My mother in law spent part of this week in the hospital, recovering from pneumonia. And "Bil" ended up with bronchitis, which came close, really close, to developing into pneumonia, too. Yesterday, she was moved to rehab in a facility that includes assisted living and skilled nursing.
The admitting doctor described her as "frail".
Today, we visited her with "Bil". "Bil" spent about 30 seconds interacting with her, after which his entire attention was trained on the room TV. It was enough for him to see her. Interaction wasn't necessary.
Family members are starting to wonder about her dementia. The pneumonia hospitalization was a good time to tell them (since a couple of them were thinking about traveling here to see her, a journey of over 100 miles). One asked me, point blank, if she had dementia. Another said "I had suspected".
Yesterday, when my husband asked her what clothes she wanted him to bring to the facility, she just looked at him blankly.
This morning, my mother in law didn't remember what she had for dinner last night (we wanted to know because she had trouble cutting her food for lunch - fish). She didn't know if anyone had called her (there are a lot of people who care about her, and I had informed various family and friends of where she was and her phone number).
"Bil" wanted to know how long his Mom would be in the facility. Everything, in his world, needs to have an exact time frame. But there is no time frame. He did announce to his Mom how long he thought she would be there.
And then, he asked us to take us to the apartment he once shared with his Mom, to get more clothes to wear.
It's good that he considers the supportive apartment he lives in now as "home", because we don't know if his mother will ever be returning to her home or not.
Sometimes, I wonder if her mental decline is, in some ways, a good thing for her.
And then I feel terrible for feeling that way.