Monthly Archives: September 2011

A Mind of His Own

Gpa has two walkers.  One a plain metal frame and the other a shiny red one with a seat.

I’ve been thinking of the plain one as the inside one and the red one as the one we take for our travels.  This way he can sit down when we are in a line at the post office, while I look at options at the grocery store or at the library while I pick up my requested materials.

Today he let me know that he wanted his red walker.  I told him where it was and thought that was enough.  He wanted to lay down so I helped him to his room.

I was working on the computer and kept his door open because sometimes, he lies down only long enough for me to leave the room, then he is up again.

Well good thing I was keeping my eye on him!  He got up and left the metal walker.  He was in search of the red one!!!  Oh no!   I really don’t think that one will be good for the mornings he decides to get up himself.

I told him tonight when I tucked him in that the doctor wants him to wait until I get him in the morning.  Let’s see if he remembers in the morning.

I hope so.

Still a Gentleman

Gpa is one of those men who belong in the ‘gentleman’ category.  He’s also been called a ‘Daper Dan’.

He still is.

I asked him today if he wanted to go to the post office with me.  He said he didn’t have any money.  I said he didn’t need money for the post office. He replied that he wanted to pay for the gas!

He was also concerned about his difficulty in walking.  We discussed the arthritis in his knees, which is a new thing since his dementia.  It isn’t something he ever knew.  He understood.  He asked how  the doctor knew about the arthritis.  So he pulled up his pants leg to look at his knees.  I showed him where his knees were enlarged and compared them to mine.

He was OK with that.

Then we had a lovely ride doing errands and he said thank you!

Great day with Gpa!

Busy Day

Today the plan was to get up and take Lillie to the airport then have lunch in Plano with my friend Leslie.

Usually he doesn’t get up until 6 but I heard his walker banging around at 5:30.  Which I discovered, we needed the extra time for eating and getting dressed.

I was so busy talking that I missed the exit to the airport and had to turn around.  Then for some reason my toll tag didn’t work.  I backed up and rolled forward a couple of times.  No dice.

So I got out of the car and talked to the booth attendant in the next aisle.  She said she couldn’t do anything to get the gate up.  I looked back and enough cars had shifted that I was able to back up and get in the next aisle.

Whew, got Lillie to the gate on time, even after all the mishaps!

Lunch with Leslie was great.  I hadn’t seen her in over a month.  We got caught up and Gpa had a protein drink.  I gave him some tuna and pasta but he didn’t like it.

We got there early and sat outside.  Gpa got to wave at a little girl and her family coming out.

On the way home, he fell asleep in the car and when I touched his arm, he woke up and said, “I’m not asleep” “I know where I am” and when we drove up to the house he said 613.

Now for a nap!

 

 

Feeding the Baby Bird

Gpa is not too interested in eating.  I’d be ok if he only had his beloved red bottle of diabetic protein drink, but it leaves him hungry a few hours later.

Oatmeal has a great way of satisfying the hunger but after a few bites, he stops eating.

OH, now he is at the point of being fed.  I’ll let him start out on his own, and then I’ll finish feeding him.  He’ll eat the whole thing!

This reminds me of my first husbands grandmother, Granny.  She was in a home and we went to visit her, I was about 20 and she was 88ish.  We arrived at meal time and though there was still food on her plate, she wasn’t eating.  Joe asked, if yoshe was hungry.  She replied, “Yes, but I can’t lift the spoon.”

I wish now I had thought to pick up the spoon and finish feeding her, but about the same time she was telling us that, the aide was gathering plates up.

Hope you are having a great day.  I’m adjusting to this new change in our routine.

Sunday Brunch

Gpa and I met with Lillie and some friends and baby June.  We had brunch at Cracker Barrel.

On the way there, Gpa started clicking his seat belt button.  I’m not sure why.   After the waiter took our orders, Gpa started whispering, “Let’s go!”

He stopped saying let’s go when Lillie held June so he could play with the baby. June grabbed Gpa’s finger and tried to get it in her mouth.  Neither were happy when Lillie stopped the game.

Great day!

 

 

Saturday with Co-op Kelly

Kelly came over and we had ricotta cheese pancakes, with applesauce, cinnamon and sour cream(optional).  After a great visit sharing Kelly’s Alaska cruise vacation and an update on my garden, we went to the library.

Kelly found a time management book.  She’s trying to juggle a family with a job and volunteer work.  I had a couple of books on request to pick up.  Gpa thinks he can’t read but if the words are large enough, he does just fine.

Reducing Stress for Dementia Caregivers

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I’m doing a great thing.  I don’t look at it that way.  I love my Gpa and want whats best for him.  If you knew him, you’d be staying home and taking care of him too.  No brainer!

I also know it is important to take care of me, and I do so.  Here are some things I do to reduce stress of caregiving:

1. Take deep breaths.  If your breath is shallow, you are not getting enough oxygen.  Breath is life!

2. Rub your palms together and place over your eyes.  The warmth will freshen your eyes and help you not feel tired.

3. Listen to your favorite music.   Music can set the mood, from relaxed to energy filled.

4. Take a walk.  Even if it is to the next room or out to the back yard.

5. Do some light stretches.  Hold each stretch and feel the tension ease away.

6. Count to ten.  Really!  It works.

 

Let me know what you do to reduce stress!

Grab the Finger Game

As Gpa started loosing weight, I was really worried that the end was near. Scary thought.

But every day I spend some time just sitting next to him. We will look at a pre-school book, write on a white board or play the ‘grab the finger game’.

This is a simple game. Gpa will sit with his palm up. I’ll gently poke it to see if he can grab it. When he does, watch out! He has quite a grip on him. and some times he will twist and I worry he will break my finger.

Umm, I think this is a sign that there’s still a lot of life in this old man.

I’m looking for a better game to play… Any ideas? Thanks!

Relationships

Relationships are important.  I heard someone’s advice that every decade, you should cultivate some friends in their 20’s.  This so makes sense to me!  As we get older, there are less people in that age range.  Really, how many people are available for a 99 year old play date?

Also, if you keep making new friends in their 20’s, you keep up to day with what is going on in the world.  And you can give some great advice cause you’ve been there, done that.

So call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.  Make plans to meet and catch up!  Life is too short.

Songs I’ve Been Singing Lately

Sometimes, as I do stuff during the day.  Songs you and I have known for years come to mind.  Oh the words may not be the same and sometimes they are.

When I help Gpa walk across the room, I sing “Me and My Shadow” only in my case, my shadow is in front of me.

As I help him to the bathroom I’ve been singing the following to the tune of “99 Bottles of Beer”

99 trips to the bathroom today.

99 trips to the bathroom.

cop a squat and sit on the pot.

98 trips to the bathroom today!

OK, I never get to the verse where it’s only 1 trip to the bathroom.  : )

What songs have you been singing lately?