April 9, 2001
This week, we have a story written by Georgina Vicky Lunn, from Scotch Village, Nova Scotia. Vicky, as she prefers to be called, is orginally from Newfoundland. Before she began at the Hants Shore Literacy Program, she could not read or write letters to her family, and she could not write cheques to pay her bills. She would never get involved in community activities. Since then, Vicky has served as Chairman of the Board of the Literacy Program, and she has encouraged many people to join the program. She frequently tutors her 8-year old grand-daughter with her school work. Vicky's pastimes are gardening, making crafts such as slippers and Christmas ornaments, as well as baking and preparing foods like jam and pickles.
Well, I did not have any experience in that work but I took the job. They had told me what to do for her. I came the eighth of July. I like it. I had to give her a mask every four hours. That wasn't so bad at all.
She is like a little child. She wants to play dolls and play with dishes and make muddy pies. She wants to go and play with the children outside. She said that she was going to school. I had to get her ready for school and put her on the school bus. She likes me to read out of children's books.
She packs her clothes to go home. She is all the time asking for her mom and dad and sisters. They are all gone. She's up all night long with me, frightened about going to the bathroom or using her mask. She is confused all the time. She called me a man one night. The next night I'm a boy. Then the next night I'm a girl. I have got to laugh at her.
She took off all of her clothes one night and went in the bathroom for two hours and sat on the toilet with the seat down. She was mad with me. She takes all her clothes and throws them around the floor. She doesn't want to take her medication at times. She thinks we are poisoning her. She complains all the time. She screams and is unmanageable all the time. She hides things everywhere. We can't find them at all.
She is frightened we will take her husband Arthur away from her. I rubbed Arthurs back tonight. She got mad and said that I was taking him away from her and that I want him. She thinks the day girl who works here married Arthur. We laugh about it. Arthur takes her money when it comes, and he gives it to her to count. Then he takes it away from her. If she had it, she would cut it up or burn it. So when he takes it from her she gets mad at him and doesnt talk to him for two hours.
She's up all the time. Some nights she sleeps but some nights she's up and dressed at four o'clock in the morning and wanting breakfast.
She likes music a lot. All the time I've got to put on Newfoundland music for her leg pains. She drinks a lot of juice at night time. She went nineteen hours without making water. She wants to go upstairs and make her bed for the small children. She told me to go home because she didn't want any help and that she could look after herself and Arthur. She is so forgetful all the time. You have to have a lot of patience to look after an Alzheimer patient.
[This story was taken with permission, from Now I Know, a collection of stories written by adults involved in upgrading program in Nova Scotia, stories about health concerns.]