Dear Annie: My 90-year-old mother is an Alzheimer’s patient. In her younger days, she was very active in the community.
Mom doesn’t get out of her assisted-living community much. Occasionally, I take her in her wheelchair to a local restaurant or a doctor’s appointment. Because of her former high profile in the community, many people recognize her, but she no longer knows them. I always tell them to please identify themselves so she doesn’t get confused. Yet even with this warning, some people insist on saying, “Hi, Mary! Do you know who I am?”
Of course, I immediately tell Mom their name and how she knows them so she can put them in context. But what amazes me is that some people have the nerve to ask, “Why did you tell her? I wanted to see if she recognized me!” Mind you, she often does not know me.
Mom knows enough to be aware that she has a problem with her memory. The shock and despair on her face during these encounters is so sad, it makes me want to smack these idiots. I’m amazed at the stupidity of some people and wanted to tell them so. – Pissed Off in El Paso
Dear El Paso: It is always wise to identify yourself when approaching someone. It is both inconsiderate and egotistical to assume everyone knows who you are. This is especially important when dealing with a person with Alzheimer’s. Thanks for saying so.
Dear Annie: I’ve been reading about the barking dogs. Many years ago, we lived next to a lady who had chickens. I called and told her that her rooster was waking us up too early in the morning. She promised it wouldn’t happen again.
The next morning, the rooster began to crow. I called her on the phone. When she answered, I began to crow like a rooster. End of problem. – The Villages, Fla.