Hulu dance was such a big, happy part of Okaasan's life...before she moved to live with us and then for a few years here, too.
Until the stress of not being able to remember the dance steps and all the training for performances that this so-called hobby group subjected their members to. Because it's Japan...and even an old lady hobby group aims for perfection.
Anyway. It was her happy activity.
We were wonderfully reminded of that on our care home visit this week. We forgot to take photo albums, and were wondering how to fill our allotted 30 minutes of visit time - because she doesn't talk or do more than head bobbing, lip pursing and eye rolling.
Somehow hulu dance came up.
I did a few comedy steps, waving my arms in the wave-pattern...swaying my hips...
Okaasan loved it. Laughed. Through back her head. Actually SAID 3 full sentences about the topic...laughed again.
Dear Son did some hip rolls and hand waves too. Okaasan responded with a little - FAR more realistic - hand ripple gesture.
It was delightful.
The staff laughed. We laughed. Okaasan too.
Of course, all the dementia how-to-books say this: that if you can find the happy memory/skill thing and even give a little hint of that - it will penetrate deep into the broken mind and reactivate the emotion of that experience.
Okaasan can't do or talk about hulu any more. She maybe can understand if we talk about it. But can't respond. But the gesture of me doing it - that triggered her and a full sentence emerged. 3 of them!
I see hulu moves in my future care home visits...
** NOT good news.
The care home is on the south side of the city's entertainment area.
Yesterday a new cluster of COVID-19 was discovered in cabaret bar - the young women who work there, customers...
I don't think the staff of the care home are going bar hopping after work, poor things probably have no energy, or money, for that.
But I DO worry that they may casually stop off in a local convenience store and sit at the Eat-in counter with a snack...where somebody from the cabaret has sat...and left their infection...
I know, I know. It's a long shot!
But still. It's all in the same walking distance area.
I read somewhere that big care homes have a greater risk, once Covid-19 arrives. Okaasan's home is big. 6 floors of old people...30 people to each floor....staff...
If it gets into the home there is little we can do. Can't move her. Can't bring her home. We would be shut out. Only the local TV news and phone calls telling us what is happening.