Dementia Daze Sometimes Wears Off
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
This past week was a mixed one for the notorious Mr. Q, the resident we have with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. He went from fighting with us trying to get him to put his diaper on (many times) to finally letting us put them on with no problem. He changed sometime during the week to putting them on (with our help) by himself, but we had to tell him to do it. Mr. Q takes off his diapers after we go to bed virtually every night. I think there was only one night he did not.
Unfortunate for us, because his diaper is off, he has messed up the bed with smears of poo poo, to the full blown mess on the floor and his clothes. We had stopped using his underwear shorts and replaced them with a diaper because he was pooping and peeing in his clothes.
He was rather calm most of the week except for several times when he had pooped and we had to give him a shower. Once or twice we had to give him a shower two or three times the same day because he messed up his clothes with poop because he had snuck in his room and had taken off his diaper.
Today I spent about five hours with him mostly in the bathroom on and off trying to coach him to stay on the toilet stool so he could poop. Mr. Q will definitely not stay on the stool more than a minute or two when we ask him to do his #2 poop business. So I need to virtually stand guard long enough for him to do it. Today it turned out to be several hours all told. It’s a terrible way to spend the day. I need to mention again that Mr. Q is almost always constipated(because he won’t sit still long enough to poop) so we had to resort to trying to get him to poop daily to prevent even more problems.
This evening before he went to bed I was closing the blinds across the table from him. The rod that turns to close the blinds (no he did not break it – someone else did) was missing so I was moving the slats to close them and looking at Mr. Q to see his reaction – when he blurted out “Why are you looking at me?” I was surprised because it is rare when he ever says more than one word at a time. It is also rare when he talks (although he can). In fact, several times today he said complete sentences. Once in the bathroom I asked him to try to do his business (poop) and he said “It’s not working.” Sure enough he was finished.
Mr. Q still has the bad habit of barging into the bathroom whether empty or not. It’s not quite as bad as in previous weeks, but definitely not controlled. When I talk with him about why he does that he has no answer.
When talking with him he often repeats the sentence you just say like he understands, but he probably does not. Quite often he will say he understands something you have just said to him, but do exactly the opposite of what you might ask indicating he probably didn’t really understand. His dementia or Alzheimer’s sometimes fools you into believing he is almost normal when it fades into the background. It seems to have done that a few brief times this past week.
So I must confess the past five or six days have been rather mild compared to the past month. A couple of times I walked him around the patio rather fast to kinda tire him out so he would sit peacefully in the swing or on the couch and we could have a small break from watching him like a hawk. Mr Q, however seemed rather “out of it” most of the week during the day. We did up his medicine a little yesterday due to doctor’s orders. Tonite he got more medicine to combat a problem he has had probably three or four years. I hope it does not affect his thinking or behavior, unless its for the better.
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