Dementia – Alzheimer’s Problems: Trouble Brewing
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
This morning there was the usual trouble getting Mr. Q to take his medicine. That, however, was nothing compared to the ramifications of what was to come next, a couple hours later.
It was a nice summer-like day here today. Mr. Q was outside on the patio. Next thing I heard was a loud yell “Charles”. I was on my computer in the house and looked out the window into the back yard and saw Mr. Q climbing the stairs in our back yard and almost falling backward. I grabbed my shoes and ran out to get him. Fortunately I grabbed him as he was trying to regain his balance. That was real close. One second more and he would have fallen backward onto the concrete block at the foot of the stairs.
I brought him back to the patio (he was 40 feet away) and explained the problem. He seemed to understand and agreed with me he was lucky he did not fall and get hurt and that he should not go there. My wife explained too why he should not go up there (a second, higher level back yard). I let go of Mr. Q and as soon as I did he started wandering again. But instead of his usual walk around the long patio he walked on the grass. Something we had never see him do until today. He immediately started going toward the stairs again. I didn’t think he would try to go up there again after seeming to understand his previous near-accident.
I was wrong! He started up the stairs again, teetering and almost falling backward again. De Javu. I ran and grabbed him as he started falling backward. Apparently talking with him did absolutely no good. Nada! Nothing was accomplished by talking nicely to him or explaining the potential hazard.
As if that was not enough he shortly after that tried to open the gate that goes to the street. Twice – and I happened to be there to see him and warn him. This opens a new and dangerous era in the saga of Mr. Q.
Today, so far, he is ignoring practically everything we say to him. This is not good. He does a lot of things that make the other residents upset or angry and some that are downright dirty. Apparently, his way is the only way (to him) and it interferes with the running of this business and causes undue concern, work, and problems for us that would not be the case if he did as we asked.
Sometimes talking to him is like talking to a concrete wall. Nothing happens or gets through. It’s very difficult to handle that type of situation. It’s a lot of stress. Mr. Q does not seem to experience any stress when he does his strange things – only when we confront him as or after he has done his dirty deed.
Now we have to consider having an expensive fence put up to prevent Mr. Q from going into the upper yard. Even that very costly action will not totally solve the problem. Now I see why Mr. Q was heavily sedated at the short previous stay in the convalescent home he stayed in right before he came here. It could easily take one or two persons watching him every minute to prevent him from doing the wrong thing. That’s almost an unbelievable situation for someone that was “OK” two years ago (that we estimate).
Note: Due to the excessive restrictions we have from the State of California and the County we cannot lock the doors or gate. This makes for excessive work and constant awareness of our residents. Unfortunate people like Mr. Q who wander excessively make our work here taking care of them double, triple, quadruple or more what it would be if we could lock the premises.
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