And it gets worse

After my experience with my mom’s bullying and stepping on a lady’s foot on purpose, I thought that was the worst it could be. Ha! I was wrong.

Being forced to step out from behind the stained glass and to see clearly was not desirable. Can’t I stay behind the softly muted window and see things through a rose coloured pane of glass a little longer? A shocking episode seen through clear glass is not at all comfortable but there is nothing about Alzheimer’s that is comfortable.

My dad got a call from the day nurse at my mom’s care centre yesterday – twice. My normally gentle mannered mother was violent against an aide. Apparently, she was getting some help toileting and wanted to go for a walk before fully dressed. The aide said she wasn’t going anywhere until she pulled up her pants. When the aide bent over to help her pull up her pants, my mom took two handfuls of hair in her fists and pulled. The aide eventually got my mom to let go of her hair but as she stood up my mom slapped her hard across her face.

This is shocking! Horrifying! Embarrassing! Concerning!

Tomorrow we will find out more when we meet with the nurse to talk about it.

My instinct is to be apologetic, embarrassed and reassuring that this is NOT the woman we know and love.

But what if something was going on and she had every right to defend herself? How would we ever know? She can’t remember 10 minutes ago nor does she often speak in understandable sentences. She is at the mercy of these people hired to care for her. With that thought I think some lessons in martial arts might be necessary for my mom to protect herself. ; )

What is to be done? She just had her medicine adjusted 2 weeks ago and is so drugged that she sleeps through breakfast and lunch and is usually drugged and quiet when I come to visit in late afternoon. The violent woman reported about here is not the docile, drugged, quiet woman I see at the home when I visit her. Minus the foot crushing incident of course.

I am going to go and talk to the nurse with my dad but I have no illusion that I can stay behind the stained glass then.

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My Mother the Bully

The stained glass has been spun in a new direction – one that I really didn’t think I’d ever be contemplating. My mom a bully? Could it be? Is it possible? As a mom who has been a scaredy cat most of her life to a woman enjoying bullying someone else? Well, you judge, if you will.

During my visit the other day, I was caught by surprise when my mom did something totally out of character. Supper is at 5pm at the home but everyone gathers and sits at the tables in their spots at 4pm.

I am visiting at the usual time 4 – 5ish and arrive to the ladies already sitting around the table silently. I pull up a big chair beside my mom and the lady right next to me, but at the end of the table, slowly scoots her chair away. She is a little lady who kind of sinks into her wheel chair and looks very, well, old. I am slightly amused as I watch her slowly move her place mat, silverware and angle her chair away. After visiting with my mom for a while, I see movement under the table and I see my mom slowly move her foot over to this little old lady’s foot and she presses down on it. The little lady turns her head (kind of like an owl, really) and looks at mom who is sitting there with a smirk on her face. Appalled, I say “Mom! What are you doing? Why did you do that?” and mom says “She likes it.” What was I supposed to say to that? I look at the other lady and she does have this slight impish look but I say to my mom “I don’t think she liked that. Look at her face. Does she look like she likes it when you stomp on her foot?” My mom, very smug, says “Yes, she does.” I feel like I am back at work and dealing with 3 and 4 year olds. “I’m just teasing her.” Yeah, well, teasing is not fun for the one being teased. My mom is not at all repentant and I send an apologetic look to this little old lady. I spend the next few minutes watching for mom’s foot to travel under the table again and this time I would intervene. Who knew she would be her own worst enemy and become someone she always despised – a bully? Shocking.

Maybe now the one day a few weeks back when mom was saying no one wanted to be her friends (again – flashback to preschool) is more understandable. If she’s stepping on people’s feet or goodness knows what else, of course they wouldn’t want to be her friend. How do I help my mother, the bully, who can’t remember what happened 15 minutes ago?

I want to plead with the little old lady, “Use your words! Tell her no in a strong voice. Tell her how it makes you feel! Tell her how you want to be treated.” But alas, she won’t remember 10 minutes from now anyways.

Where does this bullying behaviour come from? She’s been the victim of bullies growing up, hates hearing about them and yet she is doing the same sort of thing. I consider the little old lady – she definitely would seem like a vulnerable victim. Finally power over another person from my mom’s perspective? Something still resonates in her to right the situation and be a bully because she was always a victim? It seems that it would make her more empathetic and certainly not take on the bully role.

This is just all sickening to me. Another thing that I didn’t anticipate with my mom in her senior’s home.

Bad daughter by Tracy

Yesterday afternoon I was a bad daughter. Selfish. I dared to just peek through the stained glass to see if there was movement, making sure I wasn’t seen until I could analyze the situation. Her whereabouts, her agitation, her sadness, her mood. Stained glass isn’t known for its transparency – I’ll have to step around.

Breathing a sigh of relief when I noticed she was snoring softly in her comfy chair and not wanting to wake her to avoid an emotional visit, my husband and I crept in and sat down. I observed her for a few minutes while my husband quickly tuned into the sports channel that was on.

I paused a minute thinking, “Sports? She doesn’t like sports. Turn the channel!” Then I remembered that her beloved show “Murdoch” had her thinking there were murderers running around and people trying to poison her and we had to avoid that. Then the not-so-benign Weather Channel had her worrying anxiously about hurricanes, tornadoes and snow storms. Maybe the Sports Channel would be the best – but hockey was kind of rough, boxing definitely violent, skeet shooting has guns – let’s hope there is a lot of golf!! Golf is benign. I hope.

I decide to move around a bit and water her plants which were looking quite dry.

If she doesn’t wake with this movement, then we would bolt, I determined. Once that was done and my husband was wheeling around the room in her wheelchair (do boys ever stop playing?!) she still hadn’t ceased her soft snores.

I gave my husband “the look” (we had hoped for this scenario in the car and planned a quick escape) and we took off, feeling guilty for not waking her for a visit but feeling like we escaped a bullet. I consoled myself with many thoughts as we made our way out – she has a very hard time waking up and it takes a lot of time and effort; she needs her sleep; she looks so peaceful (no mumbling or agitated movements), the aides will wake her for supper soon and lastly – she won’t remember if we were there or not. Maybe she will know I was there because I left a magazine about the royal couple and new baby. Hopeful thought, but unlikely she’ll even realize it was a new magazine.

It is far more likely that she will be looking for her own baby later that night.

What a bad daughter I am.

I determine I’ll visit her the next day. Better start psyching myself up now. Why is it that my heart aches and tears are falling from my eyes?

Your Mother’s Loving Hands Originally posted on Home Helpers Home Care Chippewa Falls

Home Helpers Home Care Chippewa Falls

We often tire and resent taking care of our older Mother’s and Fathers but Home Helpers Home Care would like to send you into your weekend with a beautiful poem called “Her Hands” by Maggie Pittman. 

http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/her-hands

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Idea from Adam Sandler’s ’50 First Dates’ used to soothe dementia patients Originally posted on Global News

Very interesting

Global News

NEW YORK — For 94-year-old Louise Irving, who suffers from dementia, waking up every day to a video with a familiar face and a familiar voice seems to spark a flicker of recognition.

“Good morning, merry sunshine, how did you wake so soon?” Irving’s daughter, Tamara Rusoff-Hoen, sings in a video playing from a laptop wheeled to her mother’s nursing home bedside.

As the five-minute video plays, with stories of happy memories and get-togethers, Irving beams a bright smile before repeating the traditional family send-off.

“Kiss, kiss … I love you.”

READ MORE: Could this new test pave the way for detecting Alzheimer’s?

Such prerecorded messages from family members are part of an apparently unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale aimed at helping victims of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness that can often cause them agitation and…

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Sleep On What?? as posted on alzheimersforpathfinders

alzheimersforpathfinders

I sometimes sleep on the floor, cause he wiggles & shakes-

A very poor sleep this shaking he makes!

Yes, it’s hard on the floor, I’ve made a little bed-

Out of blankets & a pillow for under my head!

I just get to sleep & I hear a voice in the dark-

A very loud voice- yes, he surely does bark!

“Are you there?” -I really really don’t think you are-

Answer me now – have you gone very far?

I answer -” I’m here” – from down on the floor-

If I don’t answer, he heads for the door!

Sometimes he reaches out & touches my arm-

If I’m not in reach, he thinks I’ve been harmed!

He gets up & turns on every light-

Looking for me or his glasses,  in a fright!

The stillness of the floor is restful to me-

If just once in a…

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Who Gives This Woman? as posted on Traversing with Tippy

Wow. Honest.

TraversingWithTippy

A week ago today, two dear friends married, and I had the honor of being in their wedding party. We had all gone to college together, and everyone was friends with everyone so it was, in effect, a giant reunion. At least, the kind of reunion you look forward to…unlike most.

The days leading up to the wedding were busy but fun:

Last Thursday myself, the maid of honor, and the other bridesmaids threw the bachelorette party. Laughter, games, and a lot of sangria later we drifted to sleep, looking forward to the next day of hilarity and nonsense.

Last Friday we all got manicures and pedicures. My ticklishness reminded me why these are things I do not do often. The brides mother brought us all Lebanese food (their family is Lebanese after all) and we awkwardly stuffed ourselves as best as we could with wet nails. That evening we had…

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