The journey of Alzheimer’s and dementia is a heartbreaking one, for caregivers, loved ones and the diagnosed individual alike. At Mesa View Senior Assisted Living (and at our partner locations, Harbor View Senior Assisted Living and Bay View Assisted Living) we strive to provide compassionate, individualized care, preserving our residents’ dignity at every stage of their Alzheimer’s journey. Below is a touching journal entry from a granddaughter navigating her grandmother’s recent dementia diagnosis in the midst of the COVID pandemic. 

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Dear Diary, 

Life keeps marching along in this strange and lonely time. I’m missing out on my entire senior year!!! As if that wasn’t bad enough, my dad wants to enroll me in online summer school to get my English grades up. Thankfully I’m taking a break and not jumping into classes at San Diego Mesa College right away because who knows what that would even look like in the fall. I miss my friends and I miss normal life. 

I FaceTimed with Grammy again the other day. She asked me three different times during the conversation what poem I had picked for Helix Charter High School virtual poetry slam. Every time she asked, my mom got a concerned look on her face, which was unusual. My mom is usually a laid back, happy-go-lucky, everything-will-be-alright kind of a person.

I winced the third time Grammy asked me about my poem. This wasn’t the first time this had happened.  In fact, now that I really think about it (or maybe I’ve just been in denial), it’s been going on for a while. I’d always just chalked it up to old age, forgetfulness, or just plain not listening (my mom is honestly a terrible listener!). But it seems different now.  Of all people, Grammy usually gives me her full attention and wants to know every detail of my life. I don’t like this feeling and I don’t like worrying about what might be going on with Grammy. 

We were going to meet for a distanced brunch at Farmer’s Table in La Mesa last weekend. My mom and I drove all the way out there from downtown San Diego and Grammy totally forgot we were meeting! We called her to remind her and she was still able to come but when she got there she seemed flustered and upset. I hate seeing her like that. 

I don’t even want to think about it, but I’ve been wondering if Grammy’s forgetfulness is more than just her getting older. I know there are diseases that take away your memory (I googled it and it’s called dementia) and it makes me so scared to think of my sweet Grammy losing her mind. That would be so hard on top of every hard thing that’s happened this year 🙁 I know I need to talk to my mom about this because it’s not going to do me any good keeping these worries inside. 

I’m going to dedicate my poetry reading to Grammy and she said she wanted to join the Zoom call from her independent living community in La Mesa. She said one of the caregivers would help her get on the call. It’ll be good to get some answers from my parents and I hope this pandemic ends soon so I can visit Grammy like normal again. 

Thanks for being such a good listener, diary. 

Love, 

Aisha 

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At Mesa View Senior Assisted Living (and at our partner locations: Harbor View Senior Assisted Living and Bay View Assisted Living) our compassionate, highly competent staff work hard to provide individualized care to each member of our memory care communities.