Archives For Alzheimer’s disease

Squatter Equals Headache.

I read this back when it was originally posted.  With my background of working with the elderly, this story particularly touched and concerned me.  I decided to share it with all of you.

This is the original posting, which I will follow up with the result.  I have been following Shirley McLain for a good while now and I do enjoy her musings.  Check out the rest of her blog at http://shirley-mclain.net  xxxox Nae

Squatter Equals Headache

Abe

Nae's Nest —  April 25, 2012 — 5 Comments

There was a gentle old man (I will call him Abe) who resided at a nursing home where I was employed. Abe had Alzheimer’s disease. His face would light up with a broad smile when a child walked into the room. Abe loved to hold a kitten close to his cheek, allowing its fur to brush against his whiskers. He enjoyed the small things in life.

However, Abe had one disturbing behavior. When Abe was in the dining room, he would wander about taking food off of other’s plates. He would chew it up and put it back on the plates. The other resident, understandably,would become enraged and picked on him, and some would try to slap him. Abe could not understand why everyone would be upset with him. I could not understand why he would do such a thing. It became my task to try to figure it out. I began talking with Abe’s family.

Through much investigation, I found that Abe had been a prisoner in a Nazi war camp. His wife and daughter were whisked away. His father was attacked by guard dogs before his very eyes. Abe became close friends with a man named Ben. Ben, too had lost his wife and daughter. His brother was killed in the gas chamber. Abe and Ben would talk for hours about their families, their home and the good times they used to have. They would sometimes laugh together. Often, they would cry together.

Ben’s health started declining. The roof leaked, making their clothing and bedding damp. Their living quarters were rat- and lice-infested. Ben became very weak. Abe would help him to dress. He would do many of Ben’s chores to keep Ben from getting thrashed. He did not even have the strength to chew his own food. Abe would reach out and take Ben’s food. He would chew it up in his own mouth, then he would put it back on Ben’s plate. This was the only way Ben could survive.

A malnutritioned prisoner inside a Nazi concentration camp. During World War II, the organization and scale of the Nazi camp system expanded rapidly and the purpose of the camps evolved beyond imprisonment toward forced labor and outright murder.

 

*The story above is a true story.  Abe stole my heart, as did many of the residents in the care center.  I must end this with a prayer.  This war birthmarked the world with an ugly stain which will never go away, nor should it.  A constant reminder of a bloody and vile time that influenced the entire world.  I truly am unable to comprehend such hatred.  I pray this world is never touched by such a  vile hand again.

Renee Robinson

Nae's Nest:

The comments about memory, I find very disturbing. Those of you who read my blog would know why—unless your memories are poor too? We laugh and cry together. Take the time to check out this blog, I think you will find it interesting:
Maybe it has been done before. Hallidd’s Weblog

Originally posted on Hallidd's Weblog:

My daughter is studying for a test in cognitive memory. What is a person without a memory? Are they human? Do they exist? What is a people without a history? Do they exist? Which is how diabolical the Nazis were. They didn’t just want to kill all of the Jews. They wanted to erase them from history. As if those people never existed. And who knows. Maybe it has been done before.

………………………………………………………

THE WIDOW SAT DOWN BESIDE HER

Mrs. Murphy, often called the Widow, propped up in her walker. Her arms like wires. Leaned against the counter in the cosmetic section of the drug store looking into the mirror that was looking back. She played with her hair. Remembering those cool April evenings, when in front of her vanity she drew a brush through her thick long brown hair. And the mice scurried across the floor. And looked up…

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Abe

Nae's Nest —  January 8, 2012 — 1 Comment

The man who spit food

There was a gentle old man (I will call him Abe) who resided at a nursing home where I was employed. Abe had Alzheimer’s disease. His face would light up with a broad smile when a child walked into the room. Abe loved to hold a kitten close to his cheek, allowing its fur to brush against his whiskers. He enjoyed the small things in life.

However, Abe had one disturbing behavior. When Abe was in the dining room, he would wander about taking food off of other’s plates. He would chew it up and put it back on the plates. The other resident, understandably,would become enraged and picked on him, and some would try to slap him. Abe could not understand why everyone would be upset with him. I could not understand why he would do such a thing. It became my task to try to figure it out. I began talking with Abe’s family.

Through much investigation, I found that Abe had been a prisoner in a Nazi war camp. His wife and daughter were whisked away. His father was attacked by guard dogs before his very eyes. Abe became close friends with a man named Ben. Ben, too had lost his wife and daughter. His brother was killed in the gas chamber. Abe and Ben would talk for hours about their families, their home and the good times they used to have. They would sometimes laugh together. Often, they would cry together.

Ben’s health started declining. The roof leaked, making their clothing and bedding damp. Their living quarters were rat and lice-infested. Ben became very weak. Abe would help him to dress. He would do many of Ben’s chores to keep Ben from getting thrashed. He did not even have the strength to chew his own food. Abe would reach out and take Ben’s food. He would chew it up in his own mouth, then he would put it back on Ben’s plate. This was the only way Ben could survive.

Abe’s behavior was out of love and concern for a friend. By understanding the reason behind this behavior, I could better understand how to help Abe. Abe began taking his meals in his room. I no longer had to worry about his bothering the other residents. Also, I did not feel I was triggering a horrible memory for him.

By understanding the behavior of someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is much easier to try to find a cure for that behavior. Don’t just assume that someone is disgusting or vulgar. Take time to try to problem solve; you might be in for a surprise.


by Renee Robinson