Posted on: May 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
Note: In 2007, Jamie Wilson Headley (founder and CEO of Dementia Services Group) began the complicated process of helping her once-independent mother adjust to life with dementia.
These are the challenges that one woman faced, but although Jamie’s Journey is deeply personal, it is also universal. We hope that her trials and triumphs will shed light on the emotional and logistical issues that come with caring someone with dementia.
Mom loved having something to take care of again. Her cat, Sasha, was great company and did a lot to keep Mom's mind off of her memory issues.
One day after work, I stopped by to see Mom as per usual and I noticed that there were stains on the couch and on her bed. When I questioned Mom about it, she told me that Sasha was having some diarrhea. I checked the litter box and saw there was clearly an issue.
As I got the couch cleaned up and washed Mom's linens for her, I realized Sasha didn't just have normal diarrhea -- she seemed to be leaking it. The next day I took Sasha to the vet, who said that Sasha probably just had an infection or mild parasite from being at the shelter. The vet gave Sasha an injection of antibiotics and recommended some special food.
I'd intentionally not taken Mom with to the vet because I feared it would just make her more anxious, but by the time I got Sasha back to the apartment, Mom was a wreck and had been pacing the whole time we were gone. She had been so worried about her cat and was relieved to have her back home.
That was one of those moments I realized the role reversal was in full swing.