RSS Feed Print
remind me why they just sit there
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 6:22 PM
Joined: 4/10/2017
Posts: 266

I went for a bi weekly check on mom today at assisted living.   She didn't even get up out of that chair.  Heat up to 90 with a blanket on looking at the paper.  As I putzed around doing my "bi weekly chores" she still just sat there reclined with the "what did you say" response to idle chit chat.  Get up out of that chair and look/talk to me I thought.

Nurse and aides said once again...yep she comes out for meals and sometimes bingo and that's it. 

What goes on in their brain?  She says I don't want to do this or that...don't tell me then nobody talks to you if you just sit in your room all day except for meals not participating in any programs.  They even come knock on doors to see if she wants to do whatever activity is going to happen.  Nope she would rather sit in that chair...90 degrees covered up with blanket watching the wind blow until the next meal.

Go figure...funny huh.  She can't figure I guess.

I finally got her up for a walk down the halls before I left.  

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 7:33 PM
Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 238

It's brain failure. The more the brain function deteriorates, the less the person is there. Eventually the brain will forget to tell the body how to eat and swallow, and that's the finally goodbye.
NC caregiver
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 7:41 PM
Joined: 2/7/2018
Posts: 858

Mom stays at home with me and is in a similar stage.  During the summer she just wanted to sit outside on the deck .   She prefers the deck chair over living room furniture (we have a very padded cushion) so we made space in front of the window in the living room for her deck chair & she sits where she can swivel . She watches the birds, squirrels & neighbors and will swivel around to watch TV occasionally.    She does like to go for a short car ride if the weather is nice . We live near a farm with cows & llamas so I take her to see "her" llamas .   She can walk but doesn't want to.  I try to get her to at least walk a little each day.
Posted: Friday, February 8, 2019 9:53 PM
Joined: 11/16/2018
Posts: 12

I see the same thing happening to my mother. She moved into an assisted living facility in October- 2 weeks later I learned that she has Alzheimer's disease.  Upon moving her into assisted living I hoped that she would participate in activities. After the diagnosis I know that won't happen. It's so hard to see a person who is rapidly becoming a shadow of who she used to be    The reality is her brain doesn't work correctly anymore. I have to stand back and say I've become depressed seeing her decline. While I don't have Alzheimer's - I know that depression is affecting the way my brain works.  Such a cruel disease that affects all of us.
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 9:09 AM
Joined: 5/21/2016
Posts: 1940

Perhaps in her brain she is thinking of when she was a young girl, twirling around, laughing and dancing.
Mimi S.
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 9:38 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7036

Some feedback, please. Is there a different response when asked: would you like to? And just reaching out an arm and leading her to an activity. Same thing once she gets there, she may need more guidance, actually taking her arm and guiding her to dip the brush in paint and then bringing it to the paper.

Perhaps more of: it's time to .....

Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 11:10 AM
Joined: 4/10/2017
Posts: 266

Good point, be direct and not ask if you want to, but we need your help with...whatever,  She was never artsy or a reader.  She was a tasked oriented person.  She was a babysitter, house keeper, church related helper.  Maybe, I get some baby clothes for her to fold to get her to activity room.  Lie to her and tell they are from somewhere and tell her she's needed to sort and fold.  I am not opposed to lying to her anymore.
Rescue mom
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 11:41 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 809

I always wondered what, if anything, was in their mind when they just sit—and seem satisfied to do so.
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 12:47 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 17061

I think Mimi is spot on. Caring for a PWD is an art to be learned....a specialty field and it involves more than mealtime, activity time etc. It must include paying attention to the soul.
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 12:26 AM
Joined: 2/9/2019
Posts: 114

I like the way you put this, jfkoc: “paying attention to the soul.”  A wonderful, wise friend of mine reminded me that it’s now to minister to Mom’s spirit. Lord, help me remember this!



Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 12:23 PM
Joined: 6/24/2012
Posts: 346

Boy.  I know this one pretty well.  Usually mom is active all day long in her assisted living facility.   In fact, sometimes they can't keep her occupied enough.  But then she sinks.  By this I mean that she stops doing things and won't leave her room.  she will give reasons... reasons that make no sense, but she doesn't want to leave.  Sometimes this lasts a day. Sometimes it lasts longer.  Each time we worry that she is reaching a new stage.  But I know now to wait a few days and it will correct course.  One day it won't and then we will know. But for now it seems to be a cyclical thing and the duration is never clear.  And weather can play a part and so can depression.  And the heat... she does not know how to handle the system in her room and anything with buttons to operate are now out of her ability range.  We have hidden the remote for the TV and just leave it on all day.  She still knows how to dial a phone when she wants to.  But she will insist that she does not have anyone's phone number.  sigh.  

Yes, it is so hard to figure out what they are thinking when they are quiet.  But it is hard to have conversation when you are confused or depressed or unsure of the information that your brain is delivering to you.  Sometimes just sitting is being 'there' for them.  


Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 1:08 PM
Joined: 4/10/2017
Posts: 266

Well, after a heat argument with my husband last night.  I sat in my grandmas rocker in front of my bedroom window in the dark.  I sat there in the dark contemplating the exchange we just had.  I sat there in the dark watching the eight or so deer out my window devouring the days bird feed and squirrel food.  I sat there in the dark rocking as the skunk came into the picture of my wild life escape from this marital disconnect.  

I sat there in the dark rocking...watching/thinking/wondering why I stay married...then it dawned on me...sometimes just sitting looking out the window trying to gather your thoughts or just enjoying the view of nature is fine and perfectly OK!!!

So, I sat there a little bit longer to watch the deer.  Then went to bed

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 2:02 PM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 769

My mom used to “rest” with her feet up in bed for long periods, when she was still at home with me.  She would tell me later that she  had been thinking about people, experiences, reminiscences from way back. Always happy moments. Sometimes she’d be sad, mostly just “nice” remembering, lost in the past
× Close Menu