One of the hardest things about dementia is watching the things that always defined your loved one disappear.
Take writing for instance. My mother had the most beautiful handwriting, flowing old school script, not the half assed printing I call handwriting. Now, she can't even write her name.
Take grooming for another. My mother was always well dressed; she was an award winning seamstress and made many of her own clothes up into the Nineties. She dressed appropriately for her age, never, as the English say, as "mutton dressed as lamb" (love that!). She had a great sense of color and style and knew what suited her.
Last Saturday I pick her up for lunch and she has three shirts on, blue long sleeved tee over a light blue short sleeved tee over a black long sleeved tee. White pants. Two pearl necklaces. The top shirt was dirty. Get the heavy sigh when I point that out. I've learned to ignore those and press on. Removal of first tee shirt reveals the second shirt is also dirty. The third and final layer appears to be clean. I can't find the lightweight cardigan I brought over several weeks ago or her TV remote. Where do things go?! It's one room!
Her hair is clean, yay. Her toothbrush is on the coffee table, I throw that away (secret) and haul out the children's toothbrushes I bought (cunning plan - if she is five mentally, appeal to that age!) and get her to brush her teeth before we go.
We have breakfast at Rick's Diner. The Belgian waffle, bacon, and scrambled eggs is decided upon. She nicely refuses my offer to cut up her waffle and manages to divide it into fourths with a fork. Loses next step. Then picks it up and eats it like a sandwich. I pour syrup in a bowl for dipping. She likes that. I catch the woman at the next table looking at Mom like she's a loon. (She may be, but she's my loon.) I resist giving her the stink eye and just smile and shrug. Whatever lady.
Afterward, we head to Target for Diet Pepsi and make a sloooowwww circuit around the store. She gets a pair of linen walking shorts and a black tee shirt.
Wonder what she'll layer those with?