Hoarding Woes: “They’re all Gone!”

I knew walking in today that my aunt was not having a good day. She reportedly was being hostile to her fellow residents and refusing food and meds from the care staff. I entered and sat beside her. She was tense and failing to look at me. Suddenly, she looked at me and started to sob. This woman is not given to tears. 

My aunt reveals to me that she now knows where everyone is: her husband, her sisters, her parents. They are dead. “They’re all gone.” She shudders and sobs. I attempt to comfort her and she steers the subject toward her life ending and disposing of her estate.

We have previously discussed all this and entered her decisions into a legal document, which covers the dispersal of her property. She, of course, has forgotten all this. I produced a series of pictures of her home and the flowers. This mellowed the mood a bit. I left her in a better mood.

I returned three hours later to one little wet hen. No dinner, no meds, verbally abusive…holding everyone at bay. I again wade in, food, meds, water in hand. Resistance. Patience to the resistance. I eventually got her to take the meds and drink some water. From there she took some yogurt.

At one point, she dropped one of the pills between her chest and her lap restraint. I gently tug the restraint away from her lap/chest looking for the pill and my aunt violently jerked at the lap belt and yelled at me about ‘what the hell do you think you’re doing?’

She momentarily lost track of who was pulling at the lap belt and responded as if it were one of the care givers or someone. The dark side flamed out real quick at me. Then she saw it was me and she immediately calmed down. 

Not much I can say about this day. She does have a UTI after all. But, I don’t think that is the issue here. One day at a time. “It is the disease.”


2 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: “They’re all Gone!”

  1. 52weeks52couches

    Aww, my heart broke reading this post. I spent a few months at an assisted living facility this summer (visiting my grandma) and got to know a lot of the patients there (all around 90 years old) – eating with them, watching them not eat, and some like your aunt… One calling out for her mother every night in the hallway… another crying and shouting daily how she wanted to go home… All this to say, I get it. It’s tough. Your poor aunt. I am sure that somewhere in her mind, she registers that it’s you visiting her and is grateful. I hope you keep visiting her. (I know you will.)

    1. Hello Natalia

      It is challenging enough to visit a loved one and deal with their mental journey. You were very kind to visit with other residents. I enjoy it. It is challenging to deal not only with dementia, but also hearing loss 🙂 I probably repeat often and have to speak in a louder voice. This plus poor short term memory makes for a sometimes interesting visit…as I imagine you well understand. Thank you for dropping by with kind words.

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