A year and a half went by. My mother took care of them mentally, sorting their medications and making simple meals. My dad took care of her physically, making their toast in the morning when she was sleepy, doing simple household tasks. We hired a former neighbor to clean house. My mother liked her, she was not only a house cleaner, but a pleasant companion for my mother.
And then there was the fire. (My dad’s second fire – you may recall the first one when his sister and he burned down the barn.)
I stopped by my parent’s house one day on the way home from work.
My mother stated, “I can’t get the window closed all the way after the fire.”
Her eyes got big and she clasped her hand over her mouth. “I wasn’t supposed to tell you about the fire!”
The secret was out, so I insisted she tell me. Dad had microwaved a muffin too long, and it caught on fire. My mother pushed the button on her bracelet, calling for emergency help. The fire department came screeching to the Villa.
There was a lot of smoke, but no other damage. The firemen opened all the windows to let out the smoke. Later my mother managed to close them all, other than the stuck window in the spare bedroom.
We unstuck the window and closed it. I just shook my head.
Fear may be your companion when a relative has dementia. Will they get hurt, will they walk in front of a car, will they burn the house down?
Or you can just be thankful that when something happens, it turns out okay.
Also I have learned not to judge someone too quickly just because they are elderly.
I had my own microwave crisis a few weeks ago – here is a picture of my exploding squash!
Here is another example. While my dad was still driving, my parents went to a concert downtown Minneapolis. He left the car running in the parking garage the whole time they were at the concert. Luckily it didn’t run out of gas.
Wouldn’t you know it, a couple of months later my husband and I went out to dinner, and guess who left the car running the whole time we were eating in the restaurant? ME!
Judge not…!!! We all have accidents, we all do dumb things. Try to create a safe environment, and hope and pray for the best.