The cycle of the so called “memory unit” is now easily identified and each cycle has it’s own liabilities and assets depending on whether you are a visitor or a carer. None of the cycles are long lasting, thankfully, so when The Book Keeper attempts to make his escape via the kitchen window encouraged by The Builder and counselled “not to be so bloody stupid” by The Car Salesman. visitors can chuckle, walk away and write blogs but carers are left to deal with freyed emotions and counting down the hours until bed time. Tomorrow they will all be back to their pacing reminiscent of scenes, minus the blood, of a well known television series and the next all geared up to challenge each other in a rafferty’s rules bowls game.
Dorey, who has now been resident for six months, is progressing in her alzheimers symptoms. She is losing the ability for animation. As she loses her identity more and more her joy is disappearing as she becomes critically hurtful in her comments, unable to empathise and much less responsive to hugs. In this unit there are no two-way conversations of any substance. It is becoming less so between Dorey, the Off-sider and I. Personally I stopped sharing anything with both Dorey and the Off-sider years ago due to their deafness and unwillingness to venture down the hearing aide road. My attempts to be heard were seen as anger so I stopped initiating conversations. The Off-siders racist, sexist and belittling comments are made at a volume matching his own deafness and while shouting is secondary to being lynched it all makes for an episode of Grumpy Old Men. He has a tendency to quote headlines in the pretence he is knowledgeable about current affairs. He asks questions like “how many dead bodies do you think are on Mount Everest? Go on guess, bet you don’t know”. Carers stand with baited breath for my response and success comes in the ability to do a quick Google search, unnoticed by his blindness on his right side.
So I’ll take the Off-sider home after a couple of hours, assisted by the carers who take Dorey down to her room to “do secret women’s business”. We will do it all again tomorrow. Such is life, someone once said.