Care Home Humor: Grace and the Cat

The resident cat at Mom’s care home is a beautiful bi-color mask and saddle feline that Anne rescued. The residents love Kitty. To say that Kitty is a tad overweight is being kind. She lives to eat. Kitty’s weight tends to be the subject of much of the humor from the residents and staff.

If the staff is in the kitchen, Kitty is right there meowing and pressing against their legs until they can hardly move without tripping over her. She wants a treat, preferably her tuna. If the refrigerator or a cabinet is open, Kitty has her head right in there examining the contents for likely goodies.

One late afternoon, “Grace” was already placed at the dining table in her wheelchair after a trip to the bathroom. It was close enough to dinner time that there was no point in transferring her to her recliner only to have to transfer her back into her wheelchair for dinner. The rest of the residents would be brought over soon.

Anne was finishing preparing dinner with Kitty close on her heels with her every movement. The meowing was piteous. Kitty clearly thought she was starving.

Anne has been trying hard not to feed Kitty so much and eventually raised her voice sternly. “You already ate! I’m not feeding you any more!”

“Okay,” said Grace.

Anne didn’t hear Grace from the kitchen, so I piped up. “Anne, Grace thinks you were talking to her.”

“Oh, my God!”  Anne flew out of the kitchen to Grace at the table. “Oh, Grace. I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Kitty. I’ll feed you. Of course I’ll feed you dinner.”

“Okay,” said Grace.  Grace sort of goes with the flow.

I believe that Kitty got her own back that day, making Anne the brunt of the humor.  But really, it is Grace that makes it all work.

For other “Grace” posts, click here to read “Care Home Humor: Grace,” and click here to read “Unperturbed Grace.”

Care Home Humor: Grace

“Grace” is one of the residents in Mom’s care home. She is very serious, having lost any intentional sense of humor. However, without meaning to, Grace provides laughs for the staff, for some of the other residents, and definitely for me.

Grace is a tiny lady. Her dementia is far enough along that it is quite difficult to understand what she is saying as most sentences seem to be random strings of words. However, sometimes you can glean the overall intended message or at least respond in a way that acknowledges her emotions.

One afternoon when I arrived, Anne was doing Grace’s nails—cleaning them, filing them, and then applying nail polish in Grace’s favorite rose pink color. This procedure took place at the dining table as I was visiting with Mom and listening to the music, often singing along.

After a while, Anne rose from the table and told Grace to keep her hands on the table top to allow the polish to dry, which Grace dutifully did.

Anne decided to take a photo of Grace for Grace’s son and encouraged her to smile.

“Oh, that’s a great photo!” Anne beamed and showed the photo to Grace. Then she came over to show it to me. Grace had a huge genuine smile.  It was a wonderful photo, and I said so.

“I never get such a big smile out of her. Her son will be so happy to see this.”

Anne went back to the dining area. “We got a great photo this time, Grace. Hallelujah!”

Vina, the other staff that day, leapt into the spirit of the conversation with “Thank you, Jesus!”

Grace said, “You’re welcome.”

For other “Grace” posts, click here to read “Grace and the Cat,” and click here to read “Unperturbed Grace.”

Care Home Surprises

When my mother entered a care home, there were certain things I never expected I would be doing, such as explaining about HPV.  However, when one spends time visiting a loved one, one gets involved in the oddest things. I call these incidents ‘little care home surprises.’

These surprises can be a memorable conversation I have with the residents, or a strange activity I get roped into.  Sometimes it is an interaction I have with the staff, or an interaction I observe between the residents.  They can be pleasant or unpleasant or indifferent.  What qualifies them as care home surprises is quite simply that I never ever imagined they would happen.

The example below is a conversation I never thought I would be having at a care home.  I think it is a good example of the care home surprises that make visiting, um, interesting.

The Set-Up

Sometimes when I am visiting my mother, the residents are watching a tv show or movie. Questions tend to arise. “What’s going on?” is the most common. It is very hard to follow a plot when you have dementia. Often I explain what is happening in a scene or give a summary of the plot if more is needed.

And then there are the commercials. Given the over-dramatization of ‘problems’ that the product is touted to solve, these commercials can cause a bit of alarm and a lot of confusion for the residents.

Last week one of the commercials was a dramatized plea to get parents to vaccinate their children against HPV. It started with snippets of both boys and girls telling the camera, “My parents didn’t do anything. I got HPV.”  “My parents didn’t tell me. I got cancer.”

Care Home Surprises, Example A

“What’s HPV?” one of the residents asked me.

I bravely launched in. “HPV stands for the Human Papilloma virus. It is a sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cancer.”

“Fortunately,” I continued, “we now have a vaccine available that is able to largely protect people.” I explained that the point of the commercial was 1.) to remind parents to get their children vaccinated and 2.)  to vaccinate their sons as well as their daughters, because males can end up with cancer, too.  People tend to think it just causes cancer in women.

“It must not be very common,” my enquiring-minds-want-to-know lady stated.

“Oh, it is. It is very widespread, which is why it is so great that this generation of kids will be largely protected.”

“Oh.” General head-nodding except from two ladies who were asleep. Well, I guess they were nodding also, just not in quite the same way.

My mother, when I turned back to her, was looking at me with her famous you-must-be-kidding look that I know so well. At least I didn’t get chastised for talking about sex. Hey, I was just answering the lady’s question.

This conversation was not what I expected when I arrived that day. It’s just one of many little care home surprises that come my way.  Visiting a care home is definitely not boring.

 

To read other posts related to care home, click here for “Choosing a Care Home,” and click here for “Mom Stopped Peeing on Me. Thanks, Care Home!

Confabulation Can Be Wonderful

There is nothing like a little confabulation to add joy to your life.  Confabulation is when people make up stories to explain things.  People with dementia are not lying.  They believe what they are saying is true.

Living a Fairy Tale

About five years ago, I gave my mom a pair of Keds I bought and then decided were slightly too small for me. She loved them because they zipped up. Once she was living in the assisted care facility, I noticed that they were pretty much the only shoes I ever saw her in. So I decided it would be nice for her to have some variety.

I ordered her a similar pair in pink because my mother favors the purple-pink colors for her wardrobe. When I flew up to visit her for a few days in September, I brought them along and anticipated a welcomed reception on her part.

Not to be. She didn’t like the color. It was too “orangey” a pink. I hid my disappointment and told her I’d return them for the pale blue option. I reported my failure to my sister when I returned to her house at the end of the day.

My sister, God bless her, told me, “Oh, I wouldn’t take what Mom says too seriously. She changes from day to day. Why don’t you just leave them in her closet? At some point when her aides are dressing her, they will pick them out. She probably won’t even notice.”

The next day, after our outing and a long talk in the lobby afterwards, I walked Mom to her usual table in the dining room. Then I made several trips ferrying supplies, laundry, and miscellaneous facility mailings from my car up to her apartment. I also brought up the shoes and placed them in her closet.

And They Lived Happily Ever After  (The Confabulation)

About three weeks later, I received an email from my sister telling me that she noticed Mom was wearing the pink shoes when she visited her over the weekend. My sister thought I would get a chuckle out of their conversation.

My sister told Mom, “Your shoes are so pretty. I love the color.”

Mom replied, “I think so, too, and I got them for free!”

My sister expected Mom to say that one of her aides had given her the shoes as a gift, but Mom had a much more elaborate story. It went like this: “There was this man walking around here. He asked if I wanted a pair of shoes. I asked if he was selling shoes. He said he had a pair of shoes that someone had bought but had left, so he was looking for someone who they might fit and asked if I would like to try them on. They fit, so he said I could keep them.”

I thought this was adorable. Mom is Cinderella, and the shoe fit!

Note: For a great article about confabulation, click here  to read “Confabulation in Dementia: What Is It and How Should You Respond?” by Esther Heerema, MSW.

For another post from this blog about confabulation, click here to read “Creative Conversations.”

 

Forgive and Forget: Humor with Dementia

It’s a blessing being able to have a sense of humor about yourself and others.  One doesn’t usually expect that someone with dementia can retain that wonderful coping skill, but it is possible, at least for a while in any case.

I was sitting with my mother at her care home, talking with her and teasing the staff. Mom said to me, “I don’t know what you’re going to do when I’m no longer here.”

I startled. “What?”

“Oh, I see.,” she responds slyly.  “You’ve got me . . .” (pointing down) “underground, you naughty girl.” She’s laughing.

I’m laughing, too, but also wondering what the heck she’s thinking. She is clearly making the connection that coming to visit her is a fixture in my daily schedule.  However, where is she planning on going, confined to a wheelchair as she is?  I just can’t picture her hopping a bus, nor even knowing where she would ask to go. Or is she contemplating returning to Northern California where she was previously living?

“Well, I may not be” (pointing) “here. That’s all,” she explains.  Still laughing about my assumption that she was talking about her eventual death, Mom raises her chin and places a hand over her chest. “It’s a good thing I’m a forgiving person. It’s one of my . . .”

“Finer qualities?” I fill in.

“Yes. I’ll forgive you. Forgive and forget.”  She is magnanimous, and I’m still trying to figure out how I ended up needing to be forgiven.

“Well, thank goodness,” I say, relieved to be let off the hook.

Practically choking with laughter, she adds, “Of course with me forgetting is easy.”

“Lucky for me,” I laugh.   This is priceless, I think.  She’s able to see the humor and make a joke at her own expense.

“Yes.”

Mom may have dementia, but she can manage to joke about it and zing me at the same time. I have to work hard to keep up.

Surprisingly, there are many humorous aspects of dementia.  Several of the posts on this blog include humorous occurrences or conversations.  For a few, click here for “Immigrations and Dementia, click here for “Mom Discovers I Am Her Daughter,” click here for “Confabulation Can Be Wonderful,” and click here for “Care Home Surprises.”

 

Choosing a Care Home



Finding that right care home in which your loved one will live, possibly for the rest of his or her life, is rather daunting. You choose the location parameters. You have a budget to help you narrow things down. Then, what?

I visited several facilities when I was looking for a care home for my mother. I am happy to say that only one was truly depressing and elicited a resounding “No, I would never place my mother there.” That place was a large facility. As the designated staff person took me on a tour, I was dismayed to see residents lying face down on sofas in the hallway or holding their heads in their hands out in the grounds alone. It had the feel of a State mental hospital or the homeless section of any big city. It was depressing. No amount of interesting animals on the grounds or daily exercise or activity time could make up for the atmosphere.

Everywhere else I visited was a home in the true sense of the word. These care homes were houses in residential areas that appeared no different from their single family neighbors. Generally they were intended for six residents, sometimes eight. Some had nicer furnishings than others. Some had more interesting menus. In some, all the residents were in their bedrooms watching tv. In others, residents were socializing in the living room or tv room. Some had nice yards; others not so much. Staff varied, as well.

I gradually developed certain criteria that helped me decide which care home to choose:

1. Ease of Communication

I knew it was important that my mother be able to understand the staff. Language difficulties make life even more difficult for people with dementia. They have enough trouble understanding what someone wants them to do. If they have to guess what someone is saying, it’s not going to go well.

2. Amiable Staff

I also believed that staff personality was vitally important. A resident becomes reluctant to even ask to go to the bathroom if staff seems stern, impatient, resentful, or frustrated. A cheerful, encouraging, patient, and friendly staff eases every day and makes the resident feel loved rather than a burden.

3. Level of Socialization

There seemed no point in a lovely living room that was covered in plastic. Clearly no one spent any time there. An opportunity to socialize was important. Maybe it is easier for the staff if residents stay in their bedroom, but it seemed a lonely cell-like arrangement to me.

My Care Home Decision

When I made my decision, I based it mostly on the staff. It wasn’t the prettiest home I’d seen, but the staff was awesome—protective, outgoing, lively, attentive, kind, loving, patient, and understandable. Most of the residents spent the day in the living room rather than their bedrooms. There was even a resident pet to add entertainment and a homey feel.

The Results

With the increased attention and socialization, Mom improved after moving there. She started eating again. Her swollen and bruised ankles returned to normal. Her mood lifted. She no longer cried and stated, “I hate it here” as she had at her assisted living facility. It pleases me no end to hear her bantering with the staff and calling them “honey” or “lovey.”

Just like a job that is made or wrecked by the people you work with, a care home is made by the staff. I highly recommend making that your first priority.

 

To read related posts, click here for “Mom Stopped Peeing on Me. Thanks, Care Home!” and click here for “Care Home Suprises.”

Upside of Dementia, III: Preserving Family History

When a parent has dementia, preserving family history almost seems to slip away before your eyes.  This is the time to talk to your loved one about whatever they can remember, which will most likely be their childhood.  It is also the time to reach out to extended family for more recent information.

Mom asks me questions about her family because she doesn’t remember much beyond the childhood and young adult stages of her life. Most of the time I can fill her in, but sometimes I can’t.

One of her brothers settled in Africa, married, and had two children. I know my cousins’ names, and that is all. We’ve never met them. I don’t know if they still live in Zambia or if their mother, who was from Yugoslavia, is still alive. Their father, my uncle, died years ago.

Preserving family history is a precious undertaking, and certainly at least knowing about remote relatives is important even if there is little likelihood of ever meeting them. I have tried searching for my cousins on Google without success. Mom’s questions as well as my own spurred me to reach out to my remaining uncle who lives in England for whatever information he has. This has led to finding out my cousins left Zambia and moved to South Africa decades ago.  Their mother is still alive.  I now have information about employment, marital status, and current names.  This is a huge help which will allow me to find out even more.  A few more years, and this information would no longer be available to me.  Carpe diem!  Seize the day!

Much like having aging parents makes gathering family history pressing, so does dementia when it strikes at any age. There is little opportunity left to find out information, so reaching out to other relatives is a vital resource. I urge you to do it. Now.

Click here to read Upside of Dementia, I: New Relationships.

Click here to read Upside of Dementia, II: Conversation.

 

Mom Discovers I Am Her Daughter

There are memory surprises in dementia.  Most of the time, these surprises tend to be upsetting as you realize your loved one has misplaced or lost another memory.  However, sometimes the surprises are wonderful, endearing, and comical.   And, you just have to laugh.

I see my mother every day.  She knows I’m coming because the staff gets her ready for bed first after dinner and sits her in a comfy spot to wait for me. Mom also asks them if I’m coming, so I know she knows who I am. That being said, every night when I leave, I tell her, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Mom.”  It is always a complete surprise for her because she doesn’t remember that I am there every day. She will also sometimes make comments that indicate she doesn’t know when she last saw me. But she knows me.

How She Lost Me

A couple of weeks ago, Mom asked me if I had her brother’s address.  She wanted to write and thank him for a postcard he sent her. I told her I did, as well as his email address. She seemed surprised. I let her know we keep in contact. I innocently related how I have had his street address since I went to England many years ago, and that we stayed with him.

We then got into a two-hour conversation about her side of the family, covering a few generations. I told her what I remembered and asked her questions. Her long-term memory is still good.  She was surprised that I knew so much about her family history, and kept asking me how I knew. I told her I remembered things she had told me over the years and had also gotten a good family tree from her brother. She continued to be astounded, and I was feeling very accomplished and appreciated.

Then she burst my bubble.

“How are you connected to my side of the family?”

Uh-oh.

How She Got Me Back

I leaned forward and placed my hand on her arm. “By you giving birth to me?”

Mom was floored and speechless for a moment and then opened her arms for a big hug. “Come here and give me a hug! I haven’t given you enough hugs in your life!” She would hardly let me go. It was as if she had found her child who had been lost decades ago. What a celebration! She was so happy.

I was laughing and giving her big hugs. However, on the inside, I was baffled. She knows I’m her daughter. What happened?  Later I told myself, “Well, maybe it was because our conversation went back in time, and she lost track of the here and now.”

The next night she greeted me, “Hello, Suzanne. And what have you been up to today?” We were back on track.

Then she did it to me again.

Who am I When I’m Someone Else?

A few nights later, she said to me, “Since I last saw you, a lady came to visit. She was very nice, and she knew all about my family.”

D’oh!! (to quote Homer).

Again, I leaned forward and touched her arm. “That was me, Mom.”

“Oh.”

I should read my own blog posts. I recently wrote about how fluid things are with dementia and that a change does not necessarily mean that is how things are going to be from then on.    (Click here to read “Inconsistent Memory and Nightly Rituals.”)

My own daughter reassured me, “Well at least you know she thinks you are a nice lady.”
True. And she was very happy to discover I was her daughter. You don’t get that kind of authentic display of affection every day.

It is funny, and you do just have to laugh.

 

(Click here to read another related post, “Dealing with Delusions and Memory Loss.”)

Dealing with Delusions and Memory Loss

Every now and then, I share something going on with my mom, such as increasing delusions or nearly complete loss of short term memory. I am sometimes asked, “How do you deal with it?” The first thing I say is that I write about it. I have this blog to help me express and share my feelings and experiences. I always found that putting something down on paper helped me process and understand it. Otherwise, it just ping-pongs around my brain without any resolution. But there are other strategies that I find I unintentionally use.

Accept the Change of Roles.

By the time a parent suffers from dementia, most of us have related to our parents as peers for a long time.  (Well, maybe we change our language a little bit.) It is sad to experience a parent losing memories, being confused, and having delusions, but it is not threatening. I am not a confused insecure child with a parent who, for example, has mental health issues that are scary to me. A child does not understand what is going on and is not equipped to take care of the parent, although he tries to do that very thing.

As an adult, I can easily move into the caregiver role just the same as most people do as their parents age and become increasingly dependent. The parent with dementia becomes much like a toddler.  They need a lot of reassurance, care-taking, help with communication, soothing from fears, and explanations of what is happening at any given time. All this is done with love and respect for the person inside.

Delusions: Don’t Panic!

It is important not to think that every downward step is here to stay, that this is how it will be from now on.

Earlier this week, my mother asked me, “Have I told you what has been going on here for the past two weeks?”

She then went on to tell me that a group of people from England were staying with them.

“Oh, how nice,” I responded, thinking she was viewing her fellow residents in a favorable light.

“No, it isn’t,” she retorted.

She went on to describe how odd these people were because they never left, except for one man. Mom seemed somewhat incensed that tourists would never leave the house, that they were eating all their food, that they never spoke at dinner time, and that they expected the staff to just take care of them.  However, her biggest outrage was reserved for the fact that these tourists had given no one any idea of how long they were staying!  How rude!

This was an obvious delusion which held fast regardless of my questions as to where these supposed “tourists” slept, what the staff said about the situation, and other logical responses.  I could just imagine staff being non-committal as Mom asked when the other residents were leaving. LOL.

Mom repeated the story three times as I responded, asked questions, commiserated with her regarding the ‘situation,’ and offered some explanations.

But, there hasn’t been a word about it since. That doesn’t mean it won’t come back. It, or something quite similar, may very well resurface at a later date.

However, that night I didn’t go home thinking, “Oh, god. Now she’s perceiving her life this way, and that’s how it’s going to be from now on.” Instead I thought, “Well that was interesting. I wonder how she’ll be tomorrow.”

And ‘tomorrow’ and since, there hasn’t been another word about it. What I’m saying is, you cannot depend on consistency, so there is no reason to panic and think this is the new normal.

Find the Humor.

Humor is always an excellent coping skill for any situation. It is in both our personalities that my mother and I laugh a lot about annoying situations. It is so good for her to laugh, for me to laugh, for us to laugh together. We speak for the resident cat as we imagine what she is thinking. We make jokes about ourselves. In our opinion, we are hilarious. This keeps Mom in a good mood and definitely helps me “deal with it.”

Enjoy This Time.

Would it sound odd if I told you that I really enjoy this time with my mother?

For the most part, we talk about what went on today which allows Mom to respond with her natural intelligence, ask appropriate questions, display her personality, and see the humor in even frustrating events.

I am more relaxed around her now than I have probably ever been in my life. In the past three months, my relationship with her has improved enormously. I used to be a bit nervous and frequently had to make allowances/excuses for her comments or behavior based on what she went through in her life.  Now, I thoroughly enjoy being around her. She is consistently sweet, something I am not used to.

This is a healing time for our relationship. When she dies, I will feel much differently than if she had died three months ago before I had this opportunity for daily contact. This time is a gift to me. I don’t visit her every day because I feel I have to. I visit her because I enjoy being with her. If she changes and becomes combative and difficult, I still will have this time to remember.

So that is how I am dealing with ‘it’ (delusions, loss of memory). I’m aware that some of these strategies may not work at all stages of dementia, for everyone, or when the relationship is different—a spouse, a friend, a sibling. My mother is three and a half years into this disease. I don’t know what the entire journey is going to be like, but this is where we are right now.

Because this entire blog is about dementia, many posts cover delusions and memory loss.  For just a few related posts, click here for “Inconsistent Memory vs. Nightly Rituals.”  Click here for “Mom Discovers I am Her Daughter.”  Click here for Creative Conversations,” and click here for “Happy Birthday to You: Birth and Death.”

 

Inconsistent Memory vs. Nightly Rituals

I always thought that dementia sort of followed a general path. Longterm memory stayed the longest. Short term memory went, and everything in between was up for grabs. I’m finding out that it is not quite that simple.  I have found with my mother that there is inconsistent memory–sometimes there, sometimes not.  There are also consistent memory lapses that become nightly rituals.

Inconsistent Memory

My conversations with Mom generally go pretty well, albeit with several explanations and helping her with (or guessing) her intended responses.  However, I have to be prepared for the shifting of understanding from one day to another–the inconsistent memory. For example, some days she thinks she is in England. Other days she knows she is in the States.  (Click here to read “Continental Drift.”)  Some days she has the delusion that the people on TV are looking in through a window at her. Then occasionally she knows it is simply TV. It is that inconsistency that intrigues me.

Nightly Ritual #1

However, there are certain things that never change in her mind, resulting in a nightly ritual that we follow.

Mom is completely unaware of her current surroundings and the people she spends her day with. The two male residents in her care home spend the day in their bedroom. The four ladies spend the day in the living room, sitting in their own particular recliners. It is not a big room. If I pull up a kitchen chair next to Mom, I can touch ‘Betty’ in the next chair.

I visit every night after their dinner.  This time was suggested by the staff so that Mom can stay up later, and we can have an easier conversation on our own. Mom is already dressed for bed and sitting in her wheelchair instead of in her recliner.   This puts Mom next to Betty’s chair-side table. Every night Mom asks me about the two photos on that table. Every night I explain who the people are. Betty is in both.

“Who’s Betty?” My mom asks.

“Betty’s the lady who sits here.”  I indicate the recliner next to Mom.

Mom is trying to conjure up the woman who sits by her every day without success.

“Your roommate,” I try.

Mom’s expression becomes even more disbelieving. “I don’t have a roommate,” she retorts. “What do they call her? I’ve never heard ‘Betty.'” She’s annoyed and going to put me in my place.

“They call her Betty, Mom.”

“Oh.”

Every single night. I even turn the photos away so Mom can’t see them. She picks them up anyway.

Nightly Ritual #2

The other part of the ritual is:

“Suzanne, do you know if there is a toilet here?”

“Yes, it’s the first door down the hall.”

“The hall?”  I point behind her and she turns around searching.  “Do you have to go to the bathroom, Mom?”

“Yes, honey.”

“You were just coming out of the bathroom ten minutes ago, Mom, when I got here. Are you sure you have to go again?”

“Oh, I—”

“Or do you think you could wait until right before bed?”

“Okay. Yes, I can wait.”

Nightly Ritual #3

And that, of course, leads to the next part.

“Where am I sleeping tonight?”

“In your bedroom.”

“I have a bedroom?”

“Yes, it’s down the hall.” I’m pointing again.

“Down the hall?” She’s looking again.

“Yes. ‘Teresa’ and ‘Sarah’ have a room. ‘Dave’ and ‘Jim’ have a room. And you and Betty have a room.”

“Oh.”

“Do I have . . . ?” She points at her body.

“Your pajamas? Yes, all your clothes are there. You’re already in your pajamas.”

“Oh.”

She doesn’t believe me. She’ll never believe me. We do this every night, but she doesn’t recall any of it. Nothing about the hall is familiar to her, and she doesn’t remember Betty is sharing her room or even what Betty looks like. (No need to pay for a private room, people.)

Nightly Ritual #4

By this time, the rest of the residents are all in their beds. The staff are getting ready for the next day, preparing meds, doing whatever breakfast prep they can do in order for things to run smoothly in the morning. In the course of time, chopping or stirring sounds come from the kitchen.

“What is that noise?” Mom asks with concern.

“That’s Anne getting breakfast ready for tomorrow. She’s in the kitchen.”

“There’s a kitchen?”

“Yes,” pointing yet again. “Right next to the dining area.”

“The dining area?”

(I’m screaming inside, patient outside.) “Yes, that’s the table you all sit at.” I’m pointing again. It’s literally ten feet away.

She’s peering at the table. For her, it’s the first time she’s ever seen it although she sits there three times a day with the rest of the residents.

Nightly Ritual #5

More kitchen noises.

“What’s that noise?”

(Aggggggh!!) “That’s Anne cleaning up the kitchen.”

“Who’s Anne?”

(Give me strength.) “She’s the main lady here who takes care of you. You like her very much.”

“Oh.”

Every night. We go through Rituals 1-5 every night. So, when the night comes when she asks, “Why are those people staring at me through the window?” it’s a welcome variation.  I can leave wondering why her concept of tv changes from day to day instead of focusing on the frustration of the nightly rituals.

And no, it doesn’t help that I’ve pulled the drapes and there are no windows uncovered. That would require logic. Something in short supply these days.

 

For other posts related to memory, click here to read “Mom Discovers I Am Her Daughter,” click here to read “Continental Drift (Where Am I?),” and click here to read “Dealing with Delusions and Memory Loss.”)