• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

What a hussy - LOL

di65

Registered User
Feb 28, 2013
775
new zealand
When I was at Lex's Care Home yesterday, it was all I could do not to laugh at one of the resident's comments.
I gave Lex a kiss as I usually do when I arrive, and sat down beside him. I then got this glare from the darling lady beside him. She then turned to the other resident next to her a said in a VERY loud whisper - " You see that lady there? She is always here and when she sees him she gives him a kiss. I think she's trying to get off with him!!"
The carer that was reading the newspaper to the residents nearly choked, but managed to keep on reading:D:D
I could write a book on the wonderful reactions to life as it now is for the residents!

My daughter in law has made a huge batch of small cupcakes and decorated them with a wee heart and I am off to take them over to the Care Home as a Valentines treat for the staff and residents, so I had better watch my P's and Q's:D

Take care everyone

Diana
 

Scarlett123

Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
3,802
Essex
When I was at Lex's Care Home yesterday, it was all I could do not to laugh at one of the resident's comments.
I gave Lex a kiss as I usually do when I arrive, and sat down beside him. I then got this glare from the darling lady beside him. She then turned to the other resident next to her a said in a VERY loud whisper - " You see that lady there? She is always here and when she sees him she gives him a kiss. I think she's trying to get off with him!!"
The carer that was reading the newspaper to the residents nearly choked, but managed to keep on reading:D:D
I could write a book on the wonderful reactions to life as it now is for the residents!

My daughter in law has made a huge batch of small cupcakes and decorated them with a wee heart and I am off to take them over to the Care Home as a Valentines treat for the staff and residents, so I had better watch my P's and Q's:D

Take care everyone

Diana
Ha ha! When I used to visit John, one of the ladies always said to me "don't try and deny it. I've got proof. You think I don't know but I do. Always carrying on with him, you were". :rolleyes: I asked one of the staff once if she knew who the lady thought I'd been carrying on with, and was told it varied from her husband, to her brother, to more men. :D
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
Well, as 'dementia friends', it would serve us all well to remember that some people have a brain disease...and it's not that funny.

Really.


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Scarlett123

Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
3,802
Essex
Well, as 'dementia friends', it would serve us all well to remember that some people have a brain disease...and it's not that funny.

Really.


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I don't think any carers can ever forget that the ones we care for have a brain disease, and that not only isn't it funny, but it's heartbreaking, exhausting and soul destroying.

Far better, I think, that we don't treat any comments such as these, that they might make, with any seriousness. I would cling to anything that John, or anyone else in his Care Home would say, that could be interpreted as even slightly smile provoking, as usually my visits would result in me fighting back the tears.

Since he died, I've visited his Care Home to entertain the residents by singing and strumming (badly) on my ukulele, and have taken cakes with each time. It's vital that I leave my ego at the door, because about 5 minutes after I'd started, one lady said "so when are we gonna get the bleedin' cakes then!"

But I apologise if I've offended you.
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
It's brain and life destroying for the person involved.

It isn't all about the carer.

Hee haw.


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di65

Registered User
Feb 28, 2013
775
new zealand
Well, as 'dementia friends', it would serve us all well to remember that some people have a brain disease...and it's not that funny.

Really.


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
I'm sorry if I have offended you Garnuft - that certainly wasn't my intention.

Like Scarlett, I find it soul destroying visiting my 67 year old husband in his care facility. Any moment of lightheartedness is welcomed.
 
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jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I have to say: I'm really ambivalent about this sort of thing. I think family carers really have to take the "I'll either laugh or cry, so it's better if I laugh" approach but I also am uncomfortable with professional carers finding amusement in what the people they are caring for do. But in truth, professional carers are people as well: do we really want them stone faced, and unable to see the funny side of a situation? Because I would say no. Of course dementia isn't funny. Cancer isn't funny either. But sometimes with cancer and dementia funny things happen and I think it's naive to expect that people won't respond.

I'd be very uncomfortable with professional carers (or I suppose family carers) holding up a person with dementia as the subject of ridicule, but I do rather think it's unreasonable to expect anyone to basically surgically remove their sense of the ridiculousness of a given situation.

I don't see anything in the OP or the posts that followed that imply that they are laughing at the person with dementia, just at the situation. Do bear in mind that I'm not saying: if they don't know it won't hurt them. Because yes, they might not know, but it makes us... less. But sometimes, you simply have to have a wry smile in the face of adversity.
 

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,592
Yorkshire
I'd rather that my relative's carers gave a wry smile at an absurd situation than sat there being professional and po-faced. What a miserable care home that would be.

I wasn't offended by the anecdotes.
 

Jinx

Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
2,333
Pontypool
Yesterday, and bearing in mind that I live in Wales where Rugby is sacrosanct, I went to visit my husband just as the match between Wales and Scotland was starting (we are English btw). All the able residents were in the big lounge and their tea was served there so they could watch the match. One lady resident is fanatical about rugby, she is 90 and can still remember every word of the Welsh National Anthem, which she sang extremely loudly most of the first half, wrapped in the Welsh flag whilst wearing a pair of knickers over the top of her trousers because she thought she was playing in the match and those were her shorts. She thoroughly enjoyed it and we all found it amusing.

Yes it was sad because she has dementia but should we have all sat there with long faces, I don't think so. I agree with Scarlett, garmuft, di65 and Jenniferpa that whilst we all fully understand the tragedy that has put our loved ones in this situation and are frequently brought to tears, there is no harm in trying to look at the lighter side provided they are not offended and they are treated with care and dignity.


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Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
60,542
Dundee
I have to say that Bill constantly brings a smile to my face and to the faces of his carers. I'm glad he does.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,016
Scotland
Oh my goodness! If we can't laugh at the daft things in life how will we get through the horrors. Loosen up. Stop apologising for being human. Every person looking after a PWD 24/7 is under pressure most of the time. My life is exceedingly serious so when the chance to laugh at something silly arises the I take it.
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
10,674
Merseyside
I'm sorry if I have offended you Garnuft - that certainly wasn't my intention.

Like Scarlett, I find it soul destroying visiting my 67 year old husband in his care facility. Any moment of lightheartedness is welcomed.
Laugh away Di. We do what we have to to get through.
 

Aisling

Registered User
Dec 5, 2015
1,807
Ireland
Yesterday, and bearing in mind that I live in Wales where Rugby is sacrosanct, I went to visit my husband just as the match between Wales and Scotland was starting (we are English btw). All the able residents were in the big lounge and their tea was served there so they could watch the match. One lady resident is fanatical about rugby, she is 90 and can still remember every word of the Welsh National Anthem, which she sang extremely loudly most of the first half, wrapped in the Welsh flag whilst wearing a pair of knickers over the top of her trousers because she thought she was playing in the match and those were her shorts. She thoroughly enjoyed it and we all found it amusing.

Yes it was sad because she has dementia but should we have all sat there with long faces, I don't think so. I agree with Scarlett, garmuft, di65 and Jenniferpa that whilst we all fully understand the tragedy that has put our loved ones in this situation and are frequently brought to tears, there is no harm in trying to look at the lighter side provided they are not offended and they are treated with care and dignity.


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I agree Jinx, we have to see the funny side sometimes. It helps to keep us sane.

Aisling
 

Aisling

Registered User
Dec 5, 2015
1,807
Ireland
Diana,the only thing that kept me going,as I sat day after day in mums home,was the funny things she said or did. For mum,dementia was horrific,she was either scared,hallucinating,crying or screaming,so if she had a reasonably good day,and said something funny,I'd laugh,and she would too. It made me love her even more,and some may think that's strange.

But a laugh from mum would stay in my head for the next traumatic visit.

I would never make fun of her.

Hugs for both of you.xxxxx
Totally agree Kassy.

Aisling
 

ellejay

Registered User
Jan 28, 2011
4,018
Essex
Same with my mum, not much makes her happy, but one day we took her a square storage box with a padded lid. I told her she could sit on it if she wanted to.

OH told her "No climbing though" & this just tickled mum, she did a pantomime of pretending to climb & then waving her arms around as if keeping her balance.

She'd made a joke & was laughing, so we did too. Why wouldn't we?

Lin x
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
Well, my beloved mother became sexually uninhibited, flirtatious and at times, crude and inappropriate... For her ...not for me, I have no hang ups.

She would have been mortified and I felt the sting keenly on her behalf.

It was part of the effects of the disease, it wasn't a statement of her character.

I find humour in all parts of my life, it's what keeps me going but not at the expense of a vulnerable person...fully compos mentis adults are up for grabs.

Horses for courses but if I'd heard anyone laughing at my mother, or my son or my father-in-law, I'd have their guts for garters.


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truth24

Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
5,725
North Somerset
Agree with others. I, and his carers, never laugh at Fred but we do laugh with him. None of us would demean him or ourselves by not respecting the person he still is but a little humour goes a long way in lifting, hopefully, his and my spirits.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,248
66
Toronto, Canada
My mother had a very sharp sense of humour, which I've inherited. So if it makes me laugh, I'm quite certain it would have made Mum laugh. I don't laugh at someone, I laugh with them.

One of my fondest memories so far is the 98 year old resident who told my husband to come to her room at 4:00, drop his trousers and she would show him a good time. The look on his face was more than priceless.:D
 

Scarlett123

Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
3,802
Essex
Well, my beloved mother became sexually uninhibited, flirtatious and at times, crude and inappropriate

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
Substitute the word "mother" for "husband", and that's what happened 18 months ago. when John was in his Care Home, initially for respite. I posted at the time that because he (aged 75) had been caught in a "compromising position", with a lady of 89, who was thoroughly enjoying herself, it had been reported to Social Services.

When the Manager came round to tell me (I had just had a knee op, hence the respite, and was on crutches), I could have died of shame on John's behalf. Someone less likely to act like this, you couldn't meet.

But, and perhaps I didn't explain this clearly before, this isn't the sort of thing that I would laugh at. Laugh - I cried with shame. But he would tell me a non-sensical joke, something along the lines of "A man walked onto the chicken. What did the monkey say?", and when I said that I'd no idea, and he said "Good morning!!", and then laughed, I joined in. There's a huge difference between mocking someone, and laughing at them, and seeing the funny side of something, and laughing with them.

And that is what I believe the OP meant, and it's what I meant too. I know it isn't just about the carer, that it's about the person being cared for, but John had no idea that he and Olive had done anything wrong, and certainly didn't have any shame, whereas I broke my heart.