Tag Archives: dementia

An Alternative Existence

I had a lovely lunch today with my very good friend, BFG (Bazza the Friendly Geordie). Apparently, her husband, BSG (Bazza’s Shy Geordie), would have joined us but when he dropped BFG off at the restaurant, he plaintively informed her that he ‘hadn’t been asked’. Mortified, faithful followers, mortified!

However, since we touched on ‘ladies’ bits’ (just a manner of speech) during the lunch, it was probably a good thing. We also touched on feminism – in a very genteel way, of course – although I have just remembered that I forgot to tell her about the phrase that DoD (Dai of Derby) came across in a book he’s reading: ‘the insects in the room gave off a genital hum’. We still cannot work out if it was a misspelling or if this man was particularly attuned to the sexual habits of insects. Who knows? Who cares?

Anyway, as usual, I digress. The purpose of my missive to you this evening is to help you deal with the difficulties of dementia, something which is becoming a real problem in modern society as we live longer, and which I know many of you have encountered personally. BFG and BSG are currently going through some hard times with his mother, who is in a nursing home (of necessity, not choice) but I am not here to depress you – far from it!

BFG told me of many instances when she and BSG have laughed and she is happy to share such moments with others, so picture these scenes:
1. The BFG’s mother-in-law’s GP has come to see her (the MiL, not the BFG, of course!) to check her over, but MiL is being a little uncooperative, to say the least. The doctor asks if she likes singing and BSG says yes, so BFG sits holding one hand, BSG holds the other, the GP listens to her chest with his stethoscope while all three are singing ‘My Way’. Even Monty Python couldn’t better that!
2. There is a lady called Doris at the home and she likes to wear a leopardskin onesie whilst standing at the front door charging everyone 50p to come in. She also likes to tell you if you have a ‘cheap’ haircut – apparently, BFG’s hair is cheap (I very much doubt that!).
3. There s nothing that’s much more fun than a reading club (so I’ve been told), especially in a nursing home. BFG, BSG, MiL and Margy, another resident, were sitting enjoying some tea – MiL was shovelling down (BFG’s words) a concoction of cream cake with extra cream in which her tablets were hidden (this is a woman who used to enjoy black coffee with no sugar), while Margy was sitting reading ‘Sex in the City’, the front cover describing it as ‘Jane Austen with frilly knickers’. Margy turned to BSG, whom she thinks is the manager of the place, and said, ‘I don’t think Jane Austen wrote this.’ In the meantime, playing in the background is ‘The Banana Boat Song’. Monty Python, where are you now?
4. The inevitable sing-song – My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, followed by ‘Billy, Don’t be a Hero’ – what a choice! It made us wonder – what will be the sing-songs of choice in, say, 30 years? Will the 80s generation be swaying along with their Zimmer frames to Duran Duran, A-Ha, Adam and the Ants, Take That? I shall be expecting Maggie May, Layla, Streets of London, maybe a little Pink Floyd to hum along to (genitally, of course!).
Sleep well, humming genitally to yourselves!

Poster picture mutual incomprehension

Conversations for all occasions:

Poster picture mutual incomprehension

Huh?

With the festive season fast approaching, I felt that the Lifestyle Support Guru could offer some help in providing conversation outlines that could be adapted for almost any social occasion. There are several conversations, so don’t feel you must read them all in one go – feel free to stop for refreshment in between each one (as I have done…).
The first of these takes place at a party, held as a surprise for a former neighbour (I would have

birthday cake with candles

Birthday cake

said ‘old neighbour’, but he’s younger than me) who had reached the grand old age of 50 – a mere stripling! The disco was very loud, as was the DJ, who didn’t seem to realise that you don’t need to shout into a microphone – it does the work for you! This meant it was quite difficult to hold a reasonable conversation. You are talking to the party boy’s mother, whom you haven’t seen for several years, and it goes something like this:
Me: It’s lovely to see you again.
Party boy’s mother: Obblygooblywibblyobbly.
Me: Really?
PBM: (Nodding enthusiastically) Wibblyobblygooblydibbly.
Me: That’s nice.
PBM: (Smiling) Dibblygooblynoobly.
Me: I’m glad to hear that. I’ll be back in a minute.
And with that you head off to the relative sanity of the bar where the music and DJ can only be heard at half-volume.

Magnifying Glass

At The Optician’s

The second conversation takes place at the optician’s, where he has apologised for making you wait, explaining that he’s got a couple of patients in who need some urgent treatment, so you decide to fire up your mobile wi-fi so that you can read a book on your phone while you’re waiting. However, you have to put a code into your phone, and the code is written in TINY letters on the back of the wi-fi thingummy, so you go to the reception desk:
Me: This may seem a strange request, but you wouldn’t happen to have a magnifying glass, would you?
Receptionist: (with an old-fashioned look) Yes.
Me: Oh, that’s lucky.
At this point, you hear a snort of laughter behind you and you turn around to see another customer grinning widely.
Other customer: It’s an optician’s, me duck. Of course they’ve got a magnifying glass!
Luckily, the optician calls you in and saves you any further blushes, until…

You have decided to get some new glasses, so you are left to peruse the selection of frames while the receptionist-cum-person-who-blows-a-puff-of-air-into-your-eye-making-you-jump works out how much of a mortgage you’ll need to pay for them.
Receptionist: Have you found any that you like?
Me: Yes, I rather like these. But I’m spoilt for choice with all the colours.
R: Erm, (trying to be polite) I’m afraid they wouldn’t be any good.
Me: Oh? Why? Do you think they wouldn’t suit me?
R: Erm, (trying to be tactful) they’re from our Disney Princess ‘Frozen’ range. They’re for children.
Me: Ah. Right.
You eventually end up with a rather fetching pair in a very tasteful lilac and silver… Dame Edna Everage, move over!

And finally, the sort of conversation you may have in the high street of any town. I cannot lay

man carrying notice board

Billboard

claim to personal experience – it was sent to me by a friend who overheard it and thought I might find it amusing. He said I could use it, providing I didn’t give his name – not for any clandestine reasons, but because he doesn’t like the limelight and thinks that being personally associated with the LSG might bring him too much attention! So, with thanks to my anonymous friend (you know who you are, Footie Fan!):
The scene is the main street in a West Midlands town (hope that’s not too much information, Footie Fan?) where a couple of guys with a ‘Repent before it’s too late’ placard are buttonholing passers-by. There was an old couple walking past and the ‘Repenters’ try to involve them. The conversation went something like this:
Repenter: Excuse me, sir – have you got a minute?
Couple stop.
R: Can you tell me the last time you went to church?
Old man: Well – I don’t go very often.
R: Really? And what do you think you should do in the future?
Old man (after a little hesitation): I’m going to have some lunch
R: Yes, but what do you think you should do to improve your life?
Old man stops and thinks a little longer and then says, ‘I shall have some chips.’
Clearly, the end of the world isn’t that nigh then….

Feel free to adapt these conversations to your own circumstances. Sleep well, faithful followers!