Dementia – Alzheimer’s Disease: A Long Talk
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
Yesterday I had a long talk with Mr. Q For about an hour and a half I spoke with him asking all kinds of questions. I wanted to try to determine how much of what he does he actually is aware. In general if he knows what he is doing when we try to correct him.
The verdict is still uncertain. However I can say that when I was questioning him he answered all my questions like someone that had nothing wrong with them.
We conversed and talked about my brothers and mother all of whom are dead. He asked about our Aunt R who also passed away. I answered all his questions.
During all this conversation I was mostly asking questions to him, however. The really revealing thing to me was he seemed not to be confused. I wondered about why he was always sleeping. I asked if he slept all the time or a lot the past few years.
He said no. I asked about the past two years at his last place, he said he did not sleep a lot. I asked a couple more times over about a half hour and always the answer was no he did not sleep a lot, nothing like here.
Then I hit him with “Why are you always wanting to sleep here?” question. He said “because of my problem.” I was shocked. Here was a person with dementia and alzheimer’s answering all my questions in a normal way.
His answer made me think he might be trying to hide or not deal with his problems by sleeping. I asked him again the same question after I had told him that I thought maybe he was trying to hide from his problems by sleeping all the time. This time he did not answer. Maybe my explanation was true and he didn’t want to admit it.
At any rate after all the talk it made me see he was aware of almost everything. Even the things he is doing wrong – sometimes. I say sometimes because it is hard to tell if he is in “never never land” or is here in reality.
In my talk over so long a period of time – he usually doesn’t sit still over a few minutes, unless he falls asleep, there was something that bothered me. He kept asking if it was 5 o’clock. He was really unaware of time and only concentrating on 5 pm because somehow he thought that was time to go to bed.
We have been telling him bedtime was 8 or 8:30 in the evening since he has been here, but apparently he had now forgotten that. Before he would always go look at the clock many times after dinner to see if it was time to go to bed.
Lately, however, he has not been doing that. I couldn’t seem to get it in his mind that bedtime was 8:30 pm because he kept asking if it was 5 o’clock yet and would start walking to the bedroom. I had him check the clock and I would tell him you have two-and-a-half hours till bedtime, etc. The whole time he was asking about time it was already after 5pm.
He did not go to bed on time that night (yesterday) but was about an hour late due to several phone calls my wife received that she had to answer. When I did put him to bed he was thoroughly confused. As I tried to get him to go to bed he would keep putting back the covers and walking away as if he was just getting up. A few minutes of convincing got him to reluctantly get in bed.
Whew! Another day over.
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