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.