April 30, 2013–singing a chorus of..you’re fired

It has not been a good few weeks.  Her dementia is progressing.  Thinking she might have another UTI, I asked and her doctor agreed to put her on a course of antibiotics, to no avail.  About the only things she remembers are how to put on her seat belt, my name and William’s name, and that she likes to visit me because everything I fix for her is “tasty.”  Oh, and she loves to give William “skritches.”

She’s not sure where “her chair” is in my kitchen, and most of the time she can no longer find her way through the kitchen and a corner of the dining room to the powder room, a distance of about 25 feet, without help.  It’s not that she can’t walk, but more that she can’t–or won’t lift her head enough to –see.  Bent in an L-shape, she looks at the floor and doesn’t understand why she can’t find her way around.

She still feeds herself and can usually handle her own toileting, but seems confused by seemingly insignificant things.  She doesn’t know where she is or how she got there, and she’s scared.

A high point has been the CDs that our friend Al has made for her.  I gave him a list of about three dozen popular songs from the first quarter of the 20th century, all of which I learned to play years ago from her mother’s sheet music.  He pulled the original, very scratchy recordings off the internet and copied them for her.  She grins listening to them, and sings along with most of the choruses.

But reports from WP have not been positive.  She has become stubborn and argumentative, even somewhat combative, if you can imagine an almost 98 year old woman kicking and scratching.  This morning she got mad at one of the aides who has been there longer than anyone else, “forbade” her from entering her room, and told her in no uncertain terms, “you’re fired.”

When I found out about this, I tried talking with her on the phone, but if she was rational, she certainly was pretending not to understand anything I said.

WP has been good to her and for her, and is close enough that I can take her out a couple times a week.  But they have guidelines they must follow, and taking abuse from residents, regardless of the cause, isn’t included.  The choices for nursing homes are extremely limited and overall depressing.  The closest are more than half an hour away.  But I fear it is time to get her on some waiting lists.

Here are two photos taken a week ago.

1. ERF:Wm3.ERF:Wm

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About estherfromolmsted

written and maintained by Tina
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2 Responses to April 30, 2013–singing a chorus of..you’re fired

  1. Steph says:

    oh man. that must be really tough. I remember when Grandpa got to this stage. It is very scary for them because they just don’t understand what is happening so they start to act defensive and illogical. Not sure if I told you about the night he would not go to sleep becuase he couldn’t remember who Tom was and was worried about me being alone with him! Poor guy was trying to protect me. I finally got him to say what he was worried about and he was genuinely afraid of Tom doing something to me. So I had to get Dad to come up stairs and show wedding photos to him and convince him to go to bed. This was all in the 6 months before he passed away. It is so sad at the end to see them losing their grip on reality, but we just love them anyway (= Layla was a year old at the time and we were all living together and it was a great comparison between caring for a 1 year old and a 93 year old (= We all just need to be taken care of!

  2. Margot Peter says:

    This advance is the hardest, and few, if any nursing homes are anything but depressing. I’m so sorry but sounds like its “time” to make that move if she’s combative, before they fire her. Keep your chin up !

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