How does this person function?


11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
One of my neighbors knew my MIL for decades. When we came here to take care of MIL because she had dementia, the neighbor kept insisting that nothing was wrong with her. It was so hard for me to hear this from him as I watched MIL slip away. DH grew up knowing this guy and he explained it away by saying that the neighbor was afraid that he too was getting older and had no one to take care of him. So I bit my tongue and walked away even though it would have helped tremendously if he had noticed enough to call us when we lived 3000 miles away to tell us that something was wrong with MIL.

Today, he stops me to talk. We chat for a bit and he asks me what we're building in the driveway. I tell him that they're chicken tractors and what we plan to do with them. What does he say to me?

"I didn't know that you had chickens." Hunnh? :eek:

We have 12 chickens, two guinea hens and three turkeys fifteen feet from this guy's property. We've been doing this for two years. I have never met someone so unobservant in my life. How do you suppose he functions? (His eyesight is just fine by the way) Oh, and he's a high school guidance counselor.
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We're taking care of my MIL with dementia, too. It's tough, isn't it? We've had some really bad days lately.

As far as the neighbor, wonder if it's from dealing with all those teenagers for so many years?? LOL!
Well that explains it all! (Just kidding!
He's a man, isn't he? I've yet to meet a real observant man yet!
Think about the last time you sent them in any room in the house to find something and had to go find it for them after they "looked everywhere" for it. Totally unobservant species, the males of this world...
Those were the most difficult years of my life. My gentle, loving MIL became paranoid and violent. It just broke my heart.

Take care of yourself. I know how hard it can be.
The guineas were so loud during the conversation that we had to pause a couple of times until they calmed down! I used to think he was the one who complained when they were free range but now I'm not so sure . . .
As a licensed Administrator for Assisted Living, I can tell you one thing that help you. They don't know their situation is sad. They only know the here and now, and it's all really ok with them most of the time. Even when they get agitated and violent, as with late dementia, the memory is gone in seconds. It's us as families that are in pain. Maybe that helps. When I taught death and dying classes this piece of information seemed to be comfort to many. People think "Oh how sad that they are dealing with this" But it isn;t THEM it's you.
I would have to second this.

I've worked Geriatrics for years. It is incredibly difficult to see your loved ones fade away into the unknown, but really, for the most part, they don't have any idea they are "off" or wrong.

As a nurse, I've learned that "reality orientation" is a bunch of hooey. They used to want us to tell them where they were and what the day was, all that stuff.

I quit doing "reality orientation" and just learned to sit and chat a bit with them. Sometimes you find yourself on a pleasant journey.

I feel for anyone dealing with a loved one with dementia. I wish you both peace, and no matter **what** it takes, find some time for yourself.

It's an awful thing. My mother had Alzheimers for the last couple of years of her life. She'd see crowds of people in the backyard and in the treehouse. The only upside was that she forgot she smoked, so for a year before she died, she was cigarette-free, for all the good it did her by then.
As for that guy, how does he function? In a fog, in a deep fog, LOL.

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