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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
Grandma Fears
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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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Dementia has almost put Grandma in the state of fear all the time.  She is scared of someone coming in the door at night and losing her teeth.  I stayed a couple of nights and witnessed the fear of "the man" and losing her teeth.





I arrived at her house early.  We watched a little tv together.  She likes Wheel of Fortune.  She doesn't really get into the game but likes Vanna's dresses.  We had a good visit.   Then I decided to head to the back bedroom to go to bed.





Grandma asked if I wanted to sleep with her.  I told her I was fine in the back bedroom.  She sarcastically asked me if I wanted the bed all to myself.  I tried to respond but all I got out was a simple "Yes".





Grandma:  Yeah!  Selfish aren't you!  I hope that guy gets you tonight and then you will scream for me to come in here!  I won't come because you don't want me in here.





As quick as she told me how selfish I was, she then turned and told me that she didn't want me to slip out of the bed and out the front door.  She knows my daddy and he won't allow that foolishness!





Another night, I stayed with her.  We did  the routine of getting ready for bed.  I put her teeth in the cabinet.  I listened to the story about how the woman comes in her house everyday and takes the mates to all her shoes.  This woman evidently only needs one shoe and likes to surprise people.  She also likes to come to Grandma's house and move her stuff around.   This action just infuriates Grandma.  She does not like people to touch her stuff.  We spent an hour hiding stuff under my bed and in the closet in my room.





Around 8:15, she came in and asked me:  You got my teeth?  There is a man that comes every night and gets my teeth. (my dad)  He puts them in the cabinet in the bathroom.  I don't want him to get them tonight.  I will hide them in the window.





I responded with a nod and told her to go ahead.  She hid the teeth and left the room.





About 20 minutes later, she came back in the room:  You got my teeth?  There is a man that comes every night and gets my teeth.  He puts them in the cabinet in the bathroom.  I don't want him to get them tonight.  I am going to hide them in the closet.





I nodded and told her where she had hid them in the window.  She moved them to the closet and went back to bed.





This occurred about 8 more times.  She hid them in the dresser, under the bed, in the cabinet, on the shelf, in a box, and in the kleenex.  Same question and same story about "the man" coming in every night and getting them.





The last time she came in the room was around midnight.  She peeked in the room and wanted to know if I had her teeth.





Me:  Yes, I have your teeth.  There is a man that comes in every night and gets your teeth.  He puts them in the cabinet in the bathroom.  Tonight, we decided to hide them in the window, in the closet, in the dresser, under the bed, in the cabinet, on the shelf, in a box, and finally in the kleenex.  He isn't going to get them tonight.





Grandma:  Well!  You think you know everything......DON'T YOU?





She slammed the door as she left the room.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to not laugh out loud at her when she says these things?







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