Life in the Old Folks Home

When we moved here last November, we early on met a nice couple, Mike and Molly, who live down the hall from us. Had dinner with them a couple of times. She is kinda bossy to him, but we didn’t think much about it (Kinda like our family, doncha know?). In particular she monitors his drinking and shuts him down after one drink. We continue to see them regularly. Yesterday we had a longish visit with her alone. We had deduced that Mike has some kind of issue, for instance I met him in the hall one day and he pointed to the end of the hall to a painting of a fish, and said, “That’s my landmark. A big fish. I go to the fish and turn left.”

Yesterday she told us that he has Alzheimer’s, and it is advancing quickly. He always seems happy (maybe too happy). I always thought ALZ made you angry and unsociable. We can see a change in him in the 9 months we have know them, but no anger. She is dreading the day when he has to move to the mental care part of the OFH, which is in a separate building. I don’t know if she will move with him or not. She said he got lost one day last week. Taking his walk around the grounds. Finally he asked someone for directions and they helped him get to his apartment.

They are both grads of the University of California in Irvine, and both were lawyers (and he became a judge in the family court).

There are some sad aspects of living in an OFH. There have been several deaths among the residents, and now a friend is sick with ALZ.



He always seems happy (maybe too happy). I always thought ALZ made you angry and unsociable.

Not at all. Some people’s personality and behavior don’t change. Some people become nicer. Some become irritable.


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Anger can also be a side-effect of meds. For example, Keppra (anti-seizure) and Ativan (anti-anxiety) have that effect on the hubster even though most people tolerate them well.

I think Molly should get Mike a tracking device. I recommend the one I used for the hubster–Jiobit. Allowed me to see where he was every minute on my cell phone. Meanwhile, Mike should carry his cell phone to call his wife when he gets lost. Or one of those life-alerts so he can push the button and they’ll call his wife.

=alstro, jealous of spouses of people who actually get dementia when they’re old–not at 58 like the hubster :frowning:

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Thank you for sharing. The prospect of the big A and the big C terrifies me over the next (hopefully) 25 years.

It would be nice if we humans were allowed to have a break-the-glass / use-once “off” switch.

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I think Molly should get Mike a tracking device.

The OFH supplies each of us with a fob having a panic button. We are supposed to carry it everywhere. It’s like the “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up” fobs I see marketed on TV. I don’t carry mine - still in good health and my mind is still (more or less) working. The countess sometimes carries hers. She has discovered that if she falls in a flat area she can’t get up.


The state should allow it. But only a few do (Oregon comes to mind). Assisted suicide, before you’re too far gone to consent.

It should be a right.


In Oregon and California (at least those two) your physician can prescribe a pill for such an occasion. For myself, I don’t want to spend my final days in agony, so I would ask my GP for the proper prescription which the pharmacy can supply, all legal.