My mother was once a social butterfly: artist, writer, a celebrity in her community. Her days were filled with book signings and art exhibits. Then Alzheimer’s, the uninvited guest, snuck in through her mind’s door. Suddenly, she didn’t want to socialize, attend church, go to lunch. Acting as if she were her old self summoned every drop of strength, replacing courage with doubt.
She was a stranger in her own life.
It got worse when she moved to the city where I’ve lived for twenty-five years. This world is filled with stranger things: the care home’s multiethnic staff. Cacti gardens. Javelina.
Like the gradual metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, her old self is emerging. She’s found a group of ladies to lunch and take walks with. She’s more confident. Engaged.
The actress fades away. Strangers become friends. Today, we’re okay.
Learn more about the vital role of socializing in dementia