Tag Archives: Dementia

It’s Thursday & it’s Council Cleanup Day tomorrow……..

It’s been a while since writing a post & for that I’m sorry as it is not due to lack of content but more lack of energy on my part, it must be living with the oldies is making me tired & old!!! No, to be honest part of the illness that I battle daily is low blood pressure & it makes me incredibly tired so even though I have great intentions sometimes they just don’t become a reality but here we are back with another post!!!

My day had been fairly quiet being Saturday, not a lot happens around the establishment on a Saturday, so I had a nice dinner of pumpkin soup (my favourite- particularly as I don’t have many to choose from) & raspberry jelly & I was making my way back to my little room. In order to get to my room from the dining room I have to go along a fairly long stretch of carpet before I turn a corner & go straight down a ramp to my floor. I have to be careful on that ramp as it is quite easy to pick up a bit of speed & sometimes lose control of my trusty walker so I am always cautious coming back down the ramp.

“Wow”, I think to myself as I look ahead & see a pile of beautiful furniture piled up outside Patty’s room, she had her lovely wooden side table, a wooden chair, a few pictures & she was still in the process of removing & stacking outside her “house” as I later found out the name of where she was living!

“Patty” I shouted, well, not exactly shouted but certainly used a raised, shocked voice, “what on earth are you doing?” She looked up at me with a rather bewildered shocked look on her face as if to say “what on earth is wrong with you?” & then what came next just made my day, she said,”don’t you remember it’s Thursday & it’s Council Cleanup day tomorrow & my husband & I can’t live with this clutter anymore in our house so I’m putting everything we don’t need anymore out on the footpath!” (Footpath….last time I looked it was a strip of blue carpet but I wasn’t about to argue over something so trivial!)

Well, how do you respond to something as “out there” as that??? Firstly, we are not living in houses, we are living in small rooms & secondly poor Patty’s husband passed away a number of years ago & one thing I can confirm he definitely is not living in he house with her!!!!! I knew I needed to think long & hard about how I was going to respond to this one as I didn’t want to upset her but at the same time I thought I should let her know that it was not Thursday & as far as I knew Council Cleanup wasn’t this week. I proceeded along those lines with my response & I also added how beautiful her furniture was & how sad it would be to have the Council pick it up & dispose of it. After some long & hard thought  she could see my point but didn’t have a clue how she was going to get all this beautiful furniture back into her house from the footpath!

“Hmmm, I have a suggestion” I said to her. How about after all your furniture moving you go back inside your house & sit on your comfy remaining chair & when the staff come down after dinner they can help you move your furniture back inside your house”.  How does that sound Patty?”. Well, she thought that was a great idea after being so tired from moving it all out so she was thrilled with the arrangement!

She was so grateful that I turned up just in time to tell her she had got the days mixed up for the Council Cleanup so she didn’t go & move anymore of the furniture out onto the footpath unneccessarily & I was just happy that I had got to her in time before the after dinner rush came & by that stage she would have blocked the whole hallway oops I mean footpath……

As I know I have said in some of my previous posts there was a time when the Patty’s of this world would have known full well it wasn’t Thursday tomorrow & she wasn’t living in a house & there was never going to be a Council cleanup but as I choose to look at it, a wire goes funny up top & makes people who were once intelligent, sensible people do totally outrageous behaviours. We never know whether we are going to be one of the ones that  the wire chooses to go funny with but what I say is enjoy every moment, never ever take for granted each moment you have been given & if you happen to be touched by someone who has had a wire go funny up top try with all your might to love them & treat them with the dignity & respect you too would want for yourself if the roles were reversed!

Believe me when I say this I am writing to myself as much as to my readers & to be totally honest I am surrounded by “Patty’s” 24 hours a day & I certainly don’t always treat them with the same love & respect that I would want for myself at times, so this post was very much a challenge to me & a reminder of how we have no choice on how life is going to take its toll on us but as those living in community we certainly have a choice as to how we are going to treat those we are interacting with!

Here’s to the beautiful “Patty’s” of this world!!!

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Hello, Hello, Hello!!!

The sun was just coming up & I was in a wonderful blissful sleep dreaming about who knows what when all of a sudden I felt this body very close to mine, way to close for my likings at that time of the morning. I suddenly went from a quiet, blissful sleep to a heart racing fear of what was trying to get into my bed!!! My eyes opened very quickly & to my surprise there was the beautiful Maggie saying Hello, Hello, Hello!! Now that is Maggie’s usual greeting night & day, whoever you maybe you get the hello, hello, hello!

After I gathered myself & woke up a little more I tried to explain to the extremely demented Maggie that it was way too early for her to be up & worse still to be up & attempting to get into the wrong persons bed. You see, even though Maggie has severe dementia she is not one bit aggressive & is absolutely gorgeous. She has certainly gone back into her childhood days & ways & although I’m sure it is very sad & unsettling for the family to watch, she is certainly a pleasure to have & to be around. She was not at all convinced by what I was telling her & knew without a doubt she was in the right house!

As I lay there & wondered to myself what the heck I was going to do next as she also mentioned to me in “conversation” that she needed to go to the toilet, I quietly snuck my hand that wasn’t holding hers under my doona & pressed the emergency call button which was hanging around my neck. I knew if she saw me pressing any buttons she would catch on to the fact that I was getting some “friends” to come & see us. Before too long two staff members walked into my room & encountered a situation they certainly weren’t expecting to find. Both of them had a chuckle & attempted to explain to Maggie that she was in the wrong house & her house was down the hall!!!

‘No, no, no’ she tried to explain to them, ‘ I live here with my friend’……….more laughs were heard. Anyway, after a short discussion & some light convincing Maggie’s feet were firmly planted on the ground again & off she went to see if they were right about her house being down the hall!

Well, there I lay all on my own again with still about thirty minutes before I had to get out of bed myself but I knew there was no way that I was going to go back to sleep. I started to think about Maggie & wondered what she was like as a little girl. I thought to myself, I bet she was the one that made everyone laugh & have a smile on their face. Then I thought I bet she was a real mischievous teenager, giving her parents plenty of cheek. Even as a grown woman with a young family of her own she would have been happy, laid back & ready to take on whatever it was the world sent her way. You see, I don’t know about you, but so often I look at people like Maggie, who wouldn’t  have remembered that she had tried to get into my bed, by the time she got back to her ‘house’ & I see them simply as they are today. But, I feel so challenged on so many occasions living in ‘the establishment’ to remind myself that all the ‘Maggie’s’ I live with we’re once healthy little boys & girls & then young adults & then in most cases older adults & they just happened to be the unlucky ones that the dreaded “D” word, dementia, decided to hit.

I am glad I had that experience with Maggie, (even though it was a little unnerving initially) as it forced me once again to remember how precious life is & to never take a day for granted because none of us, not one, have any idea what is in store for us around the corner! It also was a good reminder to try & be more patient with the many ‘Maggie’s’ I live with as they never chose to walk this road that just happened to be mapped out for them!

So to Maggie I say Hello, Hello & Hello (even if it is at 5:45 in the morning!!!!!)