Friday, September 9, 2016

Sad Story


Back before 2012 we were taking care of Marion and George in Dartmouth, NS. I didn't know it, but she started to suffer from severe dementia shortly after George was put into the Veteran's care hospital. When I was in Winnipeg last month I picked up a long time family friend who is over 85 years old. He was acting strange and when I went to pick him up to bring him to my mom's place, he was still asleep (!).

I get him to my mom's and he's not talking much. So I carry conversation with my brother and mom instead. After an awkward hour or so, I bring him back to his apartment and leave.

Fast forward to this week. Nobody can reach him (I'll call him Jack for anonymous reasons). Jack isn't answering his phone. My mom's very worried because this isn't like him. Turns out he fell in his apartment and home care found him and helped him back up. Physically he's OK but mentally he's nuts.

  • Roaming the halls and knocking on random doors
  • Tapping the floor with a cane repeatedly and for no reason
  • Having 2 glasses of wine out for his "guests" who weren't there
  • Asking about his wife when she died 10 years ago
  • Attacking his family with a hammer and locking the doors so they can't get in

Yeah, so that is pretty sad. Seems like pure Alzheimers dementia with violence - very dangerous. His family is going to get power of attorney and have him admitted to the hospital for evaluation, likely having the police involved. He'll wind up in a long term care facility which specializes in caring for Alzheimers patients.

If you have never visited a ward of Alzheimer's patients, you really have no idea how hellish it is. People are mumbling, yelling, talking to themselves, sleeping in their chairs.... a sad thing to see really. The last person I knew who had it recently died last year (Mrs. Finley). By the end of it she was a comatose vegetable.

Its about safety and keeping the loved one in a facility that can look after them 24x7. It's not about "Locking away mom and dad in a home".

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