Friday, January 7, 2011

Kitchen Privileges

Mom’s been banned from the kitchen. Sort of.  Tea making is still happening, but when others are in the kitchen trying to cook, she has to stay out.

We’ve had too many close calls. My DH almost spilled boiling hot syrup when Mom ignored him when he told her to stay back. We thought some of it was due to her eyesight, but she had her eyes examined this week and they are fine.

She just can’t process what is going on around her. It is dangerous to herself and to others. If DH is using a knife and cutting cheese or carving meat, she will suddenly reach in to get a “taste.”  She can’t judge whether or not its safe to do so.

And then there is the practical issue too. I know Mom wants to be with us when we are in the kitchen. We have an open floor plan and she could sit or stand safely on the other side of the snack bar. (Unless she reaches in when we have knives.) But she keeps coming in and getting in the way.

That may sound mean. But when we are trying to fix dinner or make a snack it is frustrating. The other issue is hygiene- Mom doesn’t wash her hands much any more and even after getting into the kitchen garbage, she will stick her fingers in food we have on the counter.

We’ve asked her to stop taking food off of other people’s plates. Not knowing if her hands are clean, or if she washed after toileting, we aren’t crazy about her snitching food from our plates. She told me to slap her hand! No way!  If she misinterpreted that we could end up being accused of elder abuse!

Mom is not happy about this. Of course not. But I don’t know what else we can do.




Diane said...

I wondered at times about my Dad's eyesight also, when he couldn't seem to judge distances etc. I then read an article on one of the Alzheimer's website that stated that they alz loved ones' visual acuity is commonly diminished 50% by the mid-stages of alz. I knew something was going on, but couldn't explain it and my Dad's ophthalmologist hadn't ever heard of it from other patients or caregivers. I give my Dad way more space than needed b/c he seems to think we are very close when we aren't. Again, I say to you, thanks so much for your blog. Just reading it helps to encourage others going through this that we aren't alone. God Bless you and your precious family.

Anonymous said...

My Mom has lost all fear - and as a result, she often does things - or does *not* do things that are dangerous.

It is so hard to understand; and indeed, very hard to deal with on a daily basis.

We have long used hand sanitizer with my Mom, as she too does not wash (or washes poorly) her hands.