Just thought I'd share the story of my morning(s) here... Please take this in the spirit in which it is intended - or, in the words of Jimmy Buffett, "If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."


Got up at 0615, poured my coffee, sat down at the computer and started checking my email. Hubs gets up ditto. Suddenly, a voice floats out from the bedroom down the hall...

Mom: "Hello? What time is it? Oh God, I'm so coooooold!" (It happens to be 65° outside, and the heater is on in her room.)

So I get up, go in her room, and find that she's thrown off her covers. I cover her back up, crank up the heater a notch or two, and...

Me: "Mom, it's only 0630. I'll be back when it's time to get up."
Mom: "I woke up earlier and I was hot. Now I'm cold."
Me: "Well, I put your covers back on and turned up your heater. I'll be back when I wake up a little. I just got out of bed a few minutes ago."
Mom: "Okay."

Five minutes later...

Mom: "Oh God, I'm so miserable! I need a pain pill. No, I need TWO pain pills."

And then...

Mom: "Hello? Are you there? I can't remember what you said you were going to do. Were you going back to bed, or are you up playing with the kitty? I can't remember. Hello?"

Hubs: "Geez, if you went back to bed, you wouldn't be there long, wouldja?"

Mom: "Hello? Is anybody there? Did you go back to bed? Are you asleep? Hello? Oh God, I'm so miserable! I need my pain pill. Oh, and I'm wet all over. I need my coffee! Are you up? Hello?"

Me (hauling myself out of my chair): "And this is why I drink."

Hubs: "Ah'm thinkin' about takin' it up m'self."

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When you lose your objectivity and sense of humor is when you are going to need a care giver. Dementia care is as absurd as it is exhausting. People who haven’t been through it personally have no blinking idea.

My once sweet mama has Sundowners, Sunrisers, Nooners and every damn hour otherwise now. She's afraid of the elevated toilet seat, often not pulling her pants and/or depends down but has no problem pulling them down in kitchen while sibs are here or to attempt to urinate on a kitchen chair, the antique & small lidded aluminum waste can in the bath. And or course she's resistant & physically combative to any help during her self inflicted dilemmas.

Note to early bird, I would wonder how he might treat a patient, especially one in a wheel chair, or just an able bodied senior, that moves, walks or talks slowly, or has a smelly mess, when a family member is not around. No excuse for anyone to be treated badly. I would never leave anyone alone with him. Just my thoughts.

Just 3 minutes late? Earlybird, how dare you be treated that way! That is so disrespectful to you and your wheelchair-bound mother. Not that it should make any difference. They might have been having a good day but they need to appreciate the difficulties that carers, in particular, operate with.
In Australia we no longer treat our medical professionals as gods. Respect yes, reverence, NO! Given that we often have to wait up to an hour for our very popular GP, and despite our booked appointment, I would have given a 'now you know how it feels, doc' if he complained. In your circumstances, the receptionist would have been given a very disrespectful suggestion that she get back in her box.
It helps to be aged, it helps to be well-known, it helps to have a reciprocated wit and sense of humour, but one can still make it be known someone has pushed one too many buttons when we are having a bad day.

Got mom up early in the morning to get mom ready for her doctors appointment. We were getting a very good head start this am, and then construction, backed up traffic for miles. Caregivers getting quite stressed because doctor is always on time, and does not like lateness. Rushed like mad thought I would get a ticket, but didn't. Ran down the hall with my mother in her W/C to the office out of breath, and when we arrived receptionist stated I was 3 minutes late. Well as she was bringing us into the room, and she was in front of us, I almost ran her over. She jumped aside and gave me a dirty look. I told her we were never late for the last twenty years. Boy was I irritated. I told the doctor about it , and he wanted to know where the exact construction was located. Not too long after the visit we got a letter in the mail notifying all patients to leave earlier because of construction.

Yes laughs are what we all need. Not laughs at the person we are caring for but later in private, about the situation at that time, or remembering it years later. So many events to laugh about that was encountered with my little Mom. A retired OB nurse, in her 90s with Alzheimers, after my caregiving in her condo it was best that she was moved into memory care home. She thought she was a nurse at the home and they let her think that because it seemed to keep her calmer. Ha! One day the "real nurse" informed me, she fired him twice in that shift. I laughed and said that's what he got for letting her think she worked there and be glad she wasn't the head nurse!

Another day I was informed my little mother had organized other residents to help throw the very large round dining table out the floor to ceiling wall to wall window to the courtyard, so they could escape!! Mind you, on each side of this huge window to the lovely courtyard were unlocked doors to the fenced in courtyard, so the residents could come and go there at anytime. But they were going to escape. I called my sister, who was out of state and informed her she might hear of a mutiny at a Alzheimer care home in FL on the evening news. She said, "Let me guess, Mom was the organizer?"

Or when we moved her into the home, we were told it was fine to hang pictures on the walls of her room so she would feel more at home. Do that we did. We had her room looking so nice. Including a needle work picture she had made, hanging over her bed and pictures of family hanging on other walls. Only to find she had riped down every one of them. I forgot to mention, my little mother was only 4'9", so I knew she had to stand on the bed to get the needlepoint down.

At another stage, walking with her walker, she would walk down the hall calling out to employees and others, "Look out girls, coming through". Or would say, "Passing water and gasoline". The employees asked me where all this came from. I told them, being a nurse back in her day, nurses passed water to their patients. But they wondered were the passing gasoline came in. After much thought, I said, "She most likely was passing gas as she went along on her duties and gasoline came to mind".

Laughs that helped soften the oh so tough times. Mom passed 12 years ago at age 94 and the training I had then is now helping me as my husband's caregiver. We must never forget, if their brain was working right, all the things they do, or say would not happen and they would not want it to happen. One of the things that is hard, is to remember they are adults that act as a child, many times but they can not help it. We can not expect them to remember or to learn. We have to know that we give them the very best care that we can and do it out of love. Blessings to each and every one of you.

Before going into a memory care unit almost 9 months ago, my mother (Mother) lived with my sister (Daughter #2) and her husband (SIL). I am Daughter #1 and we have a much younger sister who is Daughter #3.
The following is a small sample of a GOOD day:

6 00 am Daughter #2 and SIL wake, shower, get dressed for the day.
6 30 am Daughter #2 takes thyroid med to Mother, chats for 10 minutes, goes to work.
6 30 am SIL unpacks dishwasher while coffee beans grinding, makes his one coffee for the day, chills out on back deck listening to morning song of bird life.
6 40 am Mother toddles into the kitchen, cannot find the cat’s cooked chicken breast where she left it last night, then goes to laundry, sorts clothes, starts washing machine.
6 45 am SIL investigates, finds Mother has put wet incontinence pad (in a plastic bag fortunately) into the fridge – again. Must have done that during the night. SIL disposes of pad, wipes out fridge, finds cats food, feeds hungry cat.
7 00am Mother, now dressed, shuffles into kitchen, feet hurting, shoes on wrong feet. Sit down, SIL corrects problem. Wants to feed cat, it is hungry. SIL says already fed cat, no you have not, she is hungry, I can tell. SIL finds more cooked chicken breast, Mother takes to spoilt cat, cat will not eat. Mother in panic, must go to vet NOW, cat won’t eat, very, very sick. Vet not open, will ring later.
7 15am Mother cleans cat’s tray, not satisfied with consistency of cat’s poo, emergency, must go to the vet. Vet not open, will ring very soon.
7 30am Mother arrives at breakfast for her ritual cereal nuts and dried fruit. Does not want that ‘muck’, trying to poison her, SIL should know she never eats that sort of stuff.
7 45 am Mother won’t take meds, chemist has given her the wrong ones. Someone is trying to poison her. SIL promises to take her for a drive if she eats her breakfast and takes her meds. Eventually complies, then disappears.
8 00 am SIL empties washing machine, Mother has put today’s overnight wet pad in the washing machine and thrown her panties in the rubbish bin - again. SIL dons gloves, cleans up mess, does a sanitising rinse, then sets the machine to wash again.
8 30am Mother comes out re-dressed for her drive. Difficult walking, removed her shoes to get dressed, on wrong feet again, SIL fixes problem - again.
8 45 am Mother cannot understand her diary entry, 2 medical appointments no one told her about. Rings Daughter #1, wants an explanation of diary entry, says SIL refusing to take her to medical appointments. Like I can see her diary from more than 200 miles away! Discover she is looking at a diary more than 5 years old. (Mother never throws anything away).
9 am Mother does not believe Daughter #1 so phones Daughter #3 who is already at work answering busy switch board at police station. Daughter #3 soon discovers same issue with diary, cannot convince Mother, disconnects the call.
9 10 am Mother wants a cup of tea before she goes for her drive so that she can sort out her diary and cancel her two medical appointments. She can jolly well look after herself, she does not need anyone to look after her, she will make her own tea thank you. Offers to make one for SIL. Okay, now, how do I make a cup of tea?

All I can say is I have the most patient brother-in-law in the whole wide world.

Thank you PeeWee57!! Even though I am not taking physical care of my mother, and I hear all the things that my sister and her family are doing to Mom, (and with her money) I loved your first few minutes of the day!! Praying for you during these holiday seasons.

W, adv stage Alz, sleeps in hospital bed with bedrails. Manages to get both legs up to the knee joint through the bedrail bars and hanging free outside bed. How long has she been like that? Don't know but this is early in the morning. Legs are cold, bent sideways at the knee joint. With help of an Aide we can't get the legs back out of the bed rails and on the bed. W is in pain but with speech problems can't tell us where they hurt. We call helpful Fire Dept. who sends three guys over with battery powered hacksaw and cuts rails. We get W back on the bed and examine damages. No broken bones, no dislocation, a lot of swelling, nasty looking scrape down side of one calf. W meanwhile falls asleep so we cover her and she sleeps ten straight hours, then another twelve through the next night. Next day like nothing ever happened. Remedy: secure blanket over rails and tuck into bed. Fix rails where cut with a dowel wrapped in duct tape. On to the next day...

Mom is in AL/MC and I pick her up from there to take her to doctors’ appointments. Monday was her PCP, she refused to go because she “didn’t make the appointment” and “it wasn’t on her schedule.” I went home. Wednesday was a dental procedure. She argued and argued but finally agreed to go. Muttered complaints about me the whole way there. Got there, refused to get out of the car then walked from the car to the office as slowly as possible. Insulted and mocked the receptionist’s words and gestures. Yelled and argued with the staff—all of whom of course stopped what they were doing to stare. All the attention of course meant amp up the performance.
Assistant asked me if she was having a bad day, I told her this was a regular day (two months ago this was a bad day, so what they say is true-a bad day this month is a good day next month).
I filled out her forms, when I went to turn them in, she jumped up and tried to run out the door. So I had to block the door, and she said I was hitting her so she started hitting me. More rudeness to the receptionist. Said she didn’t have time because she had to go to a meeting. Dental assistant played along and said she needed to get her teeth done then she’d have plenty of time for the meeting. Dental assistant passed me a note saying that they might have to reschedule so they could give her a Valium first. I said no, because she’d taken a Xanax before and it had had the opposite effect of making her even more agitated to the point of violence. Assistant suggested different benzodiazepines instead (?), I repeated that that would only make it worse. Told her that rescheduling the appointment would only mean going through this again another day.
Mom finally consented to go back to the exam room, but then came right back out as she had refused the procedure. She said she was sorry that I had behaved so badly and wasted their time (I wrote that right. According to her, it was my fault.)
Drive her back to the facility with her yelling, calling me names and purposely grabbing my arm to make the car swerve. She took my purse and some papers and when I reached to get them back she bit me.
Went to talk to the AL coordinator about a different matter. When I got back she’s all calm and docile, asking, “ Oh, are you very very angry at me?” and telling other people that we had an argument.
Sorry, this isn’t an every day occurrence but I had to get it out. If I had to live with her and go through a version of this every day I don’t know what I’d do. Run away from home probably.

I have not been through this yet, but I have one question--why not lock them in the bedroom overnight? Make sure it's a bedroom with a small bathroom off of it, put a camera in both rooms, motion sensor alarm on bed and windows, a TV. And drugs to make them sleep? I know there are laws about fire safety, but who is really going to come to your house every night and make sure you have not locked your parent with dementia into an otherwise safe bedroom? Maybe put the Jenga boxes on her hands as you say goodnight.

I like the Jenga box story below. So if you want the person to sit there and don't do anything, just put a long narrow cardboard box over each hand.


daily drama: when she finally wakes up, pill and eyedrop (first of 7 every day) we start the getting dressed drama...may take upwards of an hour as she puts on clothes on top of clothes, one sock on one foot, one shoe on the other, gets out dirty clothes from hamper, insists that someone is watching her from the window (faces blank wall next door), will wear several pairs of clothes if I don't watch/catch her; then walks to front door and goes out in the hall, saying she is going to walk home (sigh), and is lunch ready bedtime the same, will either get into bed wearing clothes of the day or put nightwear over day wear...another almost an hour...and tomorrow we start over again...but we don't like the alternative (and the 9 year old says he will put me in a home when I reach great-grandma's point...loving

I am the POA for a distant cousin (linage and 4 hours away).. She finally agreed to 30 days in in AL. Had to buy her a bed and have it and mattress delivered to the facility. She keeps forgetting that she has to provide her own bed at this facility as it's not like Rehab. Stood on my head to get the bed delivered on time. ( I work full time at a stressful job) Leaves me a snotty vm "I hope you are paying for this bed because I'm not".. (oh yes you ARE). Now says she's going home January 1. She has no family and no help. Last time she went home it took her 4 days to fall.. and the EMT's had to break a window to get in to her..I have no idea how she will get home, and what to do about this new bed if she does... I was hoping she would stay in AL at least for 3 months...She calls everyday just to chat..

I have starting shutting Mom's bedroom door in the evenings.

The kids (her great-grandchildren from next door) have been out of school a few days over the last couple of weeks due to snow. They are here more and are in and out on snow days. For the older ones (teen and pre-teen), I cook while their step-mother likes to encourage the kids to microwave frozen snacks and I don't mind if they bring friends as long as everyone returns the dirty dishes to the kitchen. It's funny to see all the "large" shoes lined up in my entryway. For the 5 yo (the "ours" from my nephew's 2nd marriage), he also likes my cooking (and cooking with me), hanging around big brothers, and individual attention (building with legos and lincoln logs, reading, playing games and video games, cuddling through scary movies).

Mom does well during the day, spending a couple hours in the living room watching movies with the kids and then usually napping in her room afterwards. After dark is another story. Hearing the kids moving in the house seems to agitate her. She's tired and doesn't want to visit in the living room, yet stays awake and calls for me hours beyond her usual bedtime, sometimes asking who's in the house or telling me she heard the front door open. Finally, I started closing her door after we finish her bedtime routine and she goes to sleep around her normal time, seemingly unaware of or at least undisturbed by the kids presence in our home.

Emotionally, I do not like closing the door. It feels like I'm isolating her or shutting her out of our lives. I _know_ I'm helping Mom. Her fatigue from a day spent enjoying having the kids around is most likely a big component to her evening agitation. She does not complain or protest. And yet walking back down the hall after shutting that door I feel very sad.

2 sort of funny incidents...
I had given my Husband a container of blocks "jenga" type blocks and he would play with the blocks while I was getting him something to eat. Well he was sort of quiet and that was unusual for him as he always made noises. (he was non verbal but made quite a bit of noise) when I got over to the table with his meal his huge hand was stuck in this container, a sort of square box, I bent the box so I could slide his hand out and he just looked at me and at his hand and said.."that was terrible" I was flabbergasted at the words and the appropriate ones at that! Ya just never know!

I recall I had no help for quite a I was getting a little stir crazy as well as a little burned out. (I did have hospice in and once the CNA said I could run to the store to get a few things if I needed to..bless her heart)
So when I hired 2 caregivers (the last 2 and the best!) Day 1 for the first one..
"ZT" comes in and I tell him, I just got Hubby all set, He had a shower, got him dressed, fed and he is in his chair watching TV, he should be set for a while I HAVE to get to the store, I had not been in over a week. ("ZT" had met my Husband and I had given him a "tour" when I hired him so he knew where everything was).
I run out to the store, I am gone less than 45 minutes, and I am 2 minutes away from home on my way back when I get a call......
"ZT" on the phone...I don't know how it happened ...I go to check on him and the floor is ALL wet....
I laugh said no big deal I am pulling in now.
When my Husband "leaked" through is brief he really leaked through!
Together we got him up, changed and cleaned the floor, the chair and all was good!
I had to laugh that this was in the first 2 hours "ZT" was with my Husband and he really handled things well.

Lord bless you, I think I would drink (more) and go crazy.  How do you do it?  I get so frustrated, I told someone the other day that it was about to push me to drink brown liquor "during" the day.......

God I feel for you. You remind me of how much worse things could be. My patience for that, being that I am exhausted, work part time...I'd lose what shreds of sanity remain.

My circumstances at the moment blessedly pale in comparison. We have mom who is doing her version of sundowning...dinner is now moved up to 5 PM, unless I am making it which means since I'm not home till 5:20, let my pup out and then make something decent could be 7 PM. But she has decided to go to bed between 6 and 7. Which means she could be up in the wee hours. I cannot let my pup be surprised (or me!) because she could be protective/reactive. Not always...but not taking chances. When we are in bed, if mom gets up say around 3 AM (after we've gone to sleep, pup and I around 2 AM) pup will woof as she goes past our can't get in much trouble downstairs and if I intervene she gets snotty about doing "WHATEVER I WANT" That would include turning lights on, refusing to listen to me, setting the table with cups, saucers and spoons for she and dad, and UNlocking the patio door. Her brain has it reversed. This led to following suggestions to get a sliding dead bolt installed and handyman #1 refused because "you just can't go around putting locks on every door because what if there were a fire!" Apparently the risk of a break in or murder is okay:-) So when pup woofs that mom has come back up then I have to go back down to lock the door, turn out the lights.
When I go down later I will find a disgusting pile of debris in the sink drain protector of grape skins she has spit into it.
I just had to have a package sent to my work address, which I prefer not to, because anything sent to the house is at risk of her taking it. I do have a PO Box but they won't ship to one. Need to update with PO physical address. Add that to list.
Bought a bag of dog food from Chewy not long ago...25 pounds and that devil of a mother moved it to across the driveway after opening the box! Thank goodness spotted it lying in the sun before harm had come to it.
Brain is very tired of dealing with the details but at least I do not have the incessant complaints and demands for attention let alone wetting. I don't think I could do it alone. May the force be with you...and all of us...
PS I don't drink.

Yes, if we couldn't laugh about our situation as cregivers, we'd be cring all the time. That's why I wrote a book about taking care of my mom:"My Mother Has Alzheimer's and My Dog Has Tapeworms: A Caregiver's Tale." We had many frustrating and funny moments, some of which, like yours, overlapped. My mom wanted to tell someone that she had pounded the pavement, looking for a job in NY after college, but what she said was, "I walked the streets of NY, if you know what I mean." My mom might have been a sweet talker, but she wasn't a street walker. One night, we were all hiding in the bathroom, the safest room in the house, sheltering ourselves from an impending storm. My mom associated that room with just one thing. Let's just say the queen almost had a royal flush in a full house. Humor helps. That's why I wrote the book: to help myself (it was cathartic) and to help others.

Ha! So very true.

It’s not daily... but often enough:

(Picture family finally getting a little down time. Some where. ANY where. But certainly not more than 5 minutes away.)

{Cell phones going off simultaneously}

”Hello! This is Phillips Lifeline callings on behalf of Herbert Roberts. We had an alert from the residence.”

Me: Did you call his number?

PLL: Yes, But there was no response.

Me: Go ahead and dispatch the ambulance. We’ll be right home.

(Flies over your house, beating the ambulance. Rushes into the house. Father in bed, watching TV.)

Me: Herbert (he’s my step-dad), did you push your Lifeline?

Herbert: No. I was taking a crap, and I bent over to pull up my pants. I took off the Lifeline, but it fell off the bedside table.

Me: Did you hear your phone?

Herbert; Yes, But I was rewatching Maverick, so I didn’t feel like answering it.

Me: Remembers it will go off it it senses you’ve gone to the floor like you’re falling?

Herbert: Yeah.

Me: and it will call you to see if you’re okay before they call anyone else?

Herbert: But I was busy.

Me: So now the ambulance is on its way.

Herbert: they should know I’m okay.

(Ambulance Siren in background.)

Herbert: Run out there and tell them not to bother. Oh! And while you’re not doing anything, can you fix me a couple of eggs. And some toast with just a smear of jelly. Strawberry not grape. And tea with just a touch of sugar. Not like last time. It tasted like syrup.

Me: Sure.

Herbert: and could someone go to the store and buy one of those pound cakes?

Me: in a minute. Let me talk to the ambulance guys.

Herbert; Well, IN getting a little hungry heart. That crap emptied out my stomach. Oh. I think you may need to wash out my underwear. I put them in the shower. They got a little poo poo on them. I ran some water on them.

Me (thinking to myself): Sure. Let me glove up And get right on that.

This happens at least every other week. I think the ambulance people have me in speed dial. And, of course, there have been two instances where it was legit.... so you can’t just ignore it.

Mom recently moved from an isolated country retirement village (her choice) to the state I live in. We found a continual care community, and she moved in to IL. But, she really needs assistance. In the midst of proving that she financially qualifies for that assistance, I fall and break my right ankle. No more driving for me. Everything eventually got settled for her, the aides have been helpful even if erratic, and Mom has learned some patience, I think. Next week I hope to be released to drive, so cross your fingers! ;)

Response to WorriedinCalli...
I get to spend every freaking holiday with my husband's first ex-wife, even when event is at our house.
One time, the two of us were talking outside and it freaked my DH out wondering what we were discussing.
Revenge. ;-)

YES. Thank you!!! I am so grateful for this forum so we can share, laugh cry or just vent. (Not a typo tears are tears).
Most days (not today) I can look at it from everyone’s point of view! Life is short
and that applies to us. We love all the posts. Keep them coming. But look for a bright spot. A Bluebird Day! Learn to
Build Joy into your day. I just found some
bubbles. I spilled 3/4 of them just trying to open (ugh).
Its 22degrees outside and YES bubbles
freeze!!!!! Oh what fun it is.....

I just want to say thank you for the humor! I can relate to a lot of these tales. We have to be able to laugh, right? I forget my sense of humor when I'm tired, but when I remember it, it does help. Cheers to us all!

Me: Mom, you look so nice! You had your hair done today.

Mom: No, I didn't.

Hubby: Mom, you had your hair done today!

Mom: No, I didn't.

Me: Looks like Mrs. T had hers done too!

Mom: No, she didn't.

(BTW - They both looked very nice AND had their hair done!)

Mine starts usually at 2 or 3 am. When the woman I lovingly call the Dragon summons me: Dragon:“Rickyyyyy.Ricky.Ricky.Ricky.Ricky.Rickyyyyy.RICKYYYYYYYYYY!”

me: “what, what’s wrong Barbara, what happened?!?”

Dragon: “can you help me with something?”

me: “yes, what?”

dragon: “what time is it?”

(pregnant pause while I gather myself and remember I’m a loving person and a caring professional)

me: “it’s 3am Barbara, is that all you need? I’m very tired and I need to sleep as much as I can before you wake up in a few hours.”

dragon: “no that’s it”

I go back to bed, just start dozing off and....

Dragon: Rickyyy.RickyRickyRickyRickyyyyyypleeeease heellllllpppp meeee!!!!”

I run back in..

me: “what Barbara?”

dragon: “fix my sleeve”

me: “what’s wrong with your sleeve?”

dragon: “it’s not laying flat on my arm”

i just stand there in complete and utter awe and shock. Asking myself, how did I end up here?

As I go through all of the exact same things everyday, all day long, I have to chuckle. Because if I didn’t I would cry. Which I do on occasions. Hearing this 24/7/365 for over 6 years is truly maddening. A little vacation from the stress would be nice. I just hope I bury her before she has to bury me. And no rude comments. I would do it again . It was my choice. Just blowing off steam.

Eh a shop vac will suck the sugar right up. But I would be irritated at having to get the dang thing out in order to suck up all that sugar!

5 lbs. of sugar on the floor lol. I think I would be a little irritated if I had to clean it up. What a mess!

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