Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Day the Coffee Died...Part Two

It was a crisp, cool fall morning.  The leaves were not yet crunching under foot from the morning moisture and the squirrels seemed busier than ever....OK I can't do this...

so he threw the coffee maker away again...the one we bought for him less than a month ago because he threw out the other coffee maker. Yet, I can't scold him, I can't remind him not to do that, I can't say anything but, "OK, we'll figure something out".  But no more coffee makers.  I believe it may be a good time for Dad to switch to instant coffee, which I'm pretty sure he will not enjoy.  I may be surprised though.  The last time he had instant coffee was about two years ago when Mom was in the hospital.  He hated it.  He took one sip and threw it away.  This time I figured out the issue:  he puts a coffee filter in when the coffee maker has one already.  The water goes in faster than it comes out so you get coffee all over the counter.  I know what your advice is - "you should have thrown away the coffee filters when you bought the new coffee maker"....We did.  Yep.  We did.  And Dad is familiar with these types of machines but one day he woke up and thought, "I need a coffee filter in order to make coffee" and he walked next door to borrow a few filters.  His reality - not mine.

Most people around me will give me their best piece of advice on 'handling' a patient with memory issues.  The advice is golden and each time I hear it it's like I've never heard it before.  It's a revelation and I can't believe that I fail each time I put it in to practice....yeah, I can't do this either...

Notes don't work, people.  It sounds like great advice and it makes sense to all of us but not to a dementia patient.   They don't read them and if you leave them around the house they get thrown away.  Why?  Work with me on this one.

You have no memory issues at all.  Now there's a note taped to the bathroom mirror to remind you to shut the shower faucets off.  But why would you need that note?  You have no memory issue and its common sense to shut the shower faucets off so you throw the note away because, after all, its silly, right?  Are you following me on this one?  You have no memory issue so these notes don't make any sense to remind you of the things that are obvious so why are the notes there?  Throw the notes away after all, you aren't a third grader, right?  Notes.  Silly ideas when you have no memory issue.  His reality - not ours.

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