Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mom's LBD Let's The Light of Truth Shine Through

This entry began a few weeks after Mom's passing. We were yet to lose our beloved family pet, a cat we'd had since daughter was quite small. Mom and my husband and the cat. A family unit passing through the cycle of life, one after another, each going through an end to their lives and what we shared together.

We marvel at how time flies as we live in today and work towards tomorrow not realizing we're creating yesterday.

Daughter and I remain; half of a family that lived together from before her birth with Mom/Grandma -- 

A family unit of three generations living together and sharing a life and love. 

Now I'm looking back, going into the closet, into drawers, places "belonging" to Mom. 

Places I really didn't go and certainly not to remove anything, to give anything away -- without her asking, without her directive and without her knowing.

Respect for other people's privacy. I was raised with that concept. It's hard to break that habit, that life direction, even when the person's no longer with us.

Mama. Mom. So much a part of my life, of our family's life. You made me promise I'd never put you into a facility until you had no idea where you were. I kept that promise, Mama; at least I fought hard to try to keep it. I didn't break it, someone who didn't really care about you, about our "family" did.

Saying Goodbye each time we visited until the last goodbye before we returned to keep our vigil with you as you moved out of this life, away from us, ending a long and loving time of sharing and caring for one another.

I was grateful, so very grateful, you'd had a moment of "realization" one day not that long ago. . .

It was Summer, you'd had your 99th birthday, Mama. Your LBD was showing more signs of advancing; we saw it and we know Julia, who still came to visit, also saw the progression and your slipping into the final stage where you'd be leaving us.

More importantly to her, you would transition to where she could feel "safe" because you were the only person who could really reveal her dark side, the part behind her public persona of "helping the elderly" as one of abusing those for whom she claimed to give care by helping herself to what she could, when she could, while she could and then sitting back to ensure they didn't reveal her true character through continuing to exploit them through a "friendship" that was filled with deceit and deception.

I'd tried many times to talk with you about "the situation". Your Lewy Body Dementia was progressing. Memories, the good ones, the ones Julia couldn't distort, couldn't erase as hard as she tried; you had those. And they were what finally broke through Julia's manipulation and control. 


I wonder if you still stand at the lectern in the Church we felt was our second home  -- we had to leave, to get away from you, your presence and your immorality. Perhaps we'll return .. . someday. We care about those who truly serve, who truly believe and who truly are religious but their eyes must be opened, their eyes must see and their hearts must know and understand real truth as hard as it is to accept one of "their own" has violated and desecrated that sacred place.

We didn't want the LBD to progress; we didn't want you to get "sicker", Mama, but I am grateful for the change, the progression from staunchly supporting and upholding Julia as "someone who could never do that" -- turn you against your family and take money out of our home and out of your pocket -- to recognizing her as being what she was, a liar and a thief who came into our lives with only one intent, to take what she could get and use her trusted position as a Registered Nurse as we believe she's done before and continues to do, to gain personally from other people's tragedies.  

You said it all, Mama, when you said "the lady who came to visit me did take my money, I know that now." My heart swelled while it broke apart because as much as I wanted to hear those words, I knew it may have been painful, although possibly not with your advanced LBD, to realize the harm that had been done to you and to your family, your home, your life.

How did you finally move to that place of realizing what she had done when you were progressing deeper into Lewy Body Dementia?  

Perhaps a section of the cognitive area, that "Executive Reasoning" part, opened up for one last time. 

My mother, my friend, my ever so special companion through so much of life's journey, had seen or been given the ability to see TRUTH.

Now, I begin that task of going through your clothing, your drawers -- your life. 

Every day you'd lived with us, many decades of days we lived together as a multi generational family, you used this item, wore that piece of clothing. I finally got your things back from Julia, those we'd taken to you in your first "residence", your first Long Term Care Facility Julia convinced you was where you wanted to stay, where you wanted to live,would be where you were safe and could do what you wanted, when you wanted, how you wanted.

LIES. UNTRUTHS. DECEPTIONS.  Easy to mislead someone with Dementia, especially Lewy Body Dementia. 

But you knew that, Julia, you were a Registered Nurse, you "took care of elderly people with advanced Dementia" as you told us. You helped them move out of their homes, even helped one or more sell their homes. So helpful. Or was it so "help yourself" you were "full of"?

We knew what you were and who you were, Julia. Even our dealing with caregiving of my husband/daughter's father's severe medical problems and eventual death did not take away all our abilities. Either that or a higher power watched over us, which I feel is also the case, and led us in ways that later proved to be provident.

When we found out -- through a card received from the Postal Service for a Change of Address-- Mom was "moving out" PERMANENTLY, we went from disbelief to shock to anger.

We'd been "counseled" by the DHSS/Medicaid representative Mom should have "respite". Told it was for Mom's benefit. We had no idea you'd reported me to the Elder Abuse Hotline (falsely, but no one has ever been willing to admit they took action too quickly and didn't do due dilligence).

We'd asked for an extension of days for Mom to attend Adult Day Care; the "counselor" from the DHSS, we didn't know she was an Adult Protective Worker as well as a Medicaid worker and didn't know how Julia had been working to get Mom removed from her home/our home where she'd lived for almost four decades and we had created many great memories of a multigenerational family.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive". Julia, you are a master spinner of webs.

Upset but honoring her decision, we first delivered her clothes and belongings to the SNC. Boxes and boxes. This must have delighted Julia; she didn't have to rely on the key she'd convinced Mom to find and put in her purse to "come back and get her things after she left". 

I took pictures of everything. I didn't trust Julia. She had torn us apart and succeeded in creating a huge abyss between Mom, my daughter and I.

Looking back I know the only way she did this was to prey upon my weakness, my natural instinct to care for and about my husband, my chronically and critically ill husband, and to not see her taking this opportunity of stress and uncertainty and twist it into an advantage she could use to turn Mom away from us, her family, and towards her, the predator.

I come across all the pictures of your travels from the time you were 62; you travelled the world and always more than once a year. We subsidized many trips; gave you the ability to travel more than once a year; provided a Single Supplement -- all because you didn't like or enjoy having someone else in the rooms or cabins when you travelled.

Why did you cut cards into pieces?  Why did you decide to throw away so many memories? We salvaged them but were so confused by how you started destroying the memories that meant so much to you. Was this the effect Julia had on you even then? To get you to "do away with" anything reminding you of your "past" and your family?

She managed to get you to put away everything in your room -- to pack up, convincing you there was a man who had come to "take you away". A man you "remembered" from your youth but barely knew. A hope held out to leave a place you really didn't want to be.

No reminders. No connections. Advance the Lewy Body Dementia through removing anything that symbolized her past life, her family, her loves and what she held so dear.

Keep Mom believing in an impossible dream. She, was after all, "out of her mind", so what harm was there in "stringing her along" with this fantasy?  It wasn't a typical Lewy Body Dementia hallucination or delusion -- it was undue influence and using the knowledge a Registered Nurse gets in psychology and working with the elderly with advanced cases of Dementia over the years that you used to make Mom's last days disruptive.

Were you trying to get the staff to order more "meds" for her, Julia? You had to know that might kill her -- LBD patients shouldn't have some of the meds for Dementia.

You came and went. You constantly "checked" on Mom watching her progress knowing the end would signal its presence because you'd seen it so many times before and taken advantage of so many, I truly believe, and still do, I also believe.

What "friend" of an elderly person purposely and intentionally tries to come between a family that's lived together in peace and harmony, in love and friendship, over almost four decades?

What "well meaning person" wants to see an elderly person "incarcerated" in a Long Term Care Facility when they had a home, a room of their own and so many amenities to move to sharing a smaller space, to having others tell you what to do, when and how. To go from a world of self determination to a world of dictation of movement and complete control of daily life.

I'm sorry, Mama, I wish you'd not had to have those experiences. We, your grand-daughter and I, did everything we could to ease the challenges, to make the path a little easier and to try, even against the odds of having people believe we were the abusers and not Julia, to give you, up to the moment of your passing, love, care, consideration and compassion.

I miss you Mama. I miss both you and my husband. 

We go on. We know this is what we are meant to do. We will, both of us, continue to bring to light Undue Influence, Elder Abuse and manipulation and control along with how this can be accomplished in a system of laws, statues and regulations that do not fully protect and ensure the lives of seniors in Long Term Care.

We heard you, Mom, when you said those words. When you realized, if for only that short moment in time, the truth and the recognition of the real abuser in your life. Julia.

We live with a sense of peace knowing you shared this moment with us. We are grateful. 

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