Friday, September 30, 2011

A Dress Code for People with Dementias? The R Word

On Tuesday, I escorted The Bear to his new quarters. He is now in a secure (locked) unit in the same retirement home. It's not long-term care but it is a safer environment for him. Everything happened very quickly and fortunately I was able to keep him occupied while his furniture was relocated. I persuaded him to visit the roof-top patio on the second floor. He had always wanted to see "where the eagles are" - decorative posts that look somewhat like birds when you view them from the courtyard. Anyone can take the elevator up to the secure area, but you need to know the secret code in order to return to the main floor.

I have only a small amount of guilt about not telling him in advance that he would be moving to a new room. Bears, particularly grumpy old bears, hate change of any kind. To avoid a tantrum, I made sure the room looks as much like his old room as possible. And so far, that seems to have worked.

I was able to have lunch with him and check out the other people who live in the secure unit. I noticed that several of the ladies, yes I must refer to them as ladies, looked at me askance and frowned at The Bear. He was wearing a vee neck tee shirt with a polo shirt over it and, um "leisure pants" aka pajama bottoms and slippers; and I was in jeans, We did not fit in with the rest of the crowd [ I should note here that the base cost for living on this unit is almost $3900 per month and that does not include drugs, incontinence products, and other things ], perhaps that explains the toniness of attire I observed. The Bear will continue to wear pajama bottoms because he likes them and can mostly remember how to put them on and they allow air to circulate. Ahem. That is important when a fella can't remember when to whiz.

Moving on to a completely different subject. The world is in a recession. But ssssh, no one is supposed to use the evil R word. Signs are everywhere but never mind - the VSP's "Very Serious People" as Paul Krugman, (read his column in the NY Times) refers to them will fix everything by imposing more austerity. Yup, that is the answer folks. But don't tax the very rich - in fact give them more breaks - and they'll be gracious unto y'all. Wanna bet on that one?

Until the next time.