Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Imp, The Lesbian Haircut, and The Bitch

Part 10 In A Series

After losing three residents in January, three new residents have arrived. Two with severe dementia, one with a shitty attitude!

Newbie #1: The Imp
She is in the last stages of Alzheimer's. Her husband was taking care of her at home and their family had come to the conclusion that he couldn't do it anymore. Both were going to move in, where he could still watch over her, but that the daily chores of food prep, laundry, bathing, etc. could be handled by the staff.

Two days before they were to move, he went to a doctor's appointment and they found something that he needed an operation was minor, and they would need to postpone their move by a week. His operation was on Friday, and he was dead on Saturday.

So, the lady has moved it and now has to adjust to new surroundings and the loss of her husband/caregiver.

She's a bit of an imp and they expect some trouble from her. She was in the activities room and approached Gidget who was asleep on a sofa. She put her face about one foot from Gidget's face and stared. With no response, The Imp placed her index finger on the bridge of Gidget's nose and zoomed it down to the tip. And away she went, leaving a startled woman who grumbled about the affront and nap interruption.

Newbie #2: The Lesbian Haircut
She seems quite young, I'd say late 50's, with dark hair that is about 25% gray that is cut in classic "older lesbian" style.

It is her acclimation period and she was walking the halls and going in circles in the lobby while I was there on my Thursday visit. She kept saying that she was expecting someone that was going to bring her things to her. On the surface, that sounds about right, but she didn't even know she had a room let alone where it was, when one of the attendants was speaking to her. I think this was her reaction to being alone and perhaps this is what she had been doing before she arrived.

She was definitely confused and it made me think of how my mother must have been when we dropped her off and left her for two weeks. (That was the advice of the staff, and I understand it's pretty much standard operating procedure.) Alone in a strange place with a bunch of strange acting old people.

Anyway, the girl came around with the cart to offer drinks (cola, ginger ale, or water) as they do at 3 in the afternoon. When asked if she wanted a drink, the woman replied "No." But she wanted drinks for three other people whose names she gave -- perhaps her children? When told that those folks would have to come and get their own drinks, she quickly looked around then asked for the drinks and replied again that she didn't want anything for herself.

Newbie #3: The Bitch
First, I know I shouldn't call anyone a 'bitch' let alone someone in this situation, but you'll see why in a bit.

Thursday was her first day. She is confined to a recliner on wheels because she isn't steady on her feet.

As I sat with Mom along one side of the lobby wall, this lady had been placed in her chair directly in front of me along the windows looking out on the courtyard. There were about six residents in chairs and the nurse's station was to my left where there is a lot of activity of aides and attendants.

The woman starts in, "I need help!" She repeated. And repeated. And repeated. Each time getting louder. The attendants pretty much ignored her, as I have a feeling she'd been doing this all day.

I've taken to doing the crossword so I just kept my nose buried in that and ignored her. It puts you in a weird situation where even if you wanted to help, you really can't.

"I gotta go to the bathroom," she said as she upped the ante to get some attention. She repeated. And repeated. And repeated.

She takes off one of her shoes and flings it toward me. "Can't any of you assholes hear me?"

That's the thing with dementia. No matter how many times you pay attention to someone, or how many times you explain that they aren't allowed to get out of their chair for their own good, they just keep it up and keep it up.

It's a bit of crying wolf. The time when she really needs help no one will be paying attention.

Perhaps she should be in a nursing home where she could have more constant care instead of this place where residents are expected to be able to live with guidance but not constant monitoring.

Part 1: The Klepto
Part 2: The Slapper
Part 3: The Baby Mama
Part 4: Socks
Part 5: The Jackrabbit
Part 6: Gidget
Part 7: Twinkle Toes
Part 8: Pittsburg and Tex
Part 9: The Bird Flicker
Part 11: The Bugaboo


Mom said...

What is a lesbian haircut?

Gavin said...

I guess it's hard to describe. Short on sides and back, longer on top, styled up and away from the face, kinda spikey.

It's like Rosie O'Donnell's ex partner Kelly Carpenter.

I'd say 50% of the lesbians I know have this style or a close variation. (Proven in the pic since Rosie doesn't have it.)

I know I'm generalizing...not all lesbians have this haircut but everyone I know with this cut is a lesbian! :)

citygirl said...

Just catching up on my reading as I was away. Hilarious but sad and true entries, as always.

Poor Imp. I can't wait to hear what else she gets into.

I guess my mom was also like Newbie #2 for her first while. It haunted me quite a bit and I worried about her wandering around in circles but I guess if you think about it, almost everyone goes through acclimatization time.

We had quite a few people at my mom's who yelled a lot. I found it hard to listen and not help them but yes, after a while, it's just yelling. It's not a true need for help.

Lacey said...

Oh. I like that haircut. Actually, I HAVE that hair cut. Except I'm not a lesbian., no. I'm not a lesbian. Let's just leave it at that. Well OK I'm reminded of this friend that I had a long time ago. We just hit it off immediately and loved each other. She was a lesbian. I was a gay man. But after spending a week together at some training thing, we came to the conclusion that I was a much better lesbian than she was, and she was a FAR better gay man than I. I guess maybe you had to be there. Thanks for the memory though.

karen said...

OMG!! Check my profile picture and tell me if I have one. Hope not. I just started cutting it short. I need help !!!

karen said...

Maybe that is why I can't get a date with a guy. And why I get along with lesbian's so well. :)

ArichNY said...

I have some catching up to do on this blog, but am enjoying the posts immensely! Very touching too. Miss you!

Gavin said...

I hope I didn't offend anyone with my description. As you know, when I come up with nicknames for people, I choose what strikes me as their most obvious trait. Sometimes things aren't as clear as they could be when I write them.

I don't know if this woman is a lesbian nor do I care. It was a statement about her hair and not anything about her as a person!

Karen--If you have lesbian friends, tap them as a resource. Surely they have nice male friends that need to be set up. Put out your feelers!

karen said...

Great idea. Actully they are my neighbors but really great ones. Never see man over there . But would not hurt to ask. :)