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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
The ups and downs of helping my dad care for my grandmother who suffers from Dementia
Junior Moment
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About this blog
By Carole Anderson
I am a local teacher. I have three daughters and a very, very busy life. My husband is a mental health therapist. He is probably the reason I stay sane. Family is the No. 1 priority in my life. My 88-year-old grandmother has dementia, and my father ...
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Life is Hard...If You Don't Know or Remember the Directions
I am a local teacher. I have three daughters and a very, very busy life. My husband is a mental health therapist. He is probably the reason I stay sane. Family is the No. 1 priority in my life. My 88-year-old grandmother has dementia, and my father is her primary guardian. She recognizes very few of her family members now. She does however remember me and my girls. Because of this, we are able to help to take care of her. With this blog, we share our memories, moments of insanity and our breakdowns. We have found that by seeing the humor with Dementia, we are able to survive. I hope this blog helps anyone taking care of a loved one that is dealing with a similar situation. Sometimes it helps knowing others are out there answering the same questions and just taking it one day at a time.
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If you are going to stay at Grandma's house, the rule is to be there around 6:00 PM.  Sundowners starts to set in and Grandma starts to get paranoid.  She begins calling Daddy every 15 minutes wanting him to come over.  She stays confused about where she lives.  She says that she has these feelings in her belly.  That statement was a new one for me.  She can feel that something is wrong in her belly.





Grandma's mind basically shuts down at night.  I think it is from being tired,  but mostly her mind is not making connections as well as it does during the day.





It was my turn to stay at Grandma's house.  I decided to see how long I could stay at my mother's house before she started calling.  I went to her house to put her teeth in the cabinet.  She was in the bed getting ready to go to sleep.  She had already put her teeth away.  JUST GREAT!  Another teeth hunt was about to happen.  I went into the long spill of how my husband and I were going to spend the night with her.  I told her that we would be back later because we had not had dinner yet.  She said it was ok and told me to go on.





I started the hunt in the kitchen.  Hunting for teeth has taken on a new twist.  She hides her teeth in any kind of container.  She hid her teeth in a huge crystal bowl, and she had just placed a small cup in the bottom of the bowl.  So when hunting for her teeth, I had to check every bowl, pot, and cup.  I got on top of the cabinet because I am vertically challenged, and started opening cabinet doors one by one.  She heard me in the kitchen.





She hollared, "Carole Anne, what in the world are you doing?"





As always, I told her that I was looking for her teeth because she hid them from me.





She yelled back at me and said, "Well, they are in the corner cabinet in a cup."





My grandmother has DEMENTIA!!!  She cannot remember my name for more than 10 seconds, but yet she had hid her teeth and remembered where she put them.  At first, I didn't believe her.  Then, I slowly got down and looked in the corner cabinet.  Right there on the side in a coffee cup, were Grandma's teeth.  I was shaking my head and laughing at the same time.





We all have those senior moments where we forget something.  For instance, I forget where I put my keys all the time.  Tonight, instead of forgetting where she put her teeth, Grandma had a junior moment and remembered something important for the first time in several years.





It was, by far, a very funny moment. Yet despite the laughter, it was a sweet moment as well. These are the times I cherish with my grandma. 

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