Toddlers are amazing; they can light up a room just being themselves and they keep us adults entertained for hours as they potter around and explore their surroundings. And specifically today, I noticed that old people LOVE kiddies.
The Dementia Came
My Grandma has dementia and moved into a ‘home’ a few months ago. It was quite a shock. The decline seemed to happen very suddenly. One day she was with us, and the next…well…
Since then, my 18mth old and I have tried to visit once a week. Sometimes Grandma can engage with me and respond to simple yes or no questions. Sometimes she is very distant and I wonder if she even knows I am in the room with her. But one thing that has been a hit EVERY TIME is just the opportunity to watch Charis play! It makes her smile!
Sometimes she even wants to explore Charis’s toys. She listens as we read the books and try to make the noises of the animals. Maybe it is a comfort to hear everything spelled out in the simplest of words instead of being expected to have prior knowledge all the time. Perhaps she remembers the days when her children were little, maybe even when she herself was a child, so bubbly with energy and the newness of the world.
Living in the here and now
We don’t talk of much – I’m not sure how much she remembers of life ‘outside’ and the people that I might refer to. But we create moments of happiness in the here and now – little bits of fun that don’t need any context or memories – just watching my little one play. She probably won’t remember my visit in half an hour, but in this exact minute, she is thoroughly enjoying it.
Thank you, Charis! Thank you for bringing meaning and happiness to my Grandma. Thank you for connecting with her and lighting up her life when I could not. You are a real blessing!
For more information about Dementia, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website. I found their PDF on visiting loved ones particularly helpful.