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 Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
Coy has been all over the place cognitively lately. I never know quite what to expect. This afternoon he was putting on a jacket. I have to keep track of his outdoor excursions. (I earlier saved him from a futile trip to the closed barber shop.)

- Why are you getting that jacket out, Hon?
- It is a little cool.
- Are you going outside?
- No, it is cool in here.
- Oh. You have several nice sweaters that you usually wear in the house. Jackets are for outside. (Thinking he may have forgotten this detail.)

At this point I should explain that the jacket in question is one we sat at the computer a year ago and picked out of the Smithsonian online catalog and he has loved it ever since he plucked it out of the FedEx package.

- (Looking a little sheepish.) I know. But I haven't worn this for a few days and I just wanted to remember how it feels.
- Ah. Well in that case I think you picked the perfect garmet to keep you warm while you watch a video. Let me help you put it on.

What looked like a strange behavior had a perfectly valid (if unusual) purpose. He was in a particularly lucid and articulate state at that moment. But it makes me wonder how often the odd things he does when he is not so articulate have equally reasonable explanations that he just can't share.

I'm going to try to remember this, and not be so quick to say "hang up the jacekt and I'll get your favorite blue sweater," just because I don't know why he prefers the jacket right now.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:05 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
Right, Jeanne. We just have to accept that the act makes perfect sense to them at that moment and, unless it's dangerous, just leave it alone. :P

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:51 am
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm
Posts: 386
Location: East TN
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
smiling…and looking for the 'like' button….

…..
I find myself thinking just like I always have….

still 'think' about doing everything I always did….

still want to do everything I always wanted to do…

frustrated I don't do….most of them….

but, still enjoy thinking about them….

'things' do bring back associated memories…and pleasant sensations…..

I do like the 'sight' and 'feel' of certain specific 'things'…..and 'smell'….
find that I am less tolerant of others handling my stuff…..
some of that I can pretend to understand….some of it baffles me….when I think about it….

it is comfortable…where I put it…..how I leave it smelling (sounds horrible... :lol: ….doesn't it?)

I can somewhat understand the idea of losing the place of something moved….but…the extend of it bothering me…

…..

Jeanne…I like what you did here….

_________________
Craig - Patient - Male - 56 years old - Lewy Bodies diagnosed on March 23, 2011 - cognitive disorder NOS dx 2007 - RBD REM dx 2007 issues for 20+ years - intention tremor 1974 - other issues many years


Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:45 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3327
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
Jeanne - your jacket story reminds me of my dad, who was a stickler for making my kids take off their hats inside, especially if they were at the table having a meal. In his last months that he was still able to go to one of the dining rooms he'd either reach for or ask for his baseball style hat before he was wheeled out, put it on, and then he was ready to go. He'd sit at the table with it on like my kids when they were little! I would chuckle to myself thinking how upset he used to get at the kids for doing that, and here he was, a grown man eating with his hat on. But, like Coy's favorite jacket, his hat had special meaning - it said "76th Division" which was his Army division and he cherished all his 76th Division stuff. So, it obviously made him feel good to put it on, and I'm glad the CGs didn't make a big deal asking him to take it off. If he wanted to wear it to bed sometimes too, fine. He enjoyed it. I was all for helping him find some small pleasures in anything we could. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:35 am
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:42 pm
Posts: 108
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
I find the whole thinking process with my mother very interesting. Often my mother gets what I call "near thoughts" going and I think that it is not really fair to call that dementia (well exactly dementia). For example, I was just visiting my mother with my sister a few days back and we were taking my mother out for lunch. My mother absolutely loves all things new and her cognitive abilities are always better when she gets to go shopping or out to eat. Anyway - we were at the nurse's station near the front door trying to get my mother's afternoon meds arranged, signing her out, etc. when my mother opened up her walker seat (which stores things) and pulled out a whole pile of rubber bands and handed them to the nurse. She said, "I guess I am suppose to give you these." The nurse looked confused and my sister got irritated (no real patience - never had kids or something). Anyway - it occurred to me that my mother was trying to give the nurse her wrist alarm because when residents leave the facility, they are suppose to turn in the wrist alarms that they wear while they are at the facility (hate this myself, but I guess it is not uncommon for folks to wander out of the facility and this allows staff to figure out where they have gone). It just didn't seem to me all that weird that she had confused band for the alarm with rubber band (although I have no idea why she had so many of them in her walker compartment). I often find that her thinking actually makes sense if one takes them time to track it. Sometimes it is a reasonable explanation that is never articulated well like the jacket example on this post and other times it is just one little strange piece of reasoning that makes everything she says or does at the moment look crazy. I cut my sister off, who was getting ready to lecture my mother, and laughed over it. I said to her that it made perfect sense to me that she would give them rubber bands since they wanted a band (I then suggested that she give them the wrist band). My mother looked relieved and I think I avoided shaming her (which my sister does a lot). And to be honest, it just didn't seem all that odd to me.

Liz


Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:57 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
aelisabeth wrote:
I often find that her thinking actually makes sense if one takes them time to track it. Liz


Oh yes! Absolutely!

I don't think we can always get to the bottom of it even if we take the time, but I don't doubt there is some sort of logic in the behavior even if we can't figure it out.

As Pat says, unless it is dangerous, leave it alone. And as we gain experience, fewer things look dangerous. :P

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:47 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
I understand Coy's desire to wear that jacket perfectly. I would do exactly what he did and I'm supposed to be in pretty good shape cognitively! :lol: Sometimes I will put something on or do something just for the things I associate with it.

And I see the rubber band reasoning. Maybe our being around our LOs as much as we are has us thinking on the same track. Scary, huh?

As far as the 76th Division cap is concerned, there is a lot done at Mom's SNF to celebrate or honor the military history of the residents. And for some, it is one of their strongest memories, which I also understand. And, when you are sitting with a WW2 vet, "What did you do during the war, Daddy" is an easy question to begin conversation with. OK, Maybe not "Daddy" this time...

You've either got to join in with a sense of humor, or avoid the situation completely, don't you?

Kate

_________________
Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:29 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3327
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Sometimes what looks odd has a reasonable explanation
Yes, serving during WW2 & the Korean War, made long lasting impressions on my dad. For many years he went to his division reunions wherever they were. I thought he looked cute sitting at the dr table at the ALF in his hat! Plus, it made me laugh at all the times he yelled at my kids for doing that!

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:43 pm
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