Alzheimer’s care facilities in Ventura, CA can provide the support and space needed to care for an aging loved one.
I remember when my grandmother first started to forget. I was one of the first to go because my brother and I lived far away and could rarely visit. She was loving and happy though, and would smile and make a joke when we were reintroduced.
She was a mischievous soul. I still remember her eating cocoa puffs straight out of the box when my parents weren’t around to scold her. She whispered across the table to me “a healthy snack!”
The lessons left behind.
She had a bright light in her eyes right through to the end. Even when she was blissfully unaware of nearly everything around her, she still saw the beauty in the simplest of things. My family learned a lot in her passing.
The hardest thing for my mom and her siblings was speaking to her. At first, everyone wanted to try to help her remember, and to help her hang on. But the truth is that it’s not that simple. The fact was that usually, she didn’t remember and wasn’t going to. But that didn’t mean that she was lost.
After all, there’s a certain beauty in hearing a story for the first time, especially your own. Imagine if you could hear your life’s stories for the first time, that would make them no less spectacular. You might even say that would make them better.
It’s ok to tell someone their memories.
Eventually the sentence “do you remember your husband Tom” turned into “you married a man named Tom.” That way instead of asking “do you remember that?” several times before losing the train of thought, we could just tell her the story of Pat and Tom.
“Yes, you married a beautiful man named Tom, and when the war ended you raised an incredible family together.” And she would smile and ask a question. “Yes mom, you loved Tom very much.”
In many ways, learning to accept my grandmother’s condition and not fear it allowed us all to experience her journey in a really beautiful way. Like most people with Alzheimer’s, she knew there was something missing, and maybe that bothered her. But if it did, she didn’t show it, and we learned not to be bothered by it either.
In the end, all you need is love and care
We had to put my grandma into an Alzheimer’s care facility in Ventura, CA for the final years of her life. My mom and her sisters took turns living with her and cracking jokes with her and telling her stories about her life.
It was a really beautiful and peaceful way for her to end her time on this planet. It also gave my mom peace. As she retold the stories, the good and the bad, she realised that in the end that’s all they were, stories. It matters far more how we end the book than what happened in the pages we’ve left behind.
My grandma was a sparkling, mischievous, loving woman right up to the end. She taught us all a lot about what matters most in life. And she taught us a lot about what could be left behind.
Don’t worry if someone you love can’t remember their stories. That’s what you’re there for. You are the storyteller and they have the privilege of getting to hear all their stories anew. Just a few more times before they pass on.
If someone you love is coming to a point in their life where they need more care than you can provide, there is a great Alzheimer’s care facility in Ventura, CA. Ventura Townehouse is a loving space where elders can not just pass their final years of life, but thrive and rediscover their passion and personhood. Call us today at (805)232-3676.