Dementia Man: A Brief History
Transcribed by Honey B Wackx
Let’s do a review of Mr. Q. the resident we have in our RCFE who has been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The story of Mr. Q is to illustrate some of the problems and care needed for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These events are specific to Mr. Q, but if you care for someone with either of these problems you will almost certainly experience similar problems to some extent, especially after they reach an advanced stage.
A Brief History
Mr. Q was a resident of a mid-western state who lived all his life as a bachelor. He came from a lower middle class family and became a teacher and a school counselor. He taught for many years and finally retired some twenty odd years ago. I am not too familiar with his father or mother since she died when I was a child. His father lived until his nineties I believe and if I remember correctly I heard his father may have had dementia in the last few years of his life. I will check as this is what I remember hearing from one person.
Mr. Q is eighty-one years old and as far as we know never had any mental problems until about a couple of years ago when he moved to a new condo. After the move he didn’t see his sisters much and I don’t think they ever went to his place after he got settled in. From what I was told he didn’t want them to come to his home, which was strange, as that was not like him. Yes he lived alone, but he seemed to become a real loner as far as having any close friends and not wanting his sisters to visit him. They lived very close by and he went there rarely.
Maybe his being alone so much and possibly not having anyone come by to see how he was living had something to do with him being in the condition he is right now. Had relatives and family seen inside his home maybe something could have been done before now. I don’t believe anyone saw how he lived since his last move until after he was already confused. I was told he was often seen walking in the park, alone, dressed in multiple sets of clothes sometimes. Apparently by the time people suspected there really was something wrong with Mr. Q he was too far gone to be helped much.
A home disaster
I won’t say much, but after it was decided, or right before, that Mr. Q was going to need personal care and could not live at his home alone anymore his apartment was checked. Apparently Mr. Q saved almost everything he touched. His apartment was filled with “stuff”, all kinds of irrelevant “stuff”. Empty food cans, “stuff” in the sinks, bathtub, everywhere, some things real neat, but useless, to garbage or the equivalent. It took mostly four people four 12 hour days to clean out his “stuff”, which I understand was mostly thrown away. Mr. Q lived in a small studio condo.
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