Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dementia causes a victim to forget his least some of them.

I was off work last Wednesday, so I invited a Visiting Angel over to meet myself and Gary to see if she was a good candidate to be his assistant.  Her name is Mary Jo.

"Jo", as she prefers to be called, will work out just fine.  She is retired, very fit (nice for Gary's walks with Diva) and very patient and capable.

This Thursday was her first day.  I went to work as normal and left him with repetitive direction that her name was Jo and he was to work with her to complete the list of things to do I had painstakingly worked on to create.  

I noticed that Gary's GPS system sent me an email around 11:15 that he had left the "home" zone. This was not unusual in that I have it programmed to notify me if he goes more than 1000 feet from the house.  I thought nothing of it, as I knew she was with him.  More unusual, a few minutes later, his over 35 mile an hour speed indicator went off on my phone.  I was curious where they were headed so I logged onto the website and saw them heading south on 99.  I recieved a business call and forgot about it as I knew he was Safe.  (stop and think about the peace of mind I have with her on payroll!)

He called a little while later to report they had gone to a nature preserve, but Diva could not go in so they came home.  All was well.

On Friday morning, JO was to return at 10:00.  I awakened Gary and reminded him that Jo was coming and that they had to be out of the house for the maids to properly do their job at 10:30.  He did not know who I was referencing.  I reminded him about 10 times before I left.  He called me several times during my commute to ask details about maids, Jo and what they were supposed to do together. He got very upset and we did not have a pleasant exchange.  So much for my makeup for the day.  He was quite overwhelmed when I reached work and we hung up the phone.  I had itemized the trip to Sprouts for shopping, a walk and stocking the groceries when they return home. He seemed clear.

At 9:30, he called me to tell me that he and Diva were leaving to go for a walk.  I very vehemenlty demanded that he stay home as Jo, would be there at 10:00 and he had to let her in the house.  He said that the maids had arrived early and that he remembered that they had requested to not be there with him alone (without an assistant).  He remembered that fact!

I reminded him that he needed to stay there for 1/2 hour until Jo arrived.  He agreed and we disconnected.

At 10:00, the office of Visiting Angels called to tell me that Jo was at the house, Gary was not there and the maids would not let her in the house.  I explained that Gary must have gone to the park and that I would call Molly Maids and tell them to let her in so she could check-in.  I called Gary on his GPS (his phone was on the counter at home) and explained that Jo was at the house waiting for him, the maids would not let her in and that he needed to go home immediately.  He understood and said he as on his way.  Meanwhile, the office of Molly Maids called to say there was a strange woman outside our house trying to get in and that Gary was not there.  I explained that Jo was an employee and they needed to provide her entrance.

Then I called back to Visiting Angels to hear that Jo had proactively driven the neighborhood and found Gary and Diva walking down the street toward home.  All was well.

The whole time, I was supposed to be on a corporate conference call.  Dag blast it! 

Later, they called to report that all grocery shopping was completed and items were stored in the pantry.  The poor woman survived. At the end of her shift, Jo left and Gary called me immediately.

Her report was thorough and she will return on Monday. He still does not understand the need.  Having someone there gives me peace of mind....well, sort of. I never know what he is going to do next.

Today, we went to breakfast and had a delightful talk with a local retired man who had a very colorful, full life.  He gave us a copy of his book.  I look forward to reading my first book in a long time.

We then went to our old neighborhood for a barbeque. Everyone there was someone that we know very well after living in that area for 6 years or had at least met about six
months ago at the last gathering. He remembered very few people except for the hosts, who are very dear friends.  He did not remember that we had lived in the house across the street for so long.  He tried to act social but I could tell by his behavior he was very uncomfortable.  He reintroduced himself to two people who refer to him as "uncle Gary".

When he refused to eat as he was overwhelmed.  After 45 minutes of sitting in a chair, not interacting, he said, "I really need to leave." I did not hesitate to grant his wish.  After that, I did not want to be there either. 

I took him to the nail salon. He is always happy there.  It worked for a while. 

After pedicures, we came home and he asked for dinner.  Our friend had suggested I bring a plate home.  He ate but seemed very overwhelmed again.

We talked about it and he indicated that he wants only peaceful encounters, positive information and no conflict.  He cannot handle alot of stimulation. 

I am not sure how I could ever provide Utopia for him.  Since I don't know this solution, I am reduced to figure out how to keep him as calm as possible so my life will be sane.  God is good.

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