The last two times I’ve visited, she has not “been there” mentally. Have you ever seen the elderly–mostly those with dentures or no teeth–“gumming?” I saw her do that today, and there is nothing wrong with her teeth. It’s a facial gesture that is new to me, as if her body wants to talk but her mind doesn’t quite get the connection.
The dogs jumped into her lap. After checking that neither her fingernails nor toe nails needed clipping, I wheeled the lot of them outside. It was about 75 degrees, overcast, light breeze, threat of rain. She was aware of the breeze and wanted a hat. I explained that just because she felt wind on her ears didn’t mean she was cold.
“Oh. I guess that’s right.”
She didn’t feel much like talking, so I wheeled them all around the property several times. I sang songs. She happily chimed in: Oh! Susannah!, Bicycle Built for Two, Pop! Goes the Weasel, School Days, Take Me Out To the Ball Game, When the Roll is Called up Yonder.
I got her to give my name, but am fairly certain she hadn’t a clue who I am.
She is sinking deeper and deeper into her dementia.
Her hands still know how to make a dog sit happily in her lap.