Monday, January 18, 2016

The Keystone Cops RIde Again

It has been an interesting and exhausting week in CareGiverVille, USA. This week we transitioned Uncle Bill from independent (sort-of) living to the Memory Care Unit. Change is never good for Uncle Bill and so we thought we were prepared for everything. We were not.

Picture this scenario. We have moved into the new building. Uncle Bill's aide has helped us to get his stuff moved in efficiently and carefully. We decide to go to lunch together.  We head out the door, George and I, Uncle Bill with his walker, and his aide, Jackie. Despite the fact that he does not want to go, and says he is not hungry, he manages to scarf down his lunch. We start back for the new room. The trouble begins.
Uncle Bill takes the lead, away from the new building and back to the old building. He is moving faster with that walker than most joggers I have seen. We are huffing and puffing behind him. 

Me: Uncle Bill, you are going the wrong way!

UB: I know exactly where I am going!

George grabs hold of his walker to slow him down. UB flings himself away from the walker and hotfoots it toward the old building walkerless. That 87 year old can move. We wave over a security guard and he radios for help. Pretty soon we have a parade....Uncle Bill, Jackie (aide), George with the walker, me, the Security Guard and the head nurse all following along in hot pursuit.

The Keystone Cops in action.

Which way did he go?

And that was just the first day. He was fitted with an "Anti-Escape" thingy that he wears on his wrist. He keeps eyeing the Exit Door at the new place though.

Today he complained that he has not been outside all week. He wants to get out in the fresh air. I responded to that.

Me: UB, last time I took you somewhere, you ran away from me. I cannot keep up with you. I am not taking you outside myself.
UB: I did not run away. I just wanted to show you how to get to the old apartment.

Then, as usual, he changed the subject.
They say it takes a few weeks for them to adjust. The staff is very loving, and have lots of activities, which he refuses to participate in.
 It is hard being old.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Familiar and Unfamiliar

Familiar and Unfamiliar

I guess it was good to let UB know that he would be moving from his familiar apartment to an unknown place, at least to him, in the Memory Care Unit where he lives.  I know it is filled with loving and caring people, it is clean, bright and friendly, it has activities and fun things for the residents. But UB just sees it as a scary place that is not what he is used to. And it is making him….well, really crabby.

He is trying to gain control back. He wants to do the packing and the planning and make the decisions, all of which are impossible for him. He is angry with me for making decisions for him. He accuses George and I of wanting to steal all of his worldly belongings.
For the last few days, he has set up little tea parties in the living room and dining room. 
Tea Party Ala Uncle Bill
He expects people to come to visit, but is not sure why they don’t show up. He tells stories of groups of people visiting him in his living room, watching TV together. 

He is restless, pacing back and forth, endlessly searching for missing items. He has lost hearing aids, teeth, an adult bib, 2 checks from his annuity, and all of the mail that arrived for 2 weeks, till I had it switched over to my house.
Today we started to pack. It was stressful. I had to separate what he packs from what I pack, because not all of it is going to the new place. He is confused and not sure what belongs to him. (It all does but he thinks some of it belongs to the retirement association.) He keeps getting between me and what I am packing. 

My original intent was to stay all day till the packing was done but after 2 hours, I am done. 

Tomorrow the movers come…and we start again.