We made the difficult decision this week to move my mother-in-law into a Memory Care unit. None of us are happy about it. But when someone insists on going to bed in a room that isn’t hers and starts storing her socks in the freezer, it’s pretty clear that independent living no longer suits her.
At least it’s clear to the supposed “experts.” I’m not so sure.
The thing is, my mother-in-law discovered, several years ago, a curling iron that I had put in the freezer. So, I feel like I’m one bed hop away from my own memory care incarceration and I certainly don’t have room to judge. However, the place where she is living administered a quiz to my mother-in-law that apparently assesses one’s need for more assistance and it, surprisingly, did not include any questions about the proper place to store your socks or your hair appliances.
“What did they ask her?” I asked my husband.
“The date. She didn’t know.”
Oh geez. Half the time I don’t know the date either. I have to ask my students or the lady at the dry cleaners when I’m writing a check at 4:00 in the afternoon.
“What city she lives in. She knew the state, but not the city.”
Well, I do know that. But I’ve lived here for 25 years (she’s only been here 2 years). And if you ask my Kindergartners what city they live in, they will tell you anything from Canada to Paris. I don’t see any of them getting stuck in a memory care unit.
“They asked her to fold a piece of paper a certain way and she did that perfectly.”
Oh. My. God. I’ve watched videos on how to fold a fitted bed sheet 10000 times and I still can’t do it right. And now they want me to do origami?
That’s 2 out of 3 questions I would have bombed. So, basically, I would have scored the same on the quiz as my mother-in-law.
Please don’t tell these people I lost my wedding rings last week, then found them on the floor by my feet, or that I punched the play button on our home answering machine this afternoon and did not recognize my own voice leaving a message that I thought I was leaving on my husband’s cell phone voice mail until I replayed the stupid thing twice.
As long as I refuse to answer any questions and stay out of the freezer, I think I’m good for another couple of years.
But I’m going to learn how to fold a fitted bed sheet if it’s the last thing I do before my dementia diagnosis. And I know exactly the person who can teach me…