Caring For An Elderly Parent: Day or Night, Night or Day?

“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

Mom’s routine with the caregiver and my routine with Mom have been working out quite well so far, although Mom is having trouble distinguishing between night and day. Blog - Pic 122A lot of that has to do with Mom keeping the blinds closed all day so she doesn’t see what’s going on outside – she doesn’t know if the sun is out or the stars are out. Believe me, I (and many others) have tried to get her to open up the blinds – I try telling her it’s not good for her to be cooped up with no light of day coming through. No wonder she’s confused over day and night.

She seems to realize the mornings more so than the nights. I’m guessing it’s because I go over every morning and wake her up with a big “Good Morning Mom.” (that’s a sure sign that it’s morning), and then hand her her medication. She only takes medication in the morning – another sure sign. When I go over in the evenings, most times she is asleep when I walk in, so when she wakes up she must think it’s morning. ¬†And even after I explain to her that it’s night time, she’ll still say something later on referring to the morning. This is when I have to be very adamant about it being night time because if she thinks it’s morning she will undoubtedly call me in the middle of the night thinking it’s day time. And yes, that does happen.

I’ve seriously been thinking about getting Mom a tablet so she can play some ‘brain games’. I took my tablet over there the other night and showed her some games that I play and she actually enjoyed it. Coming from someone who doesn’t like games, I was quite surprised. She played a simple math game and answered all the questions correctly – I have to admit, I didn’t think she’d remember how to do math. We played a few other games as well and she really did seem to enjoy it. She told me she would like to get a tablet so she can play more games. I’ve been looking into different tablets but I’m not sure if it would be too confusing for her. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to navigate around the tablet without supervision. And would I just be opening up a can of worms by getting her a piece of technology that would confuse her? And would she be calling me all the time because she can’t get the tablet to work? Hmmm…. I better give this a lot of thought.

It’s interesting how the mind works as we age. I know not everyone ages the same way, and having Mom so close to us now makes me realize that we need to really work on keeping our minds active and exercise our brains. And don’t keep the blinds closed – it’s not good for the psyche!

What I Learned: Learn from our elders – not only things TO do, but things NOT to do.


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