Dementia smells!

Poor mum is having a tough week. She says she bought a hair dryer on Monday, a light one because the one she had was too heavy. I had a detailed description about the purchase including how very inconvenient it was of Boots to move the hairdryers upstairs just to make the purchase more difficult!

She also said dad had been over and swapped the new hairdryer for a heavy one. And it had hair in it. Of course he hadn’t. He can’t walk and like most men of his generation wouldn’t dream of using a hair dryer!

This conversation got us into a round-up of all the other issues going on for mum. She still insists the neighbours have a set of keys that allows them to get into her house. Seems they turn away from her when they lock their doors, so she can’t see the keys. I did try to say that most people turn to face the door, pull it closed and then lock it. I even tried to get mum to realise she did that too. But no, this behaviour was definitely an indication of a criminal mind according to mum!

She is convinced her next door neighbour has a key that fits all locks. Her evidence was that the keys all look the same!  No amount of explaining that superficially keys do look the same but the little teeth are carved to be unique to each lock, would convince mum. We have had the locks changed so many times that the local locksmith must be taking Caribbean holidays on the profits!

The next part of the story was perhaps the most shocking, and funny! I have to confess to giggling so much I could hardly hold the phone. Mum insisted. “They (the neighbour and her son) come in and watch the TV, the one in the sun room.”dementia-smell

I asked “Mum, has this been happening recently?” “Well no”, she said, “not recently. It was back last winter. They came in so they didn’t have to use their own heating.” “Did you see them?” The answer was no! “Then how do you know they came in and who it was that came?” “I could smell them”, Mum said. “Every time I come into the house, I can smell they have been here!”

Oh dear, it seems there are some senses that don’t diminish with dementia!

Post script. Mum called early this morning delighted.  She had found the hair dryer! She insists dad put it back overnight in her vanity case. But he still has her tooth brush charger. Oh well, at least there is some progress…