Tag Archives: parents with dementia

The Last of Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts' college graduation picture

Jane Roberts' college graduation picture

After years of dementia, with barely anything left of who she was except a glint in her eyes of recognition when she saw me, and the ability to somehow still swing a tennis racket, my mom ended this incarnation, to relief and sadness on my part. Reflecting on the entirety of her 83 years of life, particularly the first half of it, I am struck by how she managed to use her imagination to make up for a lack of resources and “be effective” challenging conventional wisdom, including aspects of the liberal progressivism of the university town where she spent the best years of her adulthood.

My partner Sally and I were in a hotel in Denver where Sally was attending a conference and I was just enjoying a long weekend away from Los Angeles. I was woken up by a call after midnight from the emergency room at Presbyterian Memorial Hospital in Van Nuys. The nurse on the phone said that my mom had been admitted, in a coma, after collapsing at her assisted-living residence, and that the doctor needed instructions on whether to try and take the measures to keep her alive. Continue reading →