Dementia Craziness Subsided
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
In the last week Mr. Q’s Dementia craziness has subsided considerably. I don’t know the cause and will not speculate on it at this time. In fact, only time will tell if it has really subsided or if this is just a lull in his dementia.
For the most part he has tended to stay awake all day, although sneaking into his bed has certainly not stopped by any means. It has just not been such a problem like in previous weeks. In fact, as I am writing this Mr. Q has sat watching TV for over an hour and has not once tried to sneak back in bed. He got up from his nap an hour ago and each time I checked on him he was quietly watching the news. Oops! I wrote too soon. He just snuck in his room and got in bed. Dinner was on the table and the others were just starting to eat when Mr. Q sneaked away while the caretaker was not looking. He is hungry and is eating now.
He still has some serious problems with paying attention to what anyone asks him to do. No matter how nice we ask him or explain why he should do it there is no favorable reaction in almost all cases. In spite of this, we have generally been able to get him to cooperate more than in previous weeks.
There has been less of him barging into the bathroom than previously. I hope it’s a good sign. We have been trying various things to get him to stay out the bathroom unless he really has to go pee pee or poo poo. They are working to a small degree. Unfortunately, since he is ignoring what we say so much, his progress is very slow as far as not hogging the bathroom.
We have gotten him to drink more liquids so his constipation is somewhat less than before. However, we still have problems getting him to stay seated on the toilet long enough to do anything (bowel movement). So in most cases I have to stay there and try to keep him still long enough so he has a decent chance of doing it. This is only necessary when the caretaker knows he has not done it in a long time. It is not generally such a huge problem keeping him on the stool like it was before when he was fighting all the way.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s persons do not necessarily do things in a consistent manner. So Mr. Q’s gains and losses may change at any time. Right now we have far fewer problems with him grabbing clothes when he has to be changed than in the past. He even takes off his shirt and pants often when we ask. He still has his moods, however, and sometimes refuses to cooperate with this at all. When this happens, it could take us ten or fifteen minutes or more to change him (like when he messes in his clothes) where it normally would take a minute or two if he cooperated.
There was only one time he mentioned 57th street in the past two or three weeks. He used to mention it every day many times and going to the bank. I had just noted his lack of that when he got angry with me (I presume) because I refused to walk with him after he refused to eat his snack and ignored several things we asked him to do. He was holding my arm trying to get me to walk with him when he suddenly released my arm and quickly walked off the patio and walked to the block-wall fence and tried to climb over it. I yelled at him to come back and he did. So it seemed he had actually understood what we were asking him to do, but he didn’t want to do it so he showed us that by trying to climb the fence.
Something I may not have mentioned too much is his habit of putting paper towels, napkins or tissue paper in his pockets. He still does that, but not as often as before. However, I saw him put some cherry seeds in his pocket after he had eaten the cherries. I was unable to get him to take them out without a fight so I let it be. A few minutes later he took them out and hid them in his closet. I don’t know if this is something he did in the past or if his Alzheimer’s or dementia is making him do it. He did the same thing with some small pretzels yesterday. However then I was able to get him to reluctantly remove them from his pocket.
There is less of him wearing two hats, two pair of pants, or two shirts than before. Now it’s a welcome relief when someone comes by (we have frequent visitors) and he is dressed normally. Unless he is doing something “stupid”* most people would not know he has Alzheimer’s unless they tried to have a conversation with him. His speech is still hampered considerably, but I don’t think that will change for the better any time soon.
Well this is twice as long as I wanted to write. I just wanted to keep you posted on his situation. There are a lot of details in my notes, but I am just summarizing his behavior the past week in this posting.
*Note: It’s really not stupid in his eyes, but to others, many things seem that way because it is not something a “normal” person would do. Eg. stuff a brush or comb down his crotch to hide it, going wee wee into a small cup when he could go to the toilet like normal (no one is in bathroom when he has done this), etc.