Blog 40: Dangerous Behaviours

Each time the ACAT Assessor visited to assess Bill, the Assessor would ask:

“Does Bill display any dangerous behaviours?”

Before answering, it would always run through my mind that Bill’s actions of hitting caring personnel, including myself, could be regarded as dangerous in that one punch might do damage. I would also ponder the time when he went to eat a marble, thinking that it might be a lolly. Then, of course, I would have to remember those times when Bill took himself and his walker off down the road, alone, and could have come to harm. But I didn’t mention any of these. These days, Bill’s punches were rapidly losing their power, the marble incident was a one-off and I believed that Bill still had a vestige of common sense in his head that helped to keep him safe.

So, when she asked that question, I ignored all those incidents and answered,

“Yes,” adding, “And they all happen in the kitchen.”

“What are they?” she asked.

“Well,” I answered, “Bill has become fascinated with the knobs that control the oven and the hot plates. He has found that he can turn them and, just like a two-year-old with a play kitchen, takes great delight in doing so.”

“You can take those knobs off,” the Assessor commented.

“Yes, I know,” I rejoined. “But sometimes I forget to take them off after I’ve used them and then I can’t get them away from him if he starts playing with them again. This can be particularly dangerous if he starts playing with them at night after he has bundled newspapers and magazines on to the bench top next to the hot plates.”

“Well, you’ll have to take the newspapers away from him,” she suggested.

“Or,” I added, “I will have to be very vigilant about taking those knobs off after use and hiding them in a drawer. Maybe I’ll put bright stickers on them. They might alert me to take them off. I’m reluctant to take the newspapers away from him. Bundling them is an important part of his life.”

“Anything else?” the Assessor asked.

“Well,” I told her. “When I’m cooking in the evening, Bill has, on occasions, clipped me over the head as I’ve been lifting a container of stew out of the microwave. But that behaviour seems to have passed. Sundowners’ Syndrome doesn’t worry Bill as much these days. Maybe the drug, Risperdal, is helping him.”

“And is that all?” she queried, taking notes.

“No,” I replied. “My big problem, at present, has arisen because Bill has started to take an interest in the actual cooking process. When I’m cooking at night, he will come and stand by me and stir the mince or the carefully-formed fritters and then start to eat them straight out of the pot or pan. But, though that’s annoying, it’s no real bother. I imagine, once he’s burnt himself, that that game will stop. What is a concern, though, is the fact that, once the potatoes have come to the boil, Bill will pick up the saucepan and then, uttering the words: Careful, Careful, will deposit the saucepan on to the sink. Then, if I try to put the saucepan on to the stove again, he will fight me and won’t let me do it. He just does not understand that the potatoes need to simmer for twenty minutes before they can be eaten. He thinks that they are done when they come to the boil.”

“Well,” the Assessor responded, grasping for a solution, “Maybe you’ll have to do your cooking while Bill is out for his drive in the mornings.

And that’s exactly what happened. I gave up cooking in the evenings. It was much easier to cook in the mornings and then reheat at night. Thanks to the Assessor, the problem was solved.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

a blog about my dementia journey


© 2012 Sneek
Powered by WordPress, Endless & Sneek