2015 – 06/11

I baked a lot of cookies and would bring them in regularly to pass out to the residents. I decided to see if my mom could handle making some with me. At home, I packed up all the ingredients and I printed out my recipe. I brought in all the supplies including a mixer, bowls, scoop as well as all the ingredients. She was SO excited that we would be baking from scratch. She was such an avid baker and I think some part of her was longing to be doing this again. This was not a cake but I felt like it might be something she would enjoy all the same. Her eyes were bright as we got to work. There is some “muscle memory” that comes out at times. It pokes out its head despite the dementia and allows a person to do things they might have forgotten about. The brain is such a fascinating thing. That is what happened on this day. She handled the mixer without thinking and it was beautiful!

Marcos, the activities director, kept close by. I think he was having just as much fun as my mom and I were. He really enjoyed me bringing in things like this. 

My mom did have some trouble with the measuring cups. She no longer had the logic that goes along with measuring precisely, but we got through it. I helped her along. I smiled and said, “Oh let me check that real quick.” I would then even it out or add more then hand it back and say something like, “Wow, there you go. It is perfect to add to the bowl now!” She sought approval all the time and was so very happy when I would tell her she was doing a good job. Her whole face would light up and she should smile the most amazing smile at me. I will never forget those days. They are so precious.

Teaching her how to use the scoop was a bit of a challenge. She had always used a spoon for cookies. I told her to think of it as a big bowl of ice cream and she laughed. It worked! After I demonstrated with the first few scoops she got right down to work. After each one she would turn to me and ask, “Like this?” and I would nod and smile and tell her it was perfect. 










She did a super job. I brought in cookie supplies multiple times because it was something so enjoyable. The residents really enjoyed the “show” as we prepared food and were always excited to get the treats after they were made. I really did love those days. There were challenges, of course, but being able to give her a little sliver of normalcy in her mixed-up world was a gift I was so happy to give. We did some really solid bonding on these days. 

Quality time is important. As much as they might forget all the details as soon as you have walked out the door, the feelings remain in their heart. Those feelings stay strong even when the memory is gone. I lived by those words and gave her every ounce of quality time I could. I wanted this time to be magical and I was determined to do everything I could to make it that way.


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