The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!
What were they thinking???
As most of you are aware. I am the primary caregiver to my parents, both who have Alzheimer’s Disease. We manage to do ok on a day to day basis. I can leave them both alone at home together or they can go for a walk together depending on the weather. I can leave dad at home alone for a short period of time if I take mom to get a haircut or something, but I would never leave mom home alone. Nor would I leave them both home alone overnight. Its just something I would not do.
Today I was driving down Main Street in my quaint little town , lo and behold I see a woman all bundled up (it was about -14) scurrying along the street. I immediately recognized her as the woman that my good friend Sue “senior sits” during the week. This woman has also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and is in a much later stage than mom and dad are. She cannot be left alone (she recently moved into a new home that had been built because she burned the other one down). I drove around the block and stopped the car. I got out to go talk to her – she acted as though she knew me – we have met on several occassions – and asked her what she was doing walking around town. She told me that she felt like going for a walk so she did. She was properly dressed, ski jacket w/hood, mittens and boots but looked like she was freezing. So I suggested that perhaps I should drive her home because it was so cold out. At first she didn’t think that was such a good idea but after a bit of coaxing she relented and said ok.
I pulled into her driveway as a woman (who I had never seen before) was just leaving. She seemed surprised to see us and asked what was wrong. I told her that I was a friends of Sue’s and knew this older woman (she is 81) and found her walking down Main Street in the cold. She said – Yes, she was on her way to see her daughter at the Legion. I held back my tongue because first I didn’t know if this was one of the kids (there are 8 of them) and secondly if I had have opened my mouth I would have torn a strip down one side and back up the other of this woman. She knew she had gone for a walk and thought it was ok????? Pass me some of those drugs they seem to work better than my Demerol.
I kind of mumbled asking her to take the older woman into the house. It was cold out and she was cold. All smiles she took her into the house. (I found out later she was not one of the children but rather someone who “hangs” around periodically so I guess it really didn’t matter to her that the woman was out. Grrrrr)
OK so here is my rant. What in God’s name was an 81 year old woman doing out in -14 degree weather going for a “walk”. Her family has determined that she cannot be left alone – does that not include being outside? I was and still am livid. I was at Sue’s tonight and I told her what had happened. Boy, was she mad!!!!!!! When she is there she does not let this woman out of her sight except to go to the bathroom. I have spent time with this woman and she cannot be left alone. What were they thinking letting her walk into town? What if she had not turned down the street she did – she would have continued on Main Street with the next town being about 7 miles away. Not to mention that Main Street is technically a Highway and the sidewalk ends about 1/2 block down from my house.
Furthermore, what if someone else had stopped and offered this woman a ride. Someone who did not know her, know of her illness and was not exactly tryingto pick her up just to drive her home??? As much as I feel safe in this town there are some rather crazy people in the world in general. No place no matter how quaint and “safe” is immune.
I could spit nails right about now. Sue takes her responsibility of taking care of this woman very seriously, as do I in regard to the care of my parents. I have seen Sue with this woman, she is kind, compassionate and has more patience than I do sometimes with my own parents.
I am sorry but this is just sheer irresponsibility on the part of this woman’s family. If they were not going to be home then someone should have been brought in to watch over this woman until someone would be home. (One of the children comes every night to make dinner and there are at least one or two people sleeping in the house everynight with the older woman. She is notleft alone at night.) Additionally, if someone had brought my mother home because she had wandered away I would have been so thankful that I would still be saying thank you. (This has happened and believe me amid tears I could not say thank you enough.) I would like to be there tomorrow when Sue talks to the daughter…
Am I over reacting??? Is my role with my parents clouding my judgement? Should I just file this under “Oh well, I guess I am the crazy one?”
What would you do?