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Mum making us laugh

Lavender45

Registered User
Jun 7, 2015
1,609
Liverpool
I hope no one is offended by this but sometimes it's hard not to laugh. Mum was apparently in a good mood yesterday and full of sarcasm.

It seems when one of the staff was taking around tea and biscuits she asked mum would she have a biscuit to which mum replied yes I will, but you'd better not have any as a you're putting a bit of beefcake on.

The other one they've just told me about was that she suggested to another carer that she get herself down to Lime Street and earn some money. In the past Lime Street was well known as a prostitution area!

It's a good job the staff have thick skins and a sense of humour.
 
Last edited:

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,496
Kent
I have many good memories of dad making me and his nursing home staff laugh. I still have contact with some of the NH staff and even in the most grim and challenging personal care situations with dad they still remember dad with humour and fondly by something he did or said. The nice dementia memories of my lovely dad are the ones I prefer to remember
 

Rebe

Registered User
Aug 13, 2016
24
Northampton
ALZHEIMER'S AND LAUGHTER


There's a cafe in Jimmy's End that mum really liked. We visited every Saturday morning. She liked their cheese sandwiches and their coffee.

They tell me that when someone has Alzheimer’s, the worse thing you can do is challenge them when they say something that is clearly untrue. They tell me that it's cruel to force them to think about what they have just said. They tell me that I should just change the subject. They tell me that I should consider myself to be her carer.

The cafe was very busy that day but she found a free table without my help. I was at the counter but she heard me above the noise when I asked her what she wanted.

'I don't know.'

The girl behind the counter said 'Two cheese sandwiches and two coffees? One black, one white?' We’ve been there before you see.

At the table mum asked me what I had been up to. She always does. But should I tell her? The chances are that she won’t understand whatever I have to say so what’s the point? Perhaps I should search for a subject that won’t cause her to engage in conversation? **** that!

'I've been on holiday mum. It was sunny. I was walking along the beach and I found a jelly fish. It looked like an abandoned mop head at first but I turned it over and it was a blue jelly fish. It was beautiful but it was dead. A local fisherman told me that there had been a freak storm in the Atlantic, just off the coast or Portugal. Apparently, it had killed a whole load of poisonous jelly fish and they got washed up in Weymouth Bay.'

'So what did you do?'

'I washed my hands.'

She nodded. 'You should always wash your hands.'

The sandwiches and coffee arrived and mum picked up a salt cellar. 'Do you want sugar in your coffee?'

'No thanks mum.' I took the salt cellar from her and moved all the condiments behind the menus.

She took a bite from her sandwich and said ‘So what was it? This mop thing. What was it?'

I reminded her that it was a jelly fish and showed her a photograph on my phone.

'Oh, those bloody things. I've spent all morning killing jelly fish.'

And I know it was at that point that I could have listened to the advice of those that have advised me to change the subject. It was at that point that I could have started to talk about the weather and urged her to drink her coffee. But I was intrigued.

'Mum, what the **** are you talking about? What ****ing jelly fish?'

'They're horrible Paul. The back garden's full of them.'

'Mum, they live in the ocean. You live in Northampton. There is no way that you have jelly fish in your garden.'

'Yes, but it's been raining a lot.'

Before you think that I was being cruel, you have to remember that I know her well. I know that she was confused, I could see her desperately trying to find an explanation, but there was no pain in her eyes. Mum used to talk a lot with her eyes and I can read them well. I could see only a childish amusement in the jelly fish enigma. But nonetheless I said nothing. I waited.

For a few minutes she was silent and finished the rest of her sandwich. She looked like she was thinking and I thought that maybe she had forgotten about the creatures in her garden. Sometimes when she gets lost in thought she is remembering the day when her brother accidentally broke her leg in that small Welsh village during the war. Sometimes her mind gets cast back to the day when she arrived home from school to find the kitchen covered in her mother’s blood. She talks a lot about her past.

But no. Not today.

'So what were they then?'

'What mum?'

'If they weren't jelly fish, what were they?'

'Mum, I don't know what they were, but I promise you they weren't jelly fish.'

I have to admit that I was struggling not to laugh. I have to admit that I was finding the whole thing quite amusing. I think that mum can read my eyes just as well as I read her's and I suspect she likes it when I laugh. Especially when she knows that it's her that makes me laugh. It pleases her even if she doesn’t understand why my eyes are smiling. Of course, at this point I was pretty sure that her jelly fish were actually slugs but I wanted to see where the conversation ended up.

'What do you think they were mum?'

'Well they must have been...... well if they weren't jelly fish........... well they must have been, erm.........they must have been........'

And I saw the cogs turning, I saw her trying to identify those slimy creatures, I saw her dig deep and try to put a name to the images in her head. But I saw laughter too.

The mistake I made was that it was then that I took a sip of coffee.

‘…. well they must have been whales!'

She blurted that one out with a conviction that was immediately followed by a question mark.

Gut laughs are terrible things when you have a mouth full of coffee. It was involuntary. The coffee splattered all over the table. I think I recovered fairly quickly but by then the cafe was silent and people were looking. Mum was laughing uncontrollably. There were tears flowing freely and I could see that she was trying to regain control of her facial muscles. She was trying to say something.

I pushed the cups and plates to one side and attempted to mop the table with a serviette. She took a few deep breaths and then a deep sigh before she picked up the coffee stained serviette and wiped away her tears. It was touch and go for a moment but then she straightened her back and sighed again. She made a visible effort to straighten her mouth. There was a coffee stain on her right cheek but she adjusted her glasses and cleared her throat.

'Paul, they weren't whales, were they?'

'No mum, they were slugs. I think we need to leave now.'

She managed to keep the laughter in until we were on the street. And then it started again. It wasn’t me. I was trying to be serious, she started it. She linked her arm in mine and we laughed all the way to the bus stop.

I wasn't laughing at her, I was laughing with her. It's not so bad to laugh is it? I'm not her carer, I'm her son. Do we explore the ridiculous idea of jelly fish in the garden or do we talk about the weather?
 

Lavender45

Registered User
Jun 7, 2015
1,609
Liverpool
ALZHEIMER'S AND LAUGHTER


There's a cafe in Jimmy's End that mum really liked. We visited every Saturday morning. She liked their cheese sandwiches and their coffee.

They tell me that when someone has Alzheimer’s, the worse thing you can do is challenge them when they say something that is clearly untrue. They tell me that it's cruel to force them to think about what they have just said. They tell me that I should just change the subject. They tell me that I should consider myself to be her carer.

The cafe was very busy that day but she found a free table without my help. I was at the counter but she heard me above the noise when I asked her what she wanted.

'I don't know.'

The girl behind the counter said 'Two cheese sandwiches and two coffees? One black, one white?' We’ve been there before you see.

At the table mum asked me what I had been up to. She always does. But should I tell her? The chances are that she won’t understand whatever I have to say so what’s the point? Perhaps I should search for a subject that won’t cause her to engage in conversation? **** that!

'I've been on holiday mum. It was sunny. I was walking along the beach and I found a jelly fish. It looked like an abandoned mop head at first but I turned it over and it was a blue jelly fish. It was beautiful but it was dead. A local fisherman told me that there had been a freak storm in the Atlantic, just off the coast or Portugal. Apparently, it had killed a whole load of poisonous jelly fish and they got washed up in Weymouth Bay.'

'So what did you do?'

'I washed my hands.'

She nodded. 'You should always wash your hands.'

The sandwiches and coffee arrived and mum picked up a salt cellar. 'Do you want sugar in your coffee?'

'No thanks mum.' I took the salt cellar from her and moved all the condiments behind the menus.

She took a bite from her sandwich and said ‘So what was it? This mop thing. What was it?'

I reminded her that it was a jelly fish and showed her a photograph on my phone.

'Oh, those bloody things. I've spent all morning killing jelly fish.'

And I know it was at that point that I could have listened to the advice of those that have advised me to change the subject. It was at that point that I could have started to talk about the weather and urged her to drink her coffee. But I was intrigued.

'Mum, what the **** are you talking about? What ****ing jelly fish?'

'They're horrible Paul. The back garden's full of them.'

'Mum, they live in the ocean. You live in Northampton. There is no way that you have jelly fish in your garden.'

'Yes, but it's been raining a lot.'

Before you think that I was being cruel, you have to remember that I know her well. I know that she was confused, I could see her desperately trying to find an explanation, but there was no pain in her eyes. Mum used to talk a lot with her eyes and I can read them well. I could see only a childish amusement in the jelly fish enigma. But nonetheless I said nothing. I waited.

For a few minutes she was silent and finished the rest of her sandwich. She looked like she was thinking and I thought that maybe she had forgotten about the creatures in her garden. Sometimes when she gets lost in thought she is remembering the day when her brother accidentally broke her leg in that small Welsh village during the war. Sometimes her mind gets cast back to the day when she arrived home from school to find the kitchen covered in her mother’s blood. She talks a lot about her past.

But no. Not today.

'So what were they then?'

'What mum?'

'If they weren't jelly fish, what were they?'

'Mum, I don't know what they were, but I promise you they weren't jelly fish.'

I have to admit that I was struggling not to laugh. I have to admit that I was finding the whole thing quite amusing. I think that mum can read my eyes just as well as I read her's and I suspect she likes it when I laugh. Especially when she knows that it's her that makes me laugh. It pleases her even if she doesn’t understand why my eyes are smiling. Of course, at this point I was pretty sure that her jelly fish were actually slugs but I wanted to see where the conversation ended up.

'What do you think they were mum?'

'Well they must have been...... well if they weren't jelly fish........... well they must have been, erm.........they must have been........'

And I saw the cogs turning, I saw her trying to identify those slimy creatures, I saw her dig deep and try to put a name to the images in her head. But I saw laughter too.

The mistake I made was that it was then that I took a sip of coffee.

‘…. well they must have been whales!'

She blurted that one out with a conviction that was immediately followed by a question mark.

Gut laughs are terrible things when you have a mouth full of coffee. It was involuntary. The coffee splattered all over the table. I think I recovered fairly quickly but by then the cafe was silent and people were looking. Mum was laughing uncontrollably. There were tears flowing freely and I could see that she was trying to regain control of her facial muscles. She was trying to say something.

I pushed the cups and plates to one side and attempted to mop the table with a serviette. She took a few deep breaths and then a deep sigh before she picked up the coffee stained serviette and wiped away her tears. It was touch and go for a moment but then she straightened her back and sighed again. She made a visible effort to straighten her mouth. There was a coffee stain on her right cheek but she adjusted her glasses and cleared her throat.

'Paul, they weren't whales, were they?'

'No mum, they were slugs. I think we need to leave now.'

She managed to keep the laughter in until we were on the street. And then it started again. It wasn’t me. I was trying to be serious, she started it. She linked her arm in mine and we laughed all the way to the bus stop.

I wasn't laughing at her, I was laughing with her. It's not so bad to laugh is it? I'm not her carer, I'm her son. Do we explore the ridiculous idea of jelly fish in the garden or do we talk about the weather?
That's lovely. The logic of yes, but it's been raining a lot may be faulty, but it's also brilliant. X
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
493
@Rebe l too used to frequent that cafe with my mum! Think they are well used to strange conversations as my mum always talked to the staff & they gradually realised all was not right. But they were always lovely & I never had any qualms about going there with her.
My mum struggles now finding the right words & would very likely have said the same as your mum. Like you've said we have a laugh together at some of the odd stories.
@Lavender45 An elderly man I visit has told me on numerous occasions he & his wife (deceased) would have liked to adopt Prince George! Also that he is in regular conversations with Prince Harry & he told him about his romantic relationship with Camilla! :eek: This gent will likely meet Prince Charles sometime this year as part of his involvement in WW2. I' m wondering what conversation might take place!
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,496
Kent
I bet those memories are beyond precious @love.dad.but. X
Yes they are Lavender45...I happily also joined his confabulation world and his made up can't possibly have happened happy stories..often I found myself thinking so much better than his/mine real world at that time. The horrible confabulations though always brought me back down to earth with a bump! I love that the staff at the time and even a year after he died still laugh about some of the things dad said and did...it means to me that they genuinely liked him and saw the lovely polite gentleman behind the personal care challenging verbal volleys we all got.
 

Rebe

Registered User
Aug 13, 2016
24
Northampton
That's lovely. The logic of yes, but it's been raining a lot may be faulty, but it's also brilliant. X
Yes, the logic was flawed. But at least there was a reason.

The link was obviously water. She sussed that much and very quickly. And you are right - it was brilliant!

I think that you have identified something important here.

We often have to unravel the message that is being conveyed. But she definitely has something say and I definitely owe it to her to listen. It's all to easy to dismiss the content of the conversation as nonsensical and random. But there was a link between the ocean and the rain. And there was a link between the jelly fish and the slug. They are both soft and squidgy. And of course there is a link between the jelly fish and the whales in so far as they both live in the ocean.

So there absolutely is a point in my trying to follow her line of thought. X
 

Rebe

Registered User
Aug 13, 2016
24
Northampton
@Rebe l too used to frequent that cafe with my mum! Think they are well used to strange conversations as my mum always talked to the staff & they gradually realised all was not right. But they were always lovely & I never had any qualms about going there with her.
My mum struggles now finding the right words & would very likely have said the same as your mum. Like you've said we have a laugh together at some of the odd stories.
@Lavender45 An elderly man I visit has told me on numerous occasions he & his wife (deceased) would have liked to adopt Prince George! Also that he is in regular conversations with Prince Harry & he told him about his romantic relationship with Camilla! :eek: This gent will likely meet Prince Charles sometime this year as part of his involvement in WW2. I' m wondering what conversation might take place!
Square One?
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
493
Yes! Was in there today actually minus mum though & the staff came over & asked after her. Difficult to get her there now mum's in a care home some miles away.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
1,891
Essex
I hope no one is offended by this but sometimes it's hard not to laugh. Mum was apparently in a good mood yesterday and full of sarcasm.

It seems when one of the staff was taking around tea and biscuits she asked mum would she have a biscuit to which mum replied yes I will, but you'd better not have any as a you're putting a bit of beefcake on.

The other one they've just told me about was that she suggested to another carer that she get herself down to Lime Street and earn some money. In the past Lime Street was well known as a prostitution area!

It's a good job the staff have thick skins and a sense of humour.
Excellent! May I suggest you read The Lighter Side Of Alzheimers and see what our carers and neighbours have to put up with and also the dentist.

MaNaAk
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,138
Victoria, Australia
A friend often tells the story about the day her mum (non AD) phoned to say that there was a giant mouse in her back garden. Mum insisted that this mouse was as big as she was and she was scared to go out into the garden.

So my friend was very concerned that her mum who had always been well was now experiencing some kind of problem rushed around to her mum's only to find that the giant mouse in her mum's back garden was in actual fact a kangaroo that had somehow thought that the grass here was really greener.
 

Lavender45

Registered User
Jun 7, 2015
1,609
Liverpool
Well, mum's been a busy little bee lately.

Mum was snoozing in the lounge when I visited today, so I had a chat with her 121. When I speak to the unit manager they mostly tell me mum has been fine. The 121s tell me a lot more.

The other week mum broke the toilet in her ensuite. Mum is transferred to and from the toilet with a standing aid and 2 staff. As they were raisng her she gripped the toilet and pulled it off the floor with a combination of the power of the standing aid and the fact that she has a grip like a vice. She just amazes me!

Alongside of that mum has been both verbally and physically abusing the staff. One example on the verbal side was mum and her 121 eating crisps with mum snarling go on you fat (animal that produces milk) eat another one and make yourself fatter. Mum is a larger lady than the 121.

On the physical side amongst other things mum grabbed her 121 on the underside of the top of her arm digging her nails in. The 121 said it was really painful, in fact burning with pain. Mum wouldn't let go, just asked in an evil voice can you feel it? Does it hurt does it? On another occasion she asked the 121 do you want me to beat you up the way I'm going to beat Amanda (that is me) up? Mum is such a joy, so pleasant isn't she. Funnily enough the 121s all love her and are good to her. With what she does to them they have to be saints!
 

Harrys daughter

Registered User
Jul 12, 2016
385
Well, mum's been a busy little bee lately.

Mum was snoozing in the lounge when I visited today, so I had a chat with her 121. When I speak to the unit manager they mostly tell me mum has been fine. The 121s tell me a lot more.

The other week mum broke the toilet in her ensuite. Mum is transferred to and from the toilet with a standing aid and 2 staff. As they were raisng her she gripped the toilet and pulled it off the floor with a combination of the power of the standing aid and the fact that she has a grip like a vice. She just amazes me!

Alongside of that mum has been both verbally and physically abusing the staff. One example on the verbal side was mum and her 121 eating crisps with mum snarling go on you fat (animal that produces milk) eat another one and make yourself fatter. Mum is a larger lady than the 121.

On the physical side amongst other things mum grabbed her 121 on the underside of the top of her arm digging her nails in. The 121 said it was really painful, in fact burning with pain. Mum wouldn't let go, just asked in an evil voice can you feel it? Does it hurt does it? On another occasion she asked the 121 do you want me to beat you up the way I'm going to beat Amanda (that is me) up? Mum is such a joy, so pleasant isn't she. Funnily enough the 121s all love her and are good to her. With what she does to them they have to be saints!
And so it continues lavender xx
 

AuntMimi

Registered User
Feb 23, 2018
16
how lovely, @Rebe ......it is such a good feeling to laugh,...... the time I spend with my friend is so much better since I took the plunge and encouraged her to laugh at some of our 'incidents' ....... She is so much more relaxed, and also so much more comfortable talking about her feelings, ....we often bump into old friends of hers, and as lovely as they all are, the majority of the time they speak in a very concerned sympathetic tone rather than in the way they generally would ......i like to keep it as much as possible, just as it would be if the dementia wasn't there, because primarily I'm her friend rather than carer, and friends have a laugh :)
 

angelaraphael

Registered User
May 29, 2017
19
My mother likes soft toys and I told everyone to give her one for Christmas so this is ammunition. I will be sitting on the sofa and suddenly I will get hit by a soft toy and she laughs itamuses me too . She also tickles my feet to waken me up
 

Lavender45

Registered User
Jun 7, 2015
1,609
Liverpool
My mother likes soft toys and I told everyone to give her one for Christmas so this is ammunition. I will be sitting on the sofa and suddenly I will get hit by a soft toy and she laughs itamuses me too . She also tickles my feet to waken me up
Soft toys sound good. My mum prefers to throw a punch though. :D I know some people may think it disrespectful, but I do find humour in her actions maybe because she's always been feisty, but now with dementia removing the inbuilt break on her behaviour she just does and says what she pleases and to a degree she's knows what she's up to.

Whilst under section mum tried to strangle a fellow patient. When the staff asked why she attacked she told them she did it because she could. I'm not saying I find that funny, but in a weird way I admire her spirit, determination and sheer strength to be able to get up to the things she does.

@MIA56 mum is a card. A whole pack of cards in fact. She's always had a sharp tongue, a quick temper and a good aim. :rolleyes:x
 

Rebe

Registered User
Aug 13, 2016
24
Northampton
how lovely, @Rebe ......it is such a good feeling to laugh,...... the time I spend with my friend is so much better since I took the plunge and encouraged her to laugh at some of our 'incidents' ....... She is so much more relaxed, and also so much more comfortable talking about her feelings, ....we often bump into old friends of hers, and as lovely as they all are, the majority of the time they speak in a very concerned sympathetic tone rather than in the way they generally would ......i like to keep it as much as possible, just as it would be if the dementia wasn't there, because primarily I'm her friend rather than carer, and friends have a laugh :)
Absolutely, and long may it continue.
 

Ann Mac

Registered User
Oct 17, 2013
3,693
Well, mum's been a busy little bee lately.

Mum was snoozing in the lounge when I visited today, so I had a chat with her 121. When I speak to the unit manager they mostly tell me mum has been fine. The 121s tell me a lot more.

The other week mum broke the toilet in her ensuite. Mum is transferred to and from the toilet with a standing aid and 2 staff. As they were raisng her she gripped the toilet and pulled it off the floor with a combination of the power of the standing aid and the fact that she has a grip like a vice. She just amazes me!

Alongside of that mum has been both verbally and physically abusing the staff. One example on the verbal side was mum and her 121 eating crisps with mum snarling go on you fat (animal that produces milk) eat another one and make yourself fatter. Mum is a larger lady than the 121.

On the physical side amongst other things mum grabbed her 121 on the underside of the top of her arm digging her nails in. The 121 said it was really painful, in fact burning with pain. Mum wouldn't let go, just asked in an evil voice can you feel it? Does it hurt does it? On another occasion she asked the 121 do you want me to beat you up the way I'm going to beat Amanda (that is me) up? Mum is such a joy, so pleasant isn't she. Funnily enough the 121s all love her and are good to her. With what she does to them they have to be saints!

Sending {{{{{{hugs}}}}} Lavender - a similar situation to my Mil. She is in a EMI nursing home, and dementia and the accompanying delusions have left her prone to violent attacks on staff - they often put themselves in the firing line, to stop her getting at residents. In the last two weeks, she has left awful scratches up one staffs arms, slapped another across the face and actually managed to grab one staffs arm and hand, and twisted so strongly that she has dislocated the staffs finger and broken her wrist. I feel guilty about the staff - though I know it isn't Mils fault, I still feel bad - and heartbroken at seeing my Mil, who was once one of my closest friends, behaving in such an awful way. She has a UTI at the moment, which makes the behaviour worse, but even when infection free, the violence is increasing and its a massive worry.

Any yet, the staff love her, because still shining through on occasion is an absolutely wicked sense of humour and an abitlity to leave the staff laughing themselves silly. A couple of weeks back, I visited, and Mil and I were sat at a table, with her chatting away, all confabulations and nonsense, but she was in a good mood. During the conversation she started to cross herself repeatedly - she is catholic - although there was nothing that I could see in what she was saying to prompt her to do this. Eventually I had to ask 'What are you doing, Mil?'

'What?' she asked, but her eyes were twinkling and she was grinning.

I demonstrated by crossing myself and asked 'What are you doing?'

With an absolutely wicked cackle, she replied 'Doing? I'll tell you what I'm doing', and as she crossed herself again, she chanted 'Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch!'.

She left me and nearby staff quite literally crying with laughter, and she joined in. I've no idea how she managed to dredge that one up from her memory, but she knew she ws being funny, and was delighted with herself. Nearly every time we go to visit, we get similar tales, and I am so glad that that the humour makes the staff so fond of her, that they are somehow able to retain their affection for her, despite the injuries she inflicts.

Laughter sometimes helps to make this whole foul disease a tiny bit more bearable.
 

AuntMimi

Registered User
Feb 23, 2018
16
Sending {{{{{{hugs}}}}} Lavender - a similar situation to my Mil. She is in a EMI nursing home, and dementia and the accompanying delusions have left her prone to violent attacks on staff - they often put themselves in the firing line, to stop her getting at residents. In the last two weeks, she has left awful scratches up one staffs arms, slapped another across the face and actually managed to grab one staffs arm and hand, and twisted so strongly that she has dislocated the staffs finger and broken her wrist. I feel guilty about the staff - though I know it isn't Mils fault, I still feel bad - and heartbroken at seeing my Mil, who was once one of my closest friends, behaving in such an awful way. She has a UTI at the moment, which makes the behaviour worse, but even when infection free, the violence is increasing and its a massive worry.

Any yet, the staff love her, because still shining through on occasion is an absolutely wicked sense of humour and an abitlity to leave the staff laughing themselves silly. A couple of weeks back, I visited, and Mil and I were sat at a table, with her chatting away, all confabulations and nonsense, but she was in a good mood. During the conversation she started to cross herself repeatedly - she is catholic - although there was nothing that I could see in what she was saying to prompt her to do this. Eventually I had to ask 'What are you doing, Mil?'

'What?' she asked, but her eyes were twinkling and she was grinning.

I demonstrated by crossing myself and asked 'What are you doing?'

With an absolutely wicked cackle, she replied 'Doing? I'll tell you what I'm doing', and as she crossed herself again, she chanted 'Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch!'.

She left me and nearby staff quite literally crying with laughter, and she joined in. I've no idea how she managed to dredge that one up from her memory, but she knew she ws being funny, and was delighted with herself. Nearly every time we go to visit, we get similar tales, and I am so glad that that the humour makes the staff so fond of her, that they are somehow able to retain their affection for her, despite the injuries she inflicts.

Laughter sometimes helps to make this whole foul disease a tiny bit more bearable.
Laughter really is the best medicine What a lovely story, and it must make a huge difference to you knowing how well the staff know and care about her.