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.


Lori Hahnel said...

Hope the bear is safe and sound with his rich new neighbours. And I think you may be right about the r-word.

Falcata Times said...

I'm pleased to hear that the Bear is content with his move. You've been a great friend to him and whilst i know that the choices are hard on you, you know that you're doing the right thing for him. As to his attire. I'm the sort of person that dresses for comfort, if people don't like it they know where they can go.

PJ bottoms and jog pants are wonderful, they're comfy and you know when you put something else on due to the harshness of them. Perhaps pick him up a fun T-Shirt with a Legend that you know that he'd have appreciated before. Humour goes a long way and if it tells those old fuddy duddies where to stick their noses then thats all the better.

Keep on truckin' and remember, a good friend like you is hard to find.

Pat Hollett said...

That is a very sad story Diane. And the cost of his accomodations are phenomenal. Ridiculous even! I can't imagine. You sound like a good friend to the Bear, and he's lucky to have you.
Possibly blogging about some of the positives in your life will add a little enthusiasm to your blog and seem less depressing. Everyone has bad stuff happen. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you find it and I hope the Bear does too. :)

Natalie Westgate said...

I'd walk around in my PJ bottoms all day if I could! They're far more comfy to wear when sitting all day to write. Glad that the bear gets to keep his :)