Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Tuesday, February 8, 2011

911, Mother, and an Invention Necessity

She did it again.

Yep, the little old lady from the Village once again figured out a way to call 911. Once again, the cavalry comes with lights flashing and horns blaring over to the assisted living facility where the now (very familiar!) woman with dementia has falsely sounded the alert.

And once again, my mother's phone was removed from her room.

One of the most debilitating aspects of dementia is the accompanying anxiety issues. This high level of anxiousness seems to effect dementia patients between the hours of 3-7 pm. Physicians call this "sun-downing" and our mother Evelyn, suffers from it greatly.

My crafty brother, John has "modified" her phone several times in an attempt to enable her to call only us and not 911 during these times of high anxiety. His latest phone modification effort included the use of super glue. He was able to glue the "9" and the "1" buttons, so they would not be operational. He programmed our phone numbers on her speed dial pad and "voila" we had a phone that fit the bill.

Or so we thought!

The problem with having a mother diagnosed with dementia, who also happens to possess a superior intelligence and dogged determination, is that she will undoubtedly figure out a way to get what she wants.

Clever Evie simply dialed the operator.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

So, this time, my brother and I performed major reconstruction surgery on our fourth newly purchased "Mom" phone.

Take a look.......


The round gold metal piece on the upper right hand corner of the phone is a lid from the top of a bottle of Greek olives. It has been super glued to cover the answering machine functions.

The oblong, beige piece is a broken "chip clip", this has also been super glued and covers the programming buttons.

The large square metal piece is the cover of an herbal tea box, it too is super glued and covers the number buttons.

The post-it note provides instruction-for-use of this unusual phone.

We installed this new device in our mother's room last night.

We are awaiting the results. I am hopeful that we do not find it in pieces hurled out of her window!

Johnny and I have decided to patent our newly invented dementia wares. We believe there is huge market potential within the dementia community for phones with restricted dialing and bottles of aspirins that look like Tic Tacs!

Who was it that said ...Necessity is the mother of invention? They obviously never had a mother diagnosed with dementia. Otherwise, it would have read:

Our mother and an invention necessity!