Monday, May 31, 2021

Don't Let The Sun Go Down

I was driving home from the Nursing Home one night after visiting with Lizzie.

It had been an odd visit. Lizzie had exhibited extreme paranoia about another resident. He was someone she'd known for months but she was suddenly afraid of him. It didn't help when the poor man walked by us multiple times as we chatted.

Then Lizzie told me a story about how I watched myself begging for a library card. Both the Begging Me and the Watching Me wore the same bright yellow rubber boots. She was surprised I didn't remember watching the two of me.

Lizzie then told me about letting That Man into the house because his mother was an Artiste (said with a French accent) and they wanted to see her flower gardens. Not everyone had an Artiste wanting to see their gardens, so she'd let them into the basement to see the tulips. Wasn't I proud?

Of course I was.

Another evening of Sundowning in action.

(Photo by Anand Rathod on Unsplash)

On the way home, The Elton John song Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me came on the radio.

I've always liked the song, but that night I started to wonder.

Did Elton John and/or Bernie Taupin have some experience with dementia in their lives? Was the song alluding to Sundowning?

Probably not, but when you hear it, you might find some lines that make you wonder.

 What do you think?

Monday, May 17, 2021

Essential Caregivers in a Pandemic

 This pandemic has been hard on everyone.

We're very lucky with Lizzie's nursing home. The people are almost always kind and caring with her, even when they're understaffed.

Lizzie wasn't eating well during the early part of the pandemic and she wasn't thriving. Sis and I were declared essential caregivers to help her out.

This means we can go and visit her at meal times to help her get more fuel into her system.

It's made a huge difference for her. She's eating more and has regained the weight she lost. She interacts more with the staff even when we're not there. That one-on-one attention with us has helped.

We're lucky.

When we enter the home, we need to have proof of a negative COVID swab from the 4 previous days (which means we've had COVID swabs every 4 days since before Christmas). We wear a mask and a face shield. If there is a potential issue in the home, we wear full PPE.

Lizzie was taken aback by the masks and shields at first.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

She'd want to know why we were wearing blue makeup. She'd ask who we were. She'd say we looked awful.

It didn't take too long for her to get used to it, but it makes me wonder what her reaction will be when we don't need to wear the masks and shields anymore.

Will the change throw her off again? Or will she slip back into recognition of our faces?

Only time will tell.

How have you been coping with the lockdowns?