Author Topic: On Caregiving  (Read 280052 times)

Offline brianr

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #380 on: June 08, 2019, 01:17:04 am »
Sometimes you do not know whether to laugh or cry.  Just before Christmas, I was driving him home after a walk followed by coffee. The road follows the railway line which was used for passenger trains when we were young, now only freight and tourist trains.
Trevor  "Will I catch the train home?"
Brian "No I will drive you home"
Trevor "Do you know where I live?"
Brian "Yes, Trevor"
Trevor "How do you know?"
Brian "I dropped you home last week"
Trevor "Where do I live?
Brian "21 Belleview Street"
Trevor "That is where my parents live. Do you think they will be home?"
Brian (under breath) "I think they must be dead"
5 minutes quiet, yes I always have music playing when driving.
Trevor  "Will I catch the train home?" and off we went again
That day when we got to his house I had to go in with him (parked illegally as the street is narrow, ok to just drop him off)) to make sure his parents were home. His wife came to door and he was then happy.  He now seems to accept that I am the person who knows where he lives, once he asked why I did so much for him , was I a relative?
His wife tells me she cannot give him more than $20 as he buys cigarettes and in NZ the tax is high, a pack costs over $25 (I had to look that up).
He worries as we line up to order that he will not have enough money but coffee and cake or even a sandwich or roll is not much more than $12.
In NZ cafes you order and pay then it is brought to your table (no tipping) but he always asks who paid and I reply "you did, Trevor" which surprises him.
One day I sent him to the table and when I finished ordering he was sitting across 2 seats. I asked him to move over and he told me he was keeping a seat for the man behind him in the queue. "Uhh that was me Trevor". As I said you have to laugh but living with him would be hell.

Thankfully my mother, who died almost 97 (2006), had a better memory than me up until the last day or so. But she was very weak and on 24 hour oxygen so taking her out needed me to push the wheel chair and my sister to push the oxygen cylinder.

Both my sister and I belong to the Euthanasia societies in our respective countries. There is a law going through the NZ parliament now but you will have to be expected to die within 1 year. And still the do gooders are opposed.

Offline CellarDweller

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #381 on: June 08, 2019, 02:38:45 pm »
Yes Brian, you are right.  Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

My maternal grandmother was in an facility, she also had dementia.  The floor plan was a giant square, no hallways so that there would be no ways for the patients, who would wander, to get lost in some random hallway.

One time we went to visit grandma, and we were walking around with her, behind a father and daughter, who were having some odd conversation.  Just at that moment, there was a moment of "awareness" on the father's face, and he turned to his daughter and said:  "Can someone tell me why the hell I'm walking around in circles all day?"  The daughter looked shocked and said :  "Well, I guess it's because you want to, dad!" and the father replied "Oh, ok" and we were all off, walking around again.   The daughter turned to us  and smirked, and we said "Yeah, those moments of awareness can surprise you, can't they?"

Another time I went to visit grandma, and I turned a corner.  There was a older female patient sitting in a wheelchair, using her feet to push herself around.  She was holding sweatshirt in her hand, and had no bra on, and her breasts were out for everyone to see.   I went to the main desk and told them.  The nurse behind the desk motioned to another nearby nurse and said:  "Hey, Mary, around the corner to the right, Celia is topless again."


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #382 on: June 09, 2019, 09:47:14 am »
Here's one, from when my mom was in a nursing home and her conversation had become barely connected with reality. Luckily, she still recognized me and my brother.

Mom: What have you been doing?

Me: Oh, I'm staying at John's [my brother's] new house.

Mom: John, buying a house?! That'll be the day!!

Me: No, he actually did buy a house, and it's really nice.

Mom (nodding): It is a nice house.

She hadn't seen it.

Another time, I asked her on the phone if she'd had a nice time when her brother visited Denver recently. She said she hadn't seen him. I told her that he definitely had been in Denver. "Well, he didn't come to see me," she said. But of course, that's the entire reason he went to Denver!  :laugh:

I once interviewed a woman whose mother, while in assisted living, wandered off and joined a group of people touring the facility. She must have been fairly sharp because they didn't suspect her but the home's facilities went to look for her and found her there. Because she was "wandering," they put her in a memory care unit that was basically a hallway with doors on either side, maybe a small sitting area, and the door to the rest of the world locked. When she realized this is where she was to live for the rest of her life, she freaked out and caused so much trouble that the home's staff decided they couldn't handle her and kicked her out of the home. She went to another and another and the same thing happened. Finally she wound up in some home that kept her in a wheelchair so heavily drugged that she basically just sat there drooling all day.

The daughter, not wanting anyone else to have to go through that, quit her job as a sales rep. She traveled around the country collecting information on how to operate a senior home. Then she opened a couple small ones. They were completely different than the others she'd seen, run more like group homes. Pets and children were welcome. Staffers were encouraged to sit down and chat with people for as long as they wanted to talk. Heavy sedative drugs were minimized. Everyone seemed happy.

But the homes lost money. She couldn't make the business model work. She lost her life's savings and wound up selling the places to another company. They said they would carry on operating up to the standards she had set. But she's pretty sure they didn't.

And on a slightly cheerier note, I interviewed a retired couple a few years back in which the wife had Alzheimer's. The husband cheerfully learned to do all the household stuff she had done before. She was far gone enough that she couldn't really participate in a conversation, but she sat there listening and smiling when we talked. She had once loved to garden but now she couldn't name the flowers. She could take the dog on a daily walk, but only because the dog knew its way, which seemed kind of risky to me but had worked so far, I guess.

Still, it was really sweet. The husband wouldn't put her in a nursing home or even adult day care. "I'm just not ready to let go of her yet," he said. They would sit close together on the couch, watching TV or whatever, holding hands. They both seemed as happy as possible under the circumstances.

Offline Front-Ranger

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