“Life’s Daily Inspiration” In Coins, Checkers, And Washcloths!
A few years ago I had a darling of a Hospice patient who had dementia. She had short gray hair and wore wire-rimmed glasses. We will call her Katherine. Kathrine was a “Life’s Daily Inspiration” She was cute as cute as could be. She had a few strange behaviors she had done for as long as her
family could remember.
First, she loved corn, but only whole kernel corn. Which she chewed one kernel at a time. Then would spit out the hull. Yep, No kidding! Now you would think we could fix her creamed corn. Nope wouldn’t eat a bite of it. It was by her interpretation (no good) Lol. Not exactly a “life’s daily inspiration” of a moment.
For the same reasons, she wouldn’t eat green peas. Unless she ate them one at a time and spit out the hull.
I stayed with Ms. Katherine at night and she was delightful in her personality. We all have quirks .Ms. Katherine liked to hide things.Her Uncle gave her two dollars a month-mad money. In his defense, she didn’t go anywhere. But, she had to have her money. Then she would up and say she was going to the bathroom or bedroom to get something. She always came back without her two dollars. Actually, she would hide it. Unfortunately, she couldn’t remember where she hid it.
Sometimes I would spend an hour before I’d find it. Sometimes in a pair of socks. Sometimes it would be at the bottom of the clothes hamper. And once under the telephone. Who knew that was such a good spot to hide things Lol.
Inevitably she would say those darn kids have gotten my money again. That was the really strange part because she didn’t have any children. When I would finally find her money she would say, “your just as handy as a pocket on a shirt.” (For those that don’t know, it’s an old saying.)
Sometimes I’d bake a cake for Ms. Katherine. She’d meet me at the door with a smile and a hug and blurt right out, what did you bring us? Come on. What did you bring us? (Plural) then am I gonna like it? Or love it?
Sometimes she would get restless .So I would take a large jar of coins to her .Which I kept in the trunk of my car.
Why? Because she loved to count them and separate them.
She loved counting them although she never did get a finished count. She’d pick them up and start sorting. Then she’d get sidetracked and start over. Hey, it kept her happily entertained. Some evenings she’d say don’t think I ever saw one like this, did you? When you work with someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s you learn to find what can entertain them. Sometimes it’s a small jigsaw puzzle with large pieces or a stack of washcloths. I had about 2 dozen Of them. Hey, don’t laugh it keeps the patient pleasantly occupied. And helps the caregiver keep their sanity. A win, win situation. We often get questions from family members. What can I do to keep him/her busy?
Ms. Katherine and I played checkers almost daily. We matched socks, or I should say I match them and she rolled them. All these things if for only a few minutes entertains. As well as giving them hand an eye coordination. It also keeps them out of the closets and dresser drawers.
A case in point. One evening when I got to Ms. Katherine’s house , her Nephew was on a business call. He motioned me in, and out of the bedroom walks Ms. Katherine. She had on a jacket and a winter scarf. Oh, did I mention it was 98 degrees outside Lol? Next, she had on a pair of long pajama bottoms. With two pairs of old lady white underwear on top of the pajama bottoms. A real Kodak moment Lol.
I took her back to the bedroom and she asked me if I was gonna get ready to go to? You gotta love when they do silly things like this. And the moral of that story NEVER take your eyes of Ms. Katherine. Back to my story.
I quickly made up that my car was in the shop and we would have to postpone our trip. Our trip to where? Beats the heck outta me. I wasn’t gonna stir that turd! Lol.
We then played checkers and counted/sorted money till Ms. Kathrines bed
time. I helped her get all ready. I put her in bed and covered her up. Turned off the light. Then I went to the ladies room. “I was doing my business” when the door opens up and Ms. Katherine sticks her head around the door. And says are you in here? Not sure who she was expecting. But, she got little old me.
Ms. Katherine you’re supposed to be in bed. I know but I want you to sleep with me I’m scared in there. Ok, pumpkin let’s go I replied.
This was not new .We did this 3 or 4 nights a week. I would read to till Ms. Katherine started snoring. A fairly sure sign she was asleep.
She loved books that were appropriate for young adults.Sometimes we would finish one she really enjoyed only to have her ask me to start over and read it again. I know your thinking just like a child. Well, she was childlike in most ways. But, a true “life’s daily inspiration” to take care of.
She in her own way still loved life an didn’t want to miss a minute of it.
We hope you have enjoyed our story today if so please leave us a comment below. And share with us an inspiring moment in your life.