A Caregiver's Journal provides information, insight, enlightenment and shared experiences for new caregivers and encouragement for long time caregivers. The focus of this blog is our transition from empty nesters to caregivers for my god-sister, Gladys, a stroke survivor. RSS Subscribe to RSS

Will Gladys Get the Boot?

dreamstime_9292733Recently my husband, Fred, went to pick Gladys up from Adult Day Care and he got an ear full.  It seems that Mrs. Rooney (Gladys) has been acting out, having temper outbursts and being a prima donna.

While all of this is apparently news to the center, it is not news to us.  When we first took Gladys to the center they said, “We just love Ms Rooney, she’s so sweet!”  I just smiled and thought “wait until the real one shows up” (insert sinister laugh here).  Well, the real one has arrived and she’s in rare form.

Don’t Spoil Your Children

Gladys is an only child and was spoiled rotten.  She never had to cook, clean or do any chores.  Her mother took care of everything domestic.  After her mother died, her husband did the cooking and cleaning.  After he died, one of her girlfriends did her cooking, another did her cleaning and my daughter, Nichole, ran her errands.

I understand why Gladys was spoiled, I just don’t agree with it.  Gladys’ mother was told that she would probably miscarry; if not Gladys would have some major health problems.  As a child, Gladys had seizures and serious nose bleeds, otherwise, she was in pretty good health.  But, her family always handled her with kid gloves, did everything for her and gave her everything she wanted.  She was allowed to say whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, to whomever she wanted.

What happens to spoiled children?  Sometimes they become spoiled adults.

What has changed?

Nothing!  Now I cook, clean and run her errands.  Fred is her chauffeur and my daughter, Anita, is her part-time nurse-maid.  At the day care, the workers help Gladys into and out of her chair.  She expects them to walk her to the bathroom, help her with her clothing (she does need help with clothes) and help her sit down and get up from the toilet.  When she wants to go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time and they say, “Mrs. Rooney, you just came from the bathroom,” she yells “What does a person have to do to get help around here?”  She fusses at the other clients for using “her” bathroom; and she tells everyone to be quiet when her favorite show is on television.Beautiful woman in an aggressive posture with a sword

She’s Met Her Match

I tried to tell the activity director and nurse at the day care that Gladys can do most of those things for herself.  For some reason they didn’t believe me.  Now they have a master manipulator on their hands.  When Gladys is at home and forgets who she’s talking to she’ll tell me, “I need to go to the bathroom.”  And I say, “OK, get up and go.” She looks at me, rolls her eyes, makes a tsking sound, gets up and goes.  Sometimes on Saturday mornings when she wants to lounge around in the bed all day, Gladys tells me to go get her teeth.  I tell her “if you want to eat, you better go get them.

When Gladys first came to live with us, Fred thought I was being mean to her.  I tried to tell him that I grew up with her and I know all her tricks.  I know she has dementia, but I also know she’s a manipulator.  She’s not going to work me like a slave.  Now he knows her tricks too.

Back to the Issue At Hand

I’m hoping that Gladys will settle down at the day care so she won’t get the boot.  Eviction is unlikely since the day care is owned by the county and is for elderly people with dementia.  But you never know.  Pray for Gladys. Pray for the workers at the day care, they’ll need it.