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2am Shenanigans with my Grandfather

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When I started this blog almost 6 years ago (I can’t believe it will be 6 years this August!), it was meant to keep friends and family updated on what life was like living with my parents and grandparents, our house renovations to keep the peace and privacy for all involved and funny little stories that happened along the way. I always thought it would be kind of cool to look back and have an online journal of our life living as a multigenerational family under one roof. What I didn’t anticipate were the 2am shenanigans due to dementia and alzheimer’s.

2am shenanigans with my grandfather

I want to remember some of these moments that happen because as much as I hate to admit it, my grandparents will be gone someday and I don’t want to forget the moments of laughter that this insane disease has caused. I would like to forget some of the “not so funny” moments so I try to keep the funny memories alive in my memory. It’s really the only thing  you can do to deal with this disease is to keep the humor alive. Otherwise, we may all end up in the looney bin.

Thankfully (so far), my grandfather finds himself equally as funny when he does things that are completely “crazy.” My mom keeps a baby monitor on her night table at night as my grandfather tends to roam around and doing silly things. My mom heard him a couple nights ago having a conversation with someone in the bathroom at 2am so she went to check on him and he was attempting to shave and get ready for work.

2am shenanigans with my grandfather

My mom said, “Fred, it’s 2am, lets go back to bed.”

He giggled and said, “well what the heck and I doing in the bathroom shaving then?”

My grandfather requires 24/7 care now and that includes getting dressed and showering. When I am on “gramp duty”, I usually hang outside the bathroom door and direct him to the shower and once he is in the shower, he pulls the curtain and then I hang outside the curtain and help facilitate the shower head.

A couple of nights ago, he was in the hallway looking for the shower and ended up in his bedroom and he looked at me said, “Jessie, the shower isn’t in here.”

I laughed and said, “I know, it’s in the bathroom, this is your bedroom.”

He said, “come on Freddie O’l boy…….get with it!” He is pretty funny when he pokes fun at himself.

Last week he was taking a shower and said, “well kid, this is a long way away from you sitting in the barn watching me work when you were little.”

I said , “no kidding!”

He said, “I do some pretty funny things now don’t I.”

I laughed and said, “yes gramp, you sure do.”

He busted out laughing and said, “I am THAT crazy old person now that I use to think I never would be.”

2am shenanigans with my grandfather

My gram gets so disgusted with him when he gets the rooms mixed up.

I have to laugh at her because she has no patience with him and I said to her the other day, “gram, what’s going to happen when you both are mixed up together looking for rooms?”

She rolled her eyes at me and said, “Jessie, I better die before that happens.” -haha.  

One thing I have learned from this entire ordeal is, you can’t really take this stuff too seriously. You kinda just gotta role with it. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments where I get upset because it seems so surreal to see what’s happening but it’s usually when it’s “that time of the month!” for me . -haha. You know, those woman hormones are a pain in the butt!! 😉

Time has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Living in a multigenerational home with my parents and grandparents has made me think a lot about life, death and what happens next. Chalking this one up to another chapter in our dementia diaries series.

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6 Comments

  1. mgiovanni says:

    The disease is so heartbreaking, you are amazing to find ways to smile through it. You are an inspiration, we all should be so lucky to have your optimism and spirit.

  2. I keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I was my Dad’s caregiver —Mom had passed before his symptoms got to a point where he had to have someone 24/7. Hospice was amazing—helping with him and encouraging and keeping a watchful eye on me. I had two wonderful neighbors and two of the dearest friends who helped. The last year of my Dad.s life my friends rented there house and moved in with me.
    You are so right–you laugh or you go crazy–you cherish those moments and try not to dwell on the “uglies”!
    Please take care of yourself and know that many keep you in positive thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing—it helps those of us who have walked that walk and educates others to try to understand.
    Lin

  3. Jessica, it is wonderful that your family has created an atmosphere at home where not only are YOU “rolling with it”, but also that your Grandfather is as well. For all of you to keep your sense of humor alive and well is a blessing for the entire household. Your Grandfather seems like a simply wonderful person.

    This is a tough disease to see a cherished loved one declining in so many ways. Not fighting it or the person and accepting them as they are at the moment, somehow makes the inevitable stress that is part of caring for a family member with dementia a bit easier.

    You are a great example for everyone. Just think this is one of the benefits of multi generational living that maybe had not occurred to you in the beginning. Your team is already in place when the necessities of caring for each other change. I personally love the idea and successful result of multi generational living whenever it is possible. So much love and care.
    In Judaism we say:
    “L’Dor Va Dor” From Generation to Generation.

  4. Jane Teems says:

    This brings back so many memories of my dad who had dementia the last few years of life. My mom and dad came to live with us when he became too much for mom to handle by herself. We would have to lock him in his bedroom at night because he would get out and roam and go outside if he could find a way. Luckily he had a bathroom in the bedroom but most of the time he had wear incontinence underwear because he could figure out how to get to the toilet. You have my prayers. I know it is difficult but I wouldn’t have had him anywhere else by with family.

  5. That’s great your grandfather is able to laugh at those kinds of mix-ups! It’s good that you are too. I think you’re right, that you can’t take all of it too seriously and focus on the bad because it will be too overwhelming. I know those times will happen, but it’s a good idea to focus on the good instead. Thanks for allowing us to follow your journey.

  6. You are blessed that your grandfather can laugh at himself. My mother couldn’t do that. Consequently she was depressed all the time and finally would not go anywhere.