Did the family trip out at the weekend: lunch and walk at a shopping mall.
Unusually DS was home for the weekend - to attend a friend's wedding - so on Saturday we did the shopping mall a trois.
Okaasan enjoyed the trip, I think. We walked quite a long way from end to end of the mall, and she sat down several times. Fingered things in shops, looked at the kids' play area, slurped her noodles for lunch.
I feel there is a slight disconnect with Okaasan and the world around her. Of course she knows it's a shopping center, she knows she is there with us. That far is still all okay.
But somehow like a tourist walking down a colorful market in a foreign country, she is observing things, but not participating in it. I get the feeling that if we walked round a country fair display of agricultural machinery she would have the same reactions - it is all there, and she is looking at it. But no particular engagement in it.
Can't explain it any better. Just a sense I have.
At the end of the lunch and walk we needed basic groceries shopping. But Okaasan was already looking tired. So DS went off to shop and I sat with Okaasan and had a drink in the food court. Kind of silent, companionable sitting. She watched all the noise and bustle around us, gave short responses to things I said - but basically just sat and waited.
Going well. Okaasan is going each Wednesday with the helper to the local supermarket. No problems. The weather has been bad here recently and I feel sorry for the helper-woman having to fight thru to get here, and get a taxi to come down into this narrow street.
But Okaasan is shopping and walking, and choosing the things she likes to buy. She hasn't complained about the system. Usually she buys things for her own dinner, or the helper heats up/cooks something simple in our kitchen. I get home after work at 7.30 or 9 pm and find her settled in front of the TV.
And most importantly - Okaasan has made no effort to go out alone this winter. I worry on sunny days that she will go into the hallway and try to go out alone for a walk. I try to hide her shoes usually. I wonder if I will get home and find her angry about "I want to go out but I have no shoes!"....But she isn't trying to go. That's a relief.
Her legs are certainly weaker now, with only twice a week walking. Her mind seems okayish. Better than I expected really.
I did worry about this winter. Only once a week with a helper, and the effect of lack of exercise and mental stimulation on Okaasan. But she is generally ok.
It's a hassle that I have to think about "taking Okaasan somewhere" every weekend. But it's the least I can do. Monday to Friday is busy busy in my life and giving up a few hours at a weekend is just what I have to do. Also this winter - my changed schedule of night classes only 3 times a week - that helps too. Means I can get back and cook and put dinner on the table and give some chat.