Dementia Man: Three-month Review (Part 3)
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
Mr. Q has not tried to climb the fence or run away in quite a while, but I never put it past him to do it again. We have a much more difficult problem in this regard now due to having to follow some “stupid” State and County laws that forbid us from locking the doors or gate. So now our work is more than doubled with Mr. Q as we have to make sure he does dot go near the unlocked gate where he can just walk out the yard.
This has never been a problem with any other resident, but now it is a major problem. While I won’t go into the details let’s just say that the “powers that be” specifically said Mr. Q has the right to leave the property whenever he so chooses. Of course we cannot let that happen – but I hope you can read between the lines that say someone with dementia (serious in Mr. Q’s case) has the right to walk out of our facility (any RCFE) whenever they please.
Where there was no big problem getting him to eat his breakfast or lunch in the past now it is a problem. Although we can more easily get him to the table, he often rises and disappears, sometimes after a minute or two. When that happens, it is a problem getting him to continue to eat. It’s not that he is not hungry, but his mind is somewhere else other than here those times.
State of mind
Mr. Q seems “out of it” more lately than in the past. So often he is confused and does not seem to “know anything”. Where I used to be able to talk to him and have him respond, albeit with saying just a few words, that seems like a thing of the past. It is rare, very rare, now when he seems ok enough to understand and answer me. Now it is very hard to tell when Mr. Q understands anything you say or ask him to do since he seems so far away in the mind so frequently.
He will surprise you, however, when you talk to him and he seems to ignore what you say, but suddenly blurt out a word or two about something you were sure he was not listening to. Mr. Q will usually say he understands something you say to him (if he says anything), but will go ahead and do the exact opposite of what he should do. So that makes it really hard to know what state of mind he really is in at those times.
Doing what’s asked of him
Where before he would sometimes listen to what you ask him to do and do it, almost now, without fail, he will ignore or not do anything you ask him to do. This is a real problem because it causes untold problems and so much wasted time trying to coach him to do anything, where often before he would eventually do it, but now no.
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