My Mom needed a new white thing. She's had 4 white things this
year. The first one was far too fancy. Too many bells and whistles.
Every time she tried to use it, it broke including one time when -- for
some unknown reason -- it was actually unplugged.
The second one wasn't entirely white so she didn't like it. The third one,
which works with dials instead of time buttons, wasn't powerful enough.
(It actually wasn't. Left her food uncooked.) So, bless her heart, a friend of mine who knows I'm just about tapped out from buying "white things",
just gave me a 4th white thing to try. She wasn't using it and, based
on my stories, thought it might work well. I think she is right.
This white thing should be easier to operate. On the front, rather
than it needing to be programmed or have time entered, it has buttons that say "beverage", "potato", "popcorn", "frozen meal". I hope, hope, hope
that she will be able to work this one instead of having the stupid thing break on her.
( I have 3 "broken" white things in my garage..which all work
fine... waiting to be donated to someone with a need. The one has
so little use I could almost give it as a gift! The original white thing
went to a family member. )
So, on Sunday I drove the 20 mile trip to bring her the newest white
thing. She, who remembered I was coming, decided to go out to
eat with a friend. I went to my brother's who lives about 2 miles
away. He could not find the key to her apartment to take it over so
I left it for him to take to her.
I called last night. He DID in fact take it to her. Now, here's the
$50,000 question for those who are going through this with me:
Did he, before he left, try to explain it to her? Did he, before he
left have her do a trial run with a bag of popcorn or frozen meal.
Easy answer, huh?
(And the manufacturers of microwave ovens need to get with the
program of the aging population. To get any "easy" one with dial,
they have no power. And most of the ones with power, require
too much skill. First one to put out a good, easy one has an
untapped market...at least here where I live.)
I can sure agree and sympathize with this! In our case it's the radio. Mom can't operate her wonderful radio ..many small buttons, no knobs. ALL radios from the time they were invented until recently (for her, 'recent' is 20 or 30 years) had TWO knobs. One is for ON/OFF. The other one is TUNING ..to change a station or jiggle it a little to get it to come in clearer.
The Wonderful new radio - gift from Ms Moo, of course - has not a single knob. It came when Mom was still lucid in mind, but weak in the eyes. She said 'where is the on/ off knob?" This radio doesn't have knobs, but 16 buttons. One, indistinguishable from all the others in size or shape and with on/off printed in newprint size on it, is the first to the right on the second row from the bottom.
Mom never got the hang of it. I pasted 'double sticky' tape on it to make it higher than all the others ..and still she hit the wrong one. The pre programmed classical music FM station I put in was inadvertently changed to an AM RAP station. Needless to say she only used this radio when I was home to do it for her.
TV: no on/offs. To turn it on you must press one button, then another one. One is on the remote, one is n the TV. THEN you have to use the remote to change to any other station than Ch 3 which comes right in, usually showing some violent film.
Mom cannot make it louder or lower. if she turns it on while I am sleeping, it knocks me out of bed with a sudden loud blast.
Give me an old fashioned radio or TV for her PLEEAAASSSSE.. manufacturers, where are you? Half the population is over 50!! Where is a cell phone with buttons big enough for arthritic fingers? Where is a necklace or bracelet that doesn't need two people to get it on?
PS All the 'white things" .... actually ours is brown .. break when Mom puts METAL into them!!!! I keep our micro on top of a high refrigerator ..beyond tiny (shrunken) Mom's reach ..she doesn't use it. I keep the toaster oven unplugged after a near fire, threw out the Mr Coffee machine, the electric can opener..and HOPE she won't get it into her head to iron or dry her hair ..plugging anything in is scary for my Mom, always was (she grew up in a pre elecric age European village .. wood stoves and GAS lamps or candles,to bed at dusk, up at dawn .. My Mom was born in 1908!!!!!)
Yet, in that more primitive time, there was still an extended family. Mother, father, kids, grandparents and an odd m***** Aunt or two - some were VERY odd! - made up the family ..children were always being watched by someone, burdens were shared, if company dropped in (pre telephone too) you added 2 cups of water to the soup kettle already simmering on the wood stove all day long ...
IDYLLIC? No. TB, diphtheria, death from childbirth ...but if anyone got old enough to get "senile" (now we call it Alzheimer) there were 12 people around to keep an eye on her ...
Last edited by Martha H; 05-06-2005 at 04:55 PM.
Reason: m***** aunt is a no no?
Mom is in that middle ground. She remembers about the metal objects
right now (thankfully) but no longer has the skills to operate anything
that is actually complicated.
Oh, I forgot about the TV until I read your post. She "lost" her remote
control a couple of months back. It's a part of the lack of reasoning
that comes with this.
She has a storage place for all of her stuff she will not part with. She
swore the remote had been packed up and put there. Why? Because
she'd looked all over her kitchen and could not find it. I suggested she
look under her chair that she sits in while she watches TV. Lo and
behold, there it was!!!
And, until she found the remote, she was sure the TV didn't work
anymore. But that's not her mind but, as you pointed out, her
eyes. The buttons are tiny and the same color as the case the
TV is in. From 8 feet out, I couldn't see them! So, without clear
buttons to see --- or better yet, knobs, she didn't remember it could
be turned on without the remote.
Ahh yes, more confirmation !! MIL often wanders up here indicating something is broken .. it's usually the remote control. It works fine, she just doesn't remember all the buttons .. some days are worse than others.
It was much worse when the TV DID break down and went off for repairs. We brought one of our TV's downstairs with a universal remote. Every day, at least twice a day, DH had to reprogramme it ... the rules were EXACTLY the same as the old remote, but noooooo ..
And quite often she indicates the Microwave is broken .. helps if she presses the right buttons (she only heats up stuff now .. and only once in a blue moon) and if we've had a power blackout and the time is flashing, that's all a bit much and she's upstairs dragging DH down to 'fix'.
Thank GOD I got the licence off her!! Can you imagine her in a CAR NOW? **shuddering** ..
(Who is escaping for the night to a friends place ... I messaged L to get her to take MIL to church tomorrow, and haven't heard a squeak since. So I just messaged BIL and said "I messaged and asked, but haven't heard anything, Is she OK?" .. that was nice wasn't it? :-)
I changed cable companies on my Mom's TV. The new one had more stations that she would actually watch. As soon as they'd installed it and left, she called me to say the TV didn't work at all anymore. She couldn't change the channels or turn it on or off at all. Just a blank screen.
I told her to pick up the remote and push 33. I knew it would put it on a News that she likes. I heard beeping in my ear and then her exasperated reply, "No! It doesn't work. It doesn't do anything. It won't come on, he broke my TV." And then she was totally exasperated and crying.
I'm trying to get her calmed down, I'm sure they haven't broken her TV and it's just a matter of hitting the right buttons. I have her try a few others and still hear the beeping in my ear.
Finally........it dawns on me. Mom! What color is that remote control. She's quiet then says.........it's white.
I know that any remote I've ever seen is black, and the only white thing she has is the cordless phone that she is talking to me on.
"Mom!" I tell her, "that's your telephone. You're talking to me. You need to get the remote to the TV."
A long silence...........then she says, "Oh."
Then the TV works fine with the remote control instead of the cordless phone.
lol - i second that! i too laughed out loud at the image of your mom hitting '33' on the phone! i remember many years ago (pre-AD) when we all got mom her first VCR. she was certain it didn't work - turned out she was trying to put the whole case in, instead of taking the tape out of the case! but, i can't poke fun either, because as you say, i know i'm not far behind. esp. since i put a soda cup in the mail box the other day.........
Thank you friends, I got a good laugh too. Around Christmas I called Mom to the phone and she picked up the bottom of the phone, not the receiver, and tried to talk into that!
As for programming remotes, I am already so old that I don't know there is such a thing ..I just use it as it came from the store .. and if I didn't have an exact place to keep it, it would be lost forever. It really is an 'age' thing: my Ex cannot learn to use e-mail. He is nearly 70 and was a highly trained flight engineer all his working life. He was responsible for the hydraulic and electric systems of JUMBO JETS ... 707s and later DC10s .. and now he can't use a computer. He is not an AD patient, he just doesn't have the patience to learn it, in spite of a son who comes every week to show him again...(Oh oh, maybe he DOES have AD? I haven't seen him for 5 years ..)
Mom still has an old TV in her bedroom with KNOBS. Just in case she tries and can't get this one to go on, she can still get all the non cable stations on that one, fuzzy but audible. But now that she is hardly ever alone any more, certainly not atTV time - in our day TV began sending in the early evening and shut down at 11 - the problem doesn't come up
I would like to add a word of reassurance. Every case is different. Not every AD patient has to develop the same symptoms and the same behaviors as those you are finding on this site. Some will pass away from other causes before the disease gets too bad. Others will stay at a particular stage for a longer time than usual. It is no use to worry about what is coming at us ..it is hard enough to deal with what we've got. Tomorrow is another day!
Last edited by Martha H; 05-07-2005 at 02:56 AM.