I got a call asking for help. I picked Mom up and moved her in my home along with my husband and three children. At the time Mom was misdiagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. 

Several years later my husband and I went away for a weekend, leaving Mom in the capable hands of my sister. The change in environment caused Mom to shake uncontrollably and my sister brought her to the ER. 

After 19 horrid days in a psych ward Mom was finally properly diagnosed with dementia. Mom was still capable of making her own decisions and after rehab Mom insisted on placement. 

Placement was not something my sister or I would ever have considered. We begged her to reconsider, but Mom was firm. She wanted to spare her children, she did not want to be a “burden”. We had no choice but to honor her wishes and mom was placed in a facility. Mom was sicker than we understood. I consider this to be a most unselfish act of love. 

MicheleDesoscio-mom-sister2Much to my surprise, mom was very happy and she settled in rather quickly. Since she was not as sick as many of the other men and women living there, she found purpose and satisfaction in assisting her fellow residents. Always the nurturing person I so adore, mom was so helpful that many people thought she worked there.

Our worst nightmare, placement, was not what we thought it would be. Mom was well cared for by professionals and we visited often, went on many outings and mom spent many weekends in our homes. It was a win/win. 

We did face the many challenges that come with the disease, POA, medical proxy, DNR, battles with medications, and on and on. We road the roller coaster of dementia together. 

It’s now 15 years later, mom is 73 and in the later stages of the disease. 

For those of you struggling with the decision of placement please know it can be the right thing for all concerned. 

Your family member can receive the professional care they need, under your supervision, and live a productive and happy life after being placed in a nursing home. You’ll have more control than you think. You are the advocate. You are still their daughter, son, spouse or friend. Live in the moment and enjoy what you have, not what you are losing.

Mother knows best, always a Mom

For the past 2 years I have been an advocate and Administrator for Memory People, an online support and awareness group on Facebook, founded by patient Rick Phelps in 2010 at age 57.

If you or a loved one is affected by Alzheimer’s or any dementia related diseases please join Memory People.  We don’t have a cure but we have each other. Memory People, bringing awareness, one person at a time…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180666768616259/

Many families are currently dealing with loved ones suffering from dementia. Enriched Life Home Care Services is here to assist or answer questions you may have about caring for your loved one.

Enriched Life Home Care Services  |  www.ELHCS.com

Alzheimer’s Apron of Memories

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia you understand that it is sometimes difficult to find activities for them to do to help occupy their time. This can be especially true if your loved one has difficulty staying in one place for very long.

Creating an Alzheimer’s Apron is a fun activity for both you and your loved one. First, involve them in choosing the color apron they like the best. After you have helped them pick out the color, the fun really begins.

apron2

When you are working on the apron together, there are several things that you can incorporate onto the apron:

  • A clear pocket for a picture of a family, pet, or something that they loved. This is a great way for them to be able to look at a comforting picture while wearing their apron.
  • A large zipper with a large pull-hole. This will be fun for them to be pulling and zipping up and down.
  • Sew some large bright things onto their new apron. This can be fun for them to look at and feel.
  • Attach a large pocket made of a material that they will enjoy feeling and touching. This will also allow them to store objects and things that they like and enjoy.
  • Customize their aprons based on your loved ones’ interests.

The Alzheimer’s apron is a great way to help your loved ones stay stimulated and help families and caregivers with assistance. We hope you decide to create an Alzheimer’s Apron with your loved one…it could really brighten their day!

Enriched Life Home Care Services  |  www.ELHCS.com