You Put What Where?

When you're engaged with someone who has an impaired memory, you may discover a new game we can call "You put what where?"  It is a fun and exciting game that is a little like Hide-and-Seek but with no All-In-Come-Free.

Ask any person who cares for an Alzheimer's patient and you'll probably hear a funny story about how they found an object in a place where it didn't belong.  For example:
  • the pepper shaker next to the bathroom sink
  • false teeth in a ziploc bag under a pillow
  • eye glasses in a boot or the mailbox
  • underwear in the freezer
  • the television remote in the fridge
This week, I found the box of dry cereal in the fridge next to the milk.  I cannot blame that on Lyn's Alzheimer's because she's not here at the moment.  We can chalk that one up to an absentminded teenager.  I was a bit startled and had to laugh.  It made me think of all the times caregivers play this game with the memory impaired patients.

Along these lines, Mom shared this story about my Grandmother with me.  She writes,

"This one morning after the nursing home staff bathed her, she was dressed in a nice new outfit.  The caregivers went to tend another client and the family priest happened to drop by.  He walked into her room and quickly exited, calling for the staff.  The two ladies ran in, thinking something terrible happened.  Father muttered "I will come another time." Mom had stripped everything off and tucked her clothes between the mattress and box springs.  She told them that someone had taken all her clothes and she had nothing.  They quickly covered her with the sheet and began looking for her blouse.  The question was 'How did she get everything off, get them pushed between the mattress and box springs in less than 5 minutes?'

Father didn't return for about a week and asked someone to check on her before he went in her room.  She was dressed but pulling at her blouse. She did that several times."

The poor priest must have been completely shocked and I regret not being there to witness the event. I probably would have been on the floor clutching my sides in laughter.  Grandma was so proper that I just find this story so funny.


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