Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pest Control by Grandma

Grandma has a bad habit of leaving food out. She eats half a banana with her cereal every morning and leaves the other half on the counter until the next day. She saves the ends of bread loaves to feed the birds and leaves that out for days. Aunt Dee and I have tried to cure her of this habit, but Grandma is not having it.

"Put that banana away, you're gonna get bugs."

"No, I won't. I put it up high so the bugs can't get it."

I don't even know where to go with this. Has she never seen a bug with wings? Has she not witnessed the amazing crawling abilities of ants? I take a new tactic.

"What about mice? You can't leave food out or you'll get mice."

"So, I'll put it on the stove. It's too hot for mice over there."

Again, speechless.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gossip with Grandma

Grandma loves her tabloids! The other day she was reading one of the gossip pages in the Daily News and loving it! She found Charlie Sheen's latest drama to be hilarious. She was giggling so hard she could barely speak.

"Listen to this! 'Sheen had an epic bender in Las Vegas over the weekend, drinking and partying with three porn stars.' Ha! Can you imagine? That is hot stuff."

She continued, recounting this gem from the fall, "'Sheen's binge with adult film actress Capri Anderson' - never heard of her - 'ended when police hauled him to the hospital.' Isn't that something, ha!"

The paper also featured a quote from Vanilla Ice about his break-up with Madonna in 1992. In this almost 20 year old break up Grandma is solidly on Team Ice. "Oh, she must be some kind of jerk, Madonna. He's a good looking guy, too."

Apparently Grandma loves the bad boys!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Aren't You Fresh?!

Aunt Dee and I often talk about how with Grandma's dementia it's like we've switched places; she's the child while we have to act like her parents. Conditions of dementia include being impulsive, illogical, and irritable. Grandma's favorite things to eat are cheeseburgers, pizza, and donuts. She sleeps at least 12 hours a day and always has the TV on. In other words, she is often like a surly teenager.

Grandma's appetite has been kind of off lately and she weighed in at just 100 pounds at her doctor's appointment. We think she's been forgetting to eat again. Since New Years she's been looking a little peaked and complaining of feeling weak and nauseous. Most of the time she's refused to eat anything more than tea and toast (which I think is the real reason she feels weak, but moving on...). Yesterday I left the house around 5:00pm, so I tried to remind her of dinner.

"I'm going out, Grandma, don't forget to make your dinner."
"There's a slice of pizza and TV dinners and soup."
"So you have plenty to eat."
"Jeez, Jammie, I'm not going to starve." She is actually rolling her eyes at me!
And now I have to utter a classic Grandma line, "Don't be fresh!"

She starts cracking up! She is so pleased with her fresh self! She even tries to swat at me for added emphasis.

It's nice to see some of her old spunk back.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Where Are Your Slippers?" UPDATE

Grandma is loving her new slippers! She got at least three pairs for Christmas, but these are her favorites by far! When she opened them she exclaimed, "Oh, aren't they cute?" She's been wearing them every day since.

After Christmas I asked her how she liked them. She replied, "Aren't they something?! Look at that lining! It goes all the way down, not just around the ankle."

Many thanks to Katie C. and the shipping mishaps at Restoration Hardware!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Breaking News

Unfortunately, Grandma seems to be in worse and worse shape these days. For example, take this conversation we had today.

"How come I don't get the Herald Statesman any more? I bet Aunt Dee didn't pay the bill! I used to get it every day and it hasn't been coming. I can pay my own bills. I paid them on time at least."

Aunt Dee is off the hook this time. The Herald Statesman has not existed for nearly 15 years.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Research

For all of those with relatives who have Alzheimer's and dementia, this article was really interesting and had many practical tips for caregivers.


This one really stood out for me:

"A study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that brightening lights in dementia facilities decreased depression, cognitive deterioration and loss of functional abilities. Increased light bolsters circadian rhythms and helps patients see better so they can be more active, said Elizabeth C. Brawley, a dementia care design expert not involved in the study, adding, 'If I could change one thing in these places it would be the lighting.' "

Oh, Journal of the American Medical Association. I am sure your study was sound and your science solid. But how do I apply this knowledge to Grandma, a proud and intrepid member of the Con Ed Light Bulb Police Squad?