My mother, Shirley Murphy, died today week after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. There will be no services for Mom because it was her wish to not have services.
Mom spent the final 5 years of her life residing at Carlton Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care facility, in San Leandro, California. In January, 2009, Mom moved into an assisted living apartment in Carlton Senior Living. In June 2010, as her Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia progressed and she needed more help than assisted living services could provide, she moved into Carlton Senior Living’s memory care facility. She lived in the memory care section from June, 2010 until her death on February 19, 2014.
My mother received excellent care at Carlton Senior Living in San Leandro. The Carlton Senior Living staff is friendly and knows what they’re doing, and their facility is modern and clean. Without the help my mother received from Carlton Senior Living, she could have suffered greatly during her decline and she probably would passed away a long time ago. I’m grateful to everybody at Carlton Senior Living for the help they gave to my mother.
I was a frequent visitor to Carlton Senior Living during my mother’s 5 years there and I accumulated quite a collection of photos and video clips of my mother. I have more than 2,000 photos and over 3 hours of brief video clips. I sifted through those 3 hours of video footage to filter out the garbage and whittle it down to about 1 hour of decent video footage to post here and share with you. I’ve chopped the 1 hour of video into 6 separate videos that are each 12 to 13 minutes long.
Each of the 6 videos that I’m sharing below consists of a dozen or more miscellaneous clips of my mother. I excluded my clips from her final few months, when she lost the ability to communicate and she was on morphine and oxygen. My mother is the primary subject of almost all of the video clips, but you’ll see some of her fellow residents in memory care along with members of the memory care staff.
As you might expect from someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, the video clips show various levels of confusion and anxiety in my mother. She would frequently invent her own words or speak in gibberish. At times, she’d make sounds that you’d expect to hear from a child. There were times when she was clearly happy to see me, and there were times when she had no idea who I was and she’d rather not be bothered by visitors. Despite all those difficulties, I think her personality shines through quite strongly in these video clips. You’ll see that she could often be playful and express herself pretty well via facial expressions when she couldn’t find the words that she wanted to speak.
In these videos you may notice a strong red tint in some of the indoor scenes. The red tint was caused by a red ceiling light that is intended to ease anxiety for memory care residents.
If you knew my mother during her earlier years and didn’t see her during her decline, those video clips were probably difficult to watch. It was difficult for me to watch her decline, too. I hope we’ll soon see a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, that cure didn’t arrive in time to help my mother. I miss her immeasurably.