There's been a change in Okaasan.
Her walking power/ability/confidence has diminished. She is happier to be taken out and led by the hand round streets or a shopping center. With a kind of mask face....
And Dear Son is right in it.
This week he has taken his mum out several times, walking round local streets and on trips in the car to supermarkets (including Costco again). It's good. He is spending time with her and getting to judge her mental and physical ability more.
He is worried about the walking. He says she is really precarious when she walks, tripping over small rough surfaces or slight slopes. Threatening to teeter and topple at any moment. Holding his hand - and she takes his hand very willingly - gives her confidence to walk.
She is still walking a long way. They walked from home to my classroom one evening for a family trip out to a restaurant, and she's walked all over Costco.
So, she isn't so weak and incapable.
But somehow her balance? Her confidence? Her coping with a change in surface - all has declined since summer.
So he has taken her out almost every day this week.
One more week of him being at home. Maybe. Then the ski season starts. And she is my responsibility.
I can take her out at weekends, in the car to a safe walking place. And on Wednesdays the day service helper will be in charge. DS doesn't think she should go out alone....and Okaasan's attitude to using a stick is...hmmm....not great.
So. A new stage we've reached.
I see other families doing this a lot. The aged member being led by the hand, or steered by the elbow by a middle aged family member. Sometimes the aged one is marching with determination, but usually they are passively being lead and not really connecting with stuff happening around them.
Tonight we went to a local store and while I whizzed around grabbing our dinner and cat food, DS walked his mum around two floors...she gripped his hand and walked willingly with him.
Will she walk with me like that? She takes my hand if she is getting in and out of the car, and on steps. I wonder if she'll walk with me hand in hand.
When we moved to this house 5 years ago Okaasan took long, daily walks all over this area and regularly went downtown by train.
That narrowed to fixed routes locally and downtown. A few falls. Less and less going downtown. Over ambitious distances locally. Then the past few months less and less actually going out herself....
A new stage of all of this....