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Sandy Navas
January 1st, 2012, 01:45 PM
I popped in to see Mom at the nursing home the other day. For those who do not know, Mom will be 96 in March and has dementia (Alzheimers) and at times can be quite cantankerous. In fact, I was told that the night before she'd truly slugged one of the aides. She wasn't in the best of moods when I got there and was fairly agitated. She's in a wheel chair although she can walk when she's wanting to (even RUNS from the nurses at times). So, here I am pushing her wheel chair and she's jabbering incoherently, and restless.

I leaned over and said "Mom, I really love you a lot." And she replied so the world could hear: "Well, you should, I've been trying to knock some sense into that thick head of yours for a long time."

Here's the funny part. I was relating the story to my brother and sister the next day and my brother pipes up with: "And you thought Mom didn't recognize you."

Gotta love the elderly. I'm traveling in her footsteps.

One of the gifts to the grand kids this year was a year-long family pass to the Science Center in Kansas City. The strange part is that three years ago we also gave them a year-long pass and they insist I went with them SEVERAL times. I know for a FACT that I have never stepped foot inside the place. Now who is wrong? Is my mind going or are they just imagining things? They tried to tell me all about it and absolutely NOTHING sparks a bit of memory. Yet I can tell you exactly where I was at various times in my life. Go figure.

I'll be another year older soon - and I'll probably lose another section of my memory. I just hope it isn't at the Science Center and not because I have such a thick head.

KathyAire
January 1st, 2012, 02:10 PM
Sandy,
Before my mom died, she suffered like your mom. Here is the humor.
Being the devote Catholic that she was, one day the priest came to visit her. Mom was sitting in her rocking chair and had a lap quilt over her legs. I have quilting in my blood from my dear mom. Only it didn't start to flow until after she was gone. Back to the priest. He said, "Mary, that sure is a pretty quilt you have." Mom said "I needed something to keep my ass warm'. We all knew that mom would have been horrified if she would have realized what she said.

Patrice
January 1st, 2012, 02:50 PM
I know how you feel Sandy! My mom has the same thing and in a nursing home. Some of the things that have come out of her mouth have just floored us...We were starting to wonder if there were family secrets we didn't know about...I figure I will be right behind her as well. I sometimes think my husband is going to get it before I do. Our poor kids if we both get it..lol

Sandy Navas
January 1st, 2012, 02:53 PM
Sandy,
Before my mom died, she suffered like your mom. Here is the humor.
Being the devote Catholic that she was, one day the priest came to visit her. Mom was sitting in her rocking chair and had a lap quilt over her legs. I have quilting in my blood from my dear mom. Only it didn't start to flow until after she was gone. Back to the priest. He said, "Mary, that sure is a pretty quilt you have." Mom said "I needed something to keep my ass warm'. We all knew that mom would have been horrified if she would have realized what she said.

It is amazing, how verbal they become, isn't it. I was laughing with the nursing staff because the last time Mom was hospitalized they sent a male nurse to help change her Depends. I couldn't believe the trash mouth my Mother developed all of a sudden. The nurse left and shortly a female replaced him and all was well.

Loonwatcher
January 1st, 2012, 03:06 PM
Oh Sandy. Don't be embarrassed by anything she says; just enjoy the hilarity of it. For my mom, before she passed, she also became very forgetful. She didn't do anything but sit around and I have a less than exciting life so when we got together we really didn't have much to talk about. The positive thing about her loosing her memory was that I could bring our vacation pictures and show them to her over an over because she wouldn't remember the next time. She enjoyed it every time.

a1angiem
January 1st, 2012, 03:42 PM
Sandy...a few days before my Dad died in hospital of Alzheimer's, I was walking down the hall slowly with him. For more than 3 months of visits he didn't really know who I was or converse much. But that day, as we walked, I told him I loved him and he very precisely turned to me and said it in return. My father was British and NEVER said those words to me. I to this day consider that the most wonderful gift he gave me! It was just such a coherent, clear sentence and really weird that he would say it to me then!

MRoy
January 1st, 2012, 05:16 PM
My mom got forgetful about many things, but never about her money. She always kept too much cash in her wallet and if she was hospitalized the wallet was turned over to me to guard with my life. During one of those stays, she wanted to give my brother money to pay a bill for her and had me fetch the wallet. There she sat in the hospital bed, half zoned-out on medication, could barely put together a coherent sentence, but never missed a beat as she counted out the money! She's been gone over 3 years now, but we still laugh about drugged-up mom counting her money so perfectly.

Meli
January 1st, 2012, 05:32 PM
Mom had early dementia before her stroke, but the stroke (because it was an active bleed) took her about 5 - 10 years further dementia-wise. Still knows who we are, but not great at conversations now. A couple months ago, I was at her house, decided to heat up some soup for her. I slipped into my best Julia Child accent and said, "Today we are going to make Cog-au-vin!" I kept going as I opened the soup. "Listen, Julia, just hurry up and cook my lunch!" This was said with a laugh. I had her wheelchair pushed up close to the stove so she could "supervise". A few minutes later, I was cutting buttered toast diagonally in quarters and arranging it on a plate, and had my back to her. "Be sure to arrange your toast points artistically on the --" WHACK! She had grabbed a dish towel off the front of the stove and smacked my backside with it, then just giggled. When mom's in a good mood, she's hysterical.

meemeecyn
January 1st, 2012, 05:47 PM
Oh, Sandy and Ladies...you do bring back such memories! Thank you for the smiles, too. My Mom had dementia as a result of circulatory deficits. As bad as dementia can be, it gave me a gift as my Mom was actually able to show her feelings and let me help her. She was fiercely independent before and kept her feelings deep inside her, at least the good ones. It is very comforting to find the silver lining in that cloud! Thank you for sharing all of yours.
Happy New Year, my Dear Quilting Friends.
Cynthia

Divine Daisy
January 1st, 2012, 08:43 PM
my Mam is in a care home too with vascular dymentia. Apart from telling me she doesnt like what i am wearing every time she sees me and that i need to get my hair cut, she tells everyoneeeeeeeeeeee that they are fat

inspired
January 1st, 2012, 08:52 PM
Sandy; I think I may know your Mom...just kidding! Having dealt with this insidious disease both the good and bad I just have to tell you this. Just remember the funny stuff not the bad. It will help you and your family down the path!!! Val

Sandy Navas
January 1st, 2012, 10:34 PM
my Mam is in a care home too with vascular dymentia. Apart from telling me she doesnt like what i am wearing every time she sees me and that i need to get my hair cut, she tells everyoneeeeeeeeeeee that they are fat

When my brother and his wife go to visit Mom, she always asks him "Who is that ugly woman you walked in here with?"

lilmouse
January 2nd, 2012, 01:34 AM
I have a customer who is suffering with Alzeimers (sp) and she can be a pain in the butt....but I love her cuz normally she is very sweet...normally! I am about the only one when her family comes to eat that can give her her medicine...she won't take it at home and they do the exact same thing that I do....I put her pills in a spoon of applesauce with an extra spoonful to wash it down...she takes it very docilely from me but will fight with her husband and kids when they try......some days she will love a certain food and the next she will hate it! I deal with her the best but only because my first babysitting job as a teenager was with the senior lady living next door when she started having TA's all the time..so have worked with the elderly all of my life

lawork1211
January 2nd, 2012, 02:54 AM
My grandfather was in a nursing home due to Alzheimers. He kept trying to leave and go home, so they put an ankle alarm on him that would go off if he went past the nurse's station. He told my Aunt when she went to visit, to be careful by the elevator. He didn't know how, but the nurses will tackle you there every time. He never even realized that they had him lojacked! He might have forgotten a lot, but he always kept trying to figure out how they could catch him at that elevator.

phoots
January 2nd, 2012, 03:01 AM
My Grandmother was in a nursing home with dementia as well. My Mom and sister visited her frequently because it seemed that my sister was the only one who could calm my Grandma down. On one of my infrequent visits (I was living in Alabama and she was in San Diego) Grandma was telling us stories of when my Mom was growing up. Grandma insisted that my Mom had been taken by a priest at one time. My Mom later told us that it never happened. But I do understand about their aggression. My Grandma was notorious for hitting and slapping other patients, aides, and her doctor.

Grandma would never call any of us by our real names. My sister was usually called Mary, who was Grandma's sister, and my Mom was called several different names. My Mom and sister were there the night my Grandma passed away. Just before she stopped breathing my Grandma looked at my Mom and said, "Julie." Just that one word made my Mom cry for that is her real name. Moments later Grandma was gone.

I have wonderful memories of my Grandma, including the stories she told while in her dementia. I believe I got the quilting "gene" from Grandma. I'm so glad she was part of my life!

Pam in Vegas

Meli
January 2nd, 2012, 04:50 AM
My Grandmother had cancer that metastasized on her brain. This, thankfully, short-circuited the pain receptors and gave her another several months. She lived too far away for me to visit, but I called her every couple of weeks. For two weeks, she was on a cruise. Every time I called her, she would give me an update on all the shows she'd seen, all the fun activities on the ship, and how nice and attentive the "crew" were. Another time, I apparently tracked her down at her friend's garden party. She suddenly switched gears, asked me how the adoption plans were going, asked about the family. Then ended the conversation abruptly by telling me the maid was there serving ice cream and she'd have to talk to me later. Her last few months were an interesting mixture of being very aware of current family events, but taking lovely trips, all from the comfort of her private room at the nursing home. Love those stories!

Sandy Navas
January 2nd, 2012, 11:48 AM
My grandfather was in a nursing home due to Alzheimers. He kept trying to leave and go home, so they put an ankle alarm on him that would go off if he went past the nurse's station. He told my Aunt when she went to visit, to be careful by the elevator. He didn't know how, but the nurses will tackle you there every time. He never even realized that they had him lojacked! He might have forgotten a lot, but he always kept trying to figure out how they could catch him at that elevator.

I am loving ALL these stories. Have to share that Mom was still at home and 86 YO when I called her one time. She sounded out of breath. As I questioned her, she shared that a cousin had been there and Mom had convinced her and her kids to pick all the apples since the trees were loaded. The reason Mom was breathless? They had missed a few apples at the top of the tree and Mom climbed up there to get them. Don't let anything go to waste now, okay?

Forward to the time we had to place her in the nursing home. It was a bright, sunny and very warm day when they opened the back door and took the residents into the courtyard to enjoy the fresh air. All enclosed by the walls of the building, the only outside exit was a wooden gate that was approximately 6 or 7 foot tall. Lo and behold. Mom climbed over the fence, opened the gate from the outside, and let the residents out!!! They have watched her closer since then.

K. McEuen
January 2nd, 2012, 04:22 PM
My friend Ellee's dad had Alheimers. She was telling me that during one of their family gatherings her mom, sister and her were in the kitchen one morning when Dad came down. They said good morning, Dad walked over to her mom and said "Lady, I don't know who you are, but thanks for sleeping with me last night!" She said her mom had a somewhat mortified look on her face, but that they had a good laugh about it later.

Ellee's theory behind it all was that you either had to laugh about it or you'd end up crying and laughing was a whole lot better.

KathyAire
January 2nd, 2012, 04:49 PM
My friend Ellee's dad had Alheimers. .... said "Lady, I don't know who you are, but thanks for sleeping with me last night!".
A lady in our club said her husband (suffering from the illness) carried around a picture of his wife (herself). The picture was taken some 50 years ago. He told every that it was his sweetheart. He showed it to his wife and said it was his sweetheart. She said 'I know that, it's me'. He said 'you wish'.

Nena
January 3rd, 2012, 12:50 AM
Ladies---I feel very fortunate that I have not had to suffer through this awful disease with someone that I love and is dear to me. I do however have taken care of a few patients with this. Your stories have made me laugh with warmness in my heart. Hard to find the silver lining in a dark cloud. God bless them all.

inspired
January 3rd, 2012, 08:33 PM
Ok here is my funny story...When my Dear Grandfather was in a nursing home (with dementia) my uncle called to check up on him one day. His nurse said he seems to be ok but I think he is having trouble with his dentures and is having a lot of trouble eating. Thing is he had not worn dentures for years !!!! I am not sure if they ever found the owner of them!