Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lola Update 5/6/12

Lola is puttering along the same as usual for her. One of my email acquaintances from my fiber list put a comment on a post with tips on how to deal with the incontinence. I can't think him enough. If I ever do manage to make to Australia, I'd love to track him down and spring for supper.

Alex's tip was about the incontinence underwear, herein called depends, for the sake of ease, even though they are not that particular brand. During the last few weeks I was having to wash sheets every day because the depends were filling up and leaking. Alex advised that better brands actually hold more versus the dollar store generics, which I have been buying.

Additionally, as he worked in elder care, he spoke to their use for night, talking about putting one inside another. That has worked out wonderfully. Since that comment I have been putting one pair inside another, and we haven't had wet sheets since then. Thank you, Alex.

This morning I was trying to engage Mom in conversation, which is purely a lost cause. She gamely gave it a try, though. She grinned, lifted her arms and let them down, and told me, "Well, I'm just sitting here in this black chair, and I don't know beans from spit, especially about my family." When I asked her what she didn't know, she told me she didn't know anything about her mama, daddy, or brothers or sisters. When I asked her what, she told me whether they were alive or what.

Oh, dear. Her dad's been dead for at least 40 years; her mother's been dead at least 30. Her siblings have been dying for 40 years. The last one to die was her sister, who died about 5 years ago. She didn't know that her youngest brother Charles was still living in Mayfield, where he's lived for at least 50 years. She didn't know her sister, Jeanne, was living in Waverly, near her own daughter, Jill, for the last two, at least, years.

She's bearing the heat well. Our A/C blew a fuse last Thursday. I tried to replace it Friday, but the local place didn't have the right voltage, and I couldn't make somewhere else by the end of the business day. Saturday, I just crapped out on going, and today have cursed myself for doing so.  What on earth is up with this friggin' 95 degree weather at the end of April, beginning of May???

Needless to say, if I have to travel from Tennessee to Illinois, I'm getting fuses tomorrow. Oh, the problem is that the fuse box in this house is old. Like, really really old. With fuses you would think weren't even still sold. Problem is they rarely are sold, so you have to shop for them. Getting a new electrical system is a must for this house.

1 comment:

Alex Dragon said...

You are so very welcome. I'm glad it's made a difference for both you and Lola.

With regard to the parent issue, at least Lola's not too upset about it. We regularly have residents who are determined to get out of the facility to go home because "Mum is waiting for me and doesn't know where I am." Now, normally I'm not one for lying to folks, but this is a situation where the truth is an unkindness. My usual reaction is to slap my forehead and say "Did I forget to pass on the message? oh, I'm sorry. Your mum rang and she says you're to stay here with me, because you're having a nice time/ you're being looked after/ she's gone out shopping/ she's gone to look after your aunty who isn't well" whatever seems to be called for in the individual case. Usually this will settle the resident and they go back to whatever they should be doing instead of being determined to get past the security doors. If it doesn't do the trick, often distracting them with a cup of tea and a biscuit does wonders.

I had a coworker a few years back who believed that one should always tell the truth. I saw her tell a confused resident that her mother was dead, and the poor woman collapsed in a faint on the spot. Was it true? absolutely. Was it kind? not in the least.

While Lola is accepting of the thought, you might pull out photo albums of her family (if such exist) and talk about them. Otherwise, if it seems to bother her, just be vague. "Oh, you know what your mother's like. She's gone on vacation/ off with her sister/ out to the shops. I'm sure she'll be back shortly" and then find something to keep her busy - folding dinner napkins or sorting the clean laundry is a good task that is safe and seems to soothe the need to be doing something useful.

One of our residents who doesn't speak much English used to roll bandages when she was a girl for use during war time. With the boss's permission we tore a sheet into strips and she happily rolls "bandages" for us in the afternoon. At the end of each session I thank her and take the carefully rolled bandages out of her sight and unroll them again. For someone who can't read or can't follow a tv program, this sort of activity is very soothing.