Hoarding Woes: ‘Who’s Going to Milk the Cows?’

Dementia: Did I mention that the saving grace for my aunt was her long term memories? Long term memories were a means of discussing something when short term memory let her down. 

Today when I arrived at the care facility, the care provider cautioned me that my aunt had been agitated since early this morning, having also refused to take her meds and she was persistently trying to rise to go home. Ok, I was up for it.

I entered the room and took a seat beside her and exchanged small talk. Yes, she was insisting on going home. I explained that she couldn’t with the usual reasons. Soon she was increasingly agitated about who was going to help milk the cows. She did not want to get in trouble with her parents. Did I know if her parents knew about her broken neck? Every family member was involved in this mental journey, or so I thought. All her departed and not yet departed sisters were going to be upset with her for being late to the barn. 

I attempted to steer her back to the present for a status check of sorts. It did little good. Doctors’ prognosis, proclamations, concerns meant nothing as much as what her dad was going to say because she was not there to milk those cows. 

It was dinner time and I felt it best to get her out of her room to join the others in the real world. I stood and the care provider came in to have my aunt walk to the dining room table with the walker. The care provider remarked about my watching and my aunt was as if hit by a lightning bolt. She was shocked I was there. How nice of me to come by. Could I stay? Now this was a decided shock to me, as she usually knows I am there regardless of the timezone she is in. Today, over an hour and a half, she had no idea I was there. Thinking back it was not the least bit evident. These kinds of stories are ho-hum to most, but it caught me off guard today. 


Hoarding mom’s house update: the tedious. Lots of little stuff. Found three attic rooms with not so much stuff as just dirty, dusty junk. The smell remains, even after all the stuff is out. Even after the carpets are all out. The wallpaper, I am sure, is impregnated with the stench. The window shades, still up to provide a shield before, are yellowed from the sun, on the outside, and the moisture on the inside. Still, this is a big accomplishment. Phone calls from the State today about property taxes in arrears. I called back several times, but it went into voice mail. 



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