Life in progress


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 12th – Aggravate

Things are going from bad to worse with my mother, and smoking is once again the culprit. For those of you who missed it, I wrote a post in November (click here for that post) about my mother’s tendency to fall and break bones when she went outside for a cigarette at the retirement residence where she lives. Before I discovered that she was falling because she was sitting on the seat of her walker and taking the brakes off before she stood up, the nurses took her smokes away from her, which necessitated that she ask for one so someone would know she was going out. She got a walker without a seat, and she got her cigarettes back. It was all fine and dandy until last week.

They caught her smoking in her room. They took her cigarettes away, and this time they’re not giving them back. She can still smoke any time she wants, she just has to get one on her way out the door. Not a big deal, right? Not if you don’t know my mother.

When she was caught, she apparently didn’t know she was doing anything wrong. The nurse that called me said she walked into my mum’s room and asked politely for her cigarettes. My mother handed them over willingly. Her senile dementia is, of course, the reason it is now a problem.

Now, she:

  1. Has forgotten that she smoked in her room.
  2. Says they’re accusing her of smoking in her room because they can smell smoke on her jacket.
  3. Says they shouldn’t have gone into her room when she wasn’t there and taken her cigarettes.
  4. Says the nurse who said she was smoking in her room is a liar.
  5. Phones me 10 times a day to ask me if I have something to do with the fact that her cigarettes are with the nurses.
  6. Phones me 10 times a day to ask me where her cigarettes are.
  7. Complains to the nurses 20 times a day that she should be able to have her cigarettes back because she doesn’t smoke in her room.
  8. Complains to the management that the nurses are lying and she wants her cigarettes back.

All this finally came to a head two days ago when the management called me, clearly aggravated, to say that when someone with dementia gets to the point that their forgetfulness causes them anxiety, it’s necessary to start considering a nursing home.

Perhaps there’s someone out there who can verify that this is a fact, perhaps they’re just getting tired of answering the same questions 20 times a day. All I know is if my mother goes into a nursing home, there will be no more smoking, and she’s only going to go downhill that much faster.

I don’t know what to do. Explaining things to her–even if she understands, which she usually doesn’t–has no lasting effect. I feel like putting her into a home is tantamount to condemning her.

Aren’t I cheerful today?

The above paragraphs of moroseness are brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “aggravate,” provided by Fandango! Thank you so much, Fandango! You can find Fandango’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.