Yesterday, Dad was in a great mood. We chatted about who would be the coach for Michigan’s football team (Hoke, in case you care), and other such incidentals, and then he headed for chair exercise. I waited for Mom to come back from her outing with her wonderful companion, who takes her out for coffee and drive around town twice a week. Sure enough, within two or three minutes, I saw the car pull up. I went out to greet Mom, and told Companion that I would sign Mom in, and told Mom to wait by the door. But then the med room needed Mom, so I called for her to come my way.
Unfortunately, right in Mom’s line of vision was a resident who has severe Parkinson’s. You may remember that she was meanly jabbing her walker into his face not too long ago. This time when she spotted him, she began to imitate his involuntary movements–and the resident can see fine. He was bound to see Mom’s mimicking–writhing, really–and it could only feel cruel, not fun. I’m not sure what Mom’s intent was–sometimes she is trying to be funny–but the result would be the same for this resident. “Mom!” I called. “Mom! MOM!” She finally looked at me and I shook my head. She kept it up. “Mom! Don’t!” and she kept it up. I walked over, irritated by now, and told her to stop it, that her fellow resident couldn’t help it anymore than she can help her memory problems. Mom made a grumpy face, and asked why not; I guess I’m the mean ol’ Mommy in this case. I went over the reasons again, and she did stop, but I know she thought I was being ridiculous and spoilsport. I suppose she was joking, but she doesn’t get that this is NOT FUNNY. Oi.
I mentioned this to a staff member, who told me that Mom was pinching her butt that day as well. This is embarrassing to me; I know it’s the dementia, that she doesn’t have any impulse control, but I still feel bad for the people she does this sort of thing to. The aide assured me that they all understood and “loved [Mom] to death,” so I’m doing my best to let that go. But behavior that will endanger or hurt other’s feelings? Not when I’m around!