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Friday, February 22, 2013

Unexpected events February 22,2013

I visited with my husband Bob yesterday at the memory care center.It was a chilly 50 degree Arizona day; our light hoodies were no match for the wind. We sat inside his room. When he asked what we would do, I shrugged my shoulders and he said,"We'll just take it easy." Great idea. He sat in his recliner and I picked up a magazine, moved my chair near his and began to turn the pages.
"Let's go get a cup of coffee," Bob jumped up. My husband's Alzheimer's disease has robbed him of short term memory. When he sits and he's not engaged in doing something, he does not remember why he is sitting, so he gets up to find an activity which will organize his mind.
When the care worker brought him a cup of coffee and some graham crackers, Bob took one taste and said,"This is hot liquid, but it doesn't taste good." I think they used powdered creamer, which I know Bob never liked. He can taste the chemicals in it.
As we were sitting at the table, a woman entered the unit and asked the worker to open Bob's room door. Why was she there? I wanted to know.
It was the replacement hospice worker, "a little late" (at 3:45 pm) to give Bob a morning shower. I asked her to leave, that Bob could wait another day for his shower. She passed by the table where we were sitting on her way out, introduced herself to Bob, who turned to me and said, "You can leave now. You don't have to do anything for me. She can do it."
I was flabbergasted, but pleased to be wrong. They walked into Bob's room as I chatted with some folks. A few minutes later, out they walked. "Bob permitted me to shave him," the worker reported, "But then, as I started to undress him, he indignantly said, 'What are you doing?' When I explained, he said 'Stop that now.' and he walked out."
"Let's get out of here," Bob said to me. "This place is crazy."
It is so important to keep to the simple routines for memory care residents---at home or in a care facility. They are rattled when someone new does something totally unexpected.
 

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