Lately my dear puts everything in his mouth. The nurse’s arm, the sensory items one might call toys, the empty glass (a problem if it’s styrofoam), the napkin, my hand. As i let him suck, he turns my hand, examines it, kisses it, and chooses a finger. I watched bemused until suddenly, he chomps. He may not have many teeth, but yep they are sharp!
When i protested, he was somewhat abashed but mostly bemused and talked a lot, maybe explaining, but i could make no sense.
And so again we probably descend, and so again i must bear the journey.
Meanwhile, in a great distraction, the care home and the media are obsessed and upset because the government has assumed temporary control due to health and safety issues.
It is early days for sure, but so far there has been no indication that anyone in the local management levels actually understands the depth of the issues raised in the Medical Health Officer’s report to the Island Health Board.
They seem to think it is just a few trouble-makers, whose loved ones might have had an unfortunate accident, or two, or three. A fall, a sore, an infection, a death. Happens all the time you know, and, oh yes, it does, anywhere: accidents happen, things go sideways, but not over and over. And yes, we all know that no one gets out of Complex Long Term Care alive.
But most of the complaints and serious system failures the government has identified have nothing to do with the so-called trouble-makers. We did not to my knowledge even file more than a fraction of the complaints to Licensing.
This is personally frightening. Things were going awry all over, unknown to us. Thankfully the licensing branch of government got the trail.
One accident might happen, once, but multiple accidents are a system failure. And system failures are a management problem. And an oversight problem. Possibly, no probably, in part a money issue, but definitely not an odd mishap or two. This is a time when management swings into action to sort things out.
As that happens, I have decided to not move my love to another facility, and to give the process a couple of months to see how it goes. He has friends and staff who know him well, so I want to avoid the upset of moving if at all possible.
Meanwhile a few overworked and underpaid care aides are the front line to stop my poor darling from eating whatever is movable and comes across his path.
Hint: Folks, better check all those soaps and deodorants and other stuff lying around in his room. We are now in another stage where anything anytime anywhere might go in his mouth.
We have been in that stage for at least a month or two. Parents will find this familiar!
The confusing thing is his somewhat aware reaction when his instinctive motions are interrupted. Not an adult, not a child. Just a fine and much loved human doing his impressive best, with a deadly handicap of dementia.
And very mouthy, just like his chosen woman.