Just another Dementia – Alzheimer’s Day
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
Today was just another day in the life of a dementia and Alzheimer’s caretaker, RCFE owner and counselor. I was out of the house most of the day and so was Laureta trying to resolve the situation that became totally out of control yesterday. Fortunately it did not involve Mr. Q.
In fact, today was, for all practical purposes a regular day as far as Mr. Q was concerned. There were only two problems today.
Him getting dressed this morning when he refused to do anything the caretaker asked. As usual him getting dressed was a big problem. I had to intercede to get Mr. Q to cooperate.
Once that was finished and he finally went to the table to eat he wanted to give the caregiver a hard time by not taking his medicine. I solved that quickly by standing next to him and telling him to behave and take his vitamins. He did fortunately without further problems.
He went to bed for nap time without incident. The incident, however occurred when he got up. Unlike normally when it is almost impossible to get him out of the bed, after his nap was finished he got up by himself when I told him to. I was really surprised because that is normally a big problem. However fifteen minutes later I caught him sneaking back in his room getting ready to climb in bed.
A lot of coaching got him to obey me and get out of the bed and go watch TV. That lasted about 10 seconds. As I was turning to walk away he was back in the room getting ready to jump in the bed again.
I talked again and got him to leave the room. He stood by the door, however, waiting for me to leave possibly. I again told him no bed, go watch the news (he said he liked the news). He didn’t budge.
I could see he was itching to open the door to his room which I had shut for the third time. I asked him why he was not obeying me. He seemed confused. I talked with him and tried to explain- no sleeping all day, no ignoring what we say.
He seemed to understand the ignoring part, but he was ready to go in the room again. I stopped talking and stood silently waiting for his next move. I had warned him I was going to get if he tried to go in the room a forth time after I had just explained no more sleeping until bedtime and not to disobey us.
It only took a few seconds and he quickly opened the door, went in, and tried to shut the door fast so I could not stop him. I scolded him, like a little child. I asked if he understood me when I was talking to him.
Why was he doing what I had just harped on not to do. For the first time he said “I am screwed up”. I really think he was battling inside listening to me tell him not to do something, but something inside said do it, do it, no matter what.
I gave up. I got him to go out the room – not easily, and he went to watch TV. All that time I was very calm and trying to figure out what he was thinking. I couldn’t. I left the room and later had to leave the house for a coupe of hours twice before I got home in time to put him to bed.
No more problems. Those minor incidents today were lightweight compared to some of the incidents we have experienced so I say “just another day” in the life of Mr. Q. It was not a bad day for him.
Might I say I haven’t been walking him(around our block) for a few days because he was disobeying us so much and refusing to take off his heavy jacket. It was too risky walking the half mile or so with him wearing a zipped up heavy jacket.
He could have a heat stroke from being in the hot sun dressed too warmly, like he was (he also had on two thick shirts). It normally takes both of us to control him when he refuses to dress properly and we ask him to. So today and yesterday he wore two or three shirts and no long walk.
The dementia or Alzheimer’s aspect of Mr. Q’s personality shows up usually when he gets dressed or undressed or when he seems to purposely disobey us or often when he goes to the bathroom. This does not happen all the time, but a lot of the times.
I think Mr. Q is a lost soul. I think he is aware there is something wrong, but is helpless to control it. That’s a very bad situation. I really feel sorry for Mr. Q. I wish there was something I could do to get him out of his condition. I hope some of my talking patiently with him helps a little. I think it does when he is rationally thinking.
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