Dec 26, 2009

Shower Off -- Wozo Workshop

If I had not received this advice, I feel comfortable in saying that most of what I have accomplished with my mother would not have happened.....
By Bob DeMarco

Let me preface this article by recounting something I learned almost five years ago.

It was wonderful, important advice from Doctor Chiriboga. He counseled me to let my mother do whatever I believed she could do. He told me, you are the one and you know what she can and can't do. He further advised me not to let anyone deter me with criticism or negative Karma (my word).

If I had not received this advice, I feel comfortable in saying that most of what I have accomplished with my mother would not have happened.

So five years later my mother turned off the shower today for the first time in at least two years.

Here is the drill.

I turn on the shower and make sure it is the right temperature. I put my mother's bra and panties on the counter, and I send her into the shower.

After a bit of bit, she starts yelling Bobby Bobby. This means it is time to turn off the water in the shower. The shower door is often open so we usually have a puddle of water. Beats the alternative if you ask me.

We are fortunate in that we have a walk in shower. So it is easy to get in and out of the shower.

So anyway. After a bit, I don't here the yell. I go to check. I don't hear the water running so I put my ear on the bathroom door. No running water. So now it is time for me to go, MOM MOM.

No problem, she answers back. Finally she opens the door and I jump in to check the shower. Sure enough it is off.

Over the years it was easy for me to understand why my mother couldn't turn off the shower. We have one control for hot and cold water. To turn the water on and off you need to pull the single fixture out to start the water running, and push in to stop the running water.

Most times when I go in to turn the shower off the fixture is all the way to the right or left. That is how you would turn off a typical water faucet. Sometimes my mother turns it so hard it sticks. So I know she is fighting to get the water off. As far as I am concerned a good development, not a pain in the butt.

The other point -- my mother still takes her own shower -- at the age of 93 and suffering from Alzheimer's. I do have to work on her legs or they will get all gnarly and scaly. Not a problem.

I also noticed earlier today that my mother seems connected to the world today. She is smiling and talking.

Did the Christmas chatter, phone calls, and gifts bring her back to the world a bit?

I can't think of any other explanation.

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Alzheimer's Disease -- Advice and Insight

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,255 articles with more than 272,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room