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Younger-Onset AD or Other Dementia
Two achievements! dressing & teachable moments with bankers
OK, I have been miserable with how bad I look in mirror and have been trying to put together wearable outfits for months with no success. I have one dress and sweater for church, that was it so far.
Yesterday my husband allowed me to go off leash at Kmart while he grocery shopped and the store was very empty, clean and pleasant and I found a dress on clearance, like a long sleeved below knee T-shirt, tie dyed and marked down to $3.00.
I washed it and will get more. Finally found clothing for every day, wake up pull dress over my head, easy to make it to bathroom and not wet myself, no zippers or buttons to undo. It looks good too!
Second, had to make appointment at branch office of large bank to get husband a credit card and be put on my separate checking account. Waited 2 weeks, no card, called told one thing and to wait, again the next week, called told another thing. He called again today and they wanted to speak to me. Had to read the numbers of my card and was asked for info that was not quickly coming out of my mouth. I told the woman "I have Alzheimer's and this is difficult." She pressed on and so I asked her to slow down. My speech is...slow and whatever and makes people talk faster some times.
I was trying to give her the information all over again when another person on her end started laughing. I asked if this was funny or some joke she wanted to let me in on, what's so funny? She ignored me, said I will have to start all over again and she would send me new forms. I got so frazzled I handed the phone back to husband. I went upstairs and cried.
I started to think, Did she think I was drunk? Did she think dementia was funny and share the conversation with someone who was laughing at ME?
So I called the bank again (this is not easy for me to get online, find the bank, find the customer phone numbers, dial them correctly but felt it was important). I got a woman who could not help me, BUT she said "please tell me what happened" and I did.
She said "This is important enough for my supervisor," transferred me to a young man and I began again to repeat numbers and then said "I have ALZ and can't do this all over."
He said "I understand," in a way I believed and I asked if he had someone in his family with ALZ and he said his "Grandpa".
So I explained my purpose, to please get a training memo (what is it called these days?) to customer care about the million customers they have and will have who have dementia and how to accommodate them respectfully.
We spoke for 5 minutes, he listened. I asked that this bank be a leader in educating their employees on dementia...and he said very thoughtfully, "I understand what you are saying and there is a need for this. I will write this up and pass it along."
He then spoke to my husband and we got his personal number to call and he will let us know what happens!
woo hoo! We still have to redo everything to get him the credit card, but he knew I did not want any one fired, that I wanted them to approach this as a teachable moment. "When you know better you do better."
That was my morning effort on our behalf! My troubles are increasing, blanked out a few times where my husband was sitting next to me talking to me but I was SOME WHERE ELSE. Was unaware of my surroundings, drifting.
Thanks to my husband for letting me shop on my own. It really is aggravating to do the woman browsing store thing with someone not interested. I enjoyed going slow through the store. An hour of fun and now to get a couple more $3 dresses to pull over my head and be done! I did put it on backwards today but MUCH easier than putting on 5 different things.
If the Bank does come through I will tell the name of it, If I can still write on these boards. TEACHABLE MOMENTS!
Wow. What a great effort to get folks to understand our situation. I applaud your efforts. You are a champion for all of us!
Keep up the great work!
I love all your posts even thought I don't comment on them all the time but I do read them.
God Bless, Paul
Paul I do not reply to your posts often either - how do people remember who said what when they type a response? Amazing to me!
But you have helped me by being this quiet male presence, your posts feel very comforting and protective. I tend to relax when reading your posts, rethink whatever had me stirred up. And that you read through a 20 inch post that could have been written in 3 inches! Ha! Love it!
What a wonderful job you did for yourself and other ALZ patients. Proud you worked through it. Great job.
Still stinging that you were laughed at by a representative from this bank. This was a financial institution and not McDonald's for crying out loud! A drunk or person with the disease of alcoholism should not be laughed at either IMO. My tolerance for insensitivity is decreasing.I know I'm on a soapbox here but I'm sure some of you may have heard about the singing idol (Kim Kardashian's husband) who called persons out in wheelchairs who could not stand up at his concert and never apologized!
Thank you for standing up alz+!!!!!!!
This is important topic - maybe start a new topic about aging, being a woman, dementia, body image and appearances in general for people living with dementia.
I learned when I was young that putting a great suit jacket made every one treat better that day - no matter what else I was wearing!
Lots of emotional stuff in your perceptions, about our place in the scheme of things. Will look for this as topic!
Alz+, I no longer have a bank acct. My DH was always very good with numbers so I didn't know why our acct. was being overdrawn. No matter how I tried to help him, he would withdraw alittle more than I put in, not meaning to.( We got our diagnosis during this time. ) Anyway, our joint accts. were closed. They won't let me open a new acct. because of what happened. Absolutely no consideration for either of us. Thank you for speaking out. If anyone laughed at my guy, I would give them a tonguelashing they would not soon forget. I am sorry that happened to you. It was beyond rude.
Enjoy your knit dresses. In winter, I buy leggings at Kmart 2 sizes bigger than my size. They look nice and add warmth under my dresses. They shrink, and the larger size makes them easier to get on and off. I even sleep in the older knit dresses, they are cute and comfy. Your picture is pretty, and new clothes help us feel good, too! I like the scarf idea, but never sure about how to pull that off. Have fun!!!
Hi alz+, the topic of "mature" women and dressing/grooming was something that came up regarding Marjorie on the Spousal Forum. I knew where she was coming from, so I wrote a post regarding this topic. You can find it on the thread, "Just Need To Talk To My Friends (11)" by Lorita.
My post was written on September 20; Explorer will not let me copy/paste or post a link. I think this can be an important topic for anyone, but especially for women; and most especially if one feels they are being judged. That is a very difficult dynamic to have to deal with and it certainly makes a person feel bad about themselves. This is why I wrote details to Marjorie. I'm certainly no expert, but I am a woman and I truly do get it.
so I wrote a post regarding this topic. You can find it on the thread, "Just Need To Talk To My Friends (11)" by Lorita.
My post was written on September 20;
Here is a link to that thread. I can post links with Explorer, but not with Chrome.
I have the same problem as Marjorie. My ex-husband comes from a tradition where there are no funerals as we think of them. There are prayers, then the body is buried. Usually women don't attend. I don't even know if there will be any type of service. Women dress very conservatively, and I don't have anything very conservative. I'll have to improvise or buy something new.
Addendum: After I posted I went into my closet and found a navy blue blazer from when I was working. It has the big shoulder pads that were popular in those days, but not outlandishly so. I believe I can make it work, if there is a service to attend. I already have a nice pair of black pants and a blue and white top with a high enough neckline to be conservative.Iris L.
Iris, Thanks for posting the link to Jo's post which I enjoyed.
My wardrobe staples:
I love the look and feel of a nice white blouse or shirt: dry cleaned with a little starch. I usually have from 5-7 in my wardrobe. A fresh crisp shirt pops those black pants or skirt nicely and can be worn in almost any setting. In addition to a few nice blazers I also like button down black sweaters which look nice over the white shirts.
I am glad alz+ got this topic going; I am really interested in hearing what others do and what their hints are. I am not a clothes horse and am not a shopper and am a very simple and casual dresser, but I learned some stuff over time.
In my professional life, I was in an Administrative position in hospitals; I had to wear business suits and pumps and at that time I had an extensive wardrobe out of necessity. Everything including a lot of my blouses had to go to the dry cleaner which was a problem issue, but those days are over and now gone. I actually gave all my suits away to an organization that helps homeless women by training them and also helping them to look for jobs.
RULE: When shopping, one will want to look at the tag inside the garment first to see what the fabric is AND if the garment can go in the washer and dryer. Tags will be found at the neck or down at the side seam in tops/blouses and at the waist of skirts and slacks.
For me, my rule is to try and buy things that can go in the washer AND the dryer. No hand wash for me if I can help it, and no ironing. However, sometimes that cannot be helped and then I simply place the garment in a fine mesh zippered bag and wash it on cold, gentle wash with other blouses or tops. There are a few items one cannot do this with such as velvet, chiffon, beading, leather, etc.; (read those laundry/cleaning instruction tags inside the garment), but most things one can manage. Then when the washer is done, I lay the garment flat to dry as per instructions.
So, you may want to look at those tags first and see if it is going to work for you. I also stay away from nylon, and linen and other fabrics that wrinkle like crazy. When buying something, you can take a handful of fabric in your hand and crush it in your fist for about ten seconds or so, if the fabric is highly wrinkled when you release it, it will probably wrinkle when you wear it.
And . . . big secret with me; I LIKE polyester. It doesn't wrinkle and comes out of the dryer as neat as can be. But, if a garment is 100% polyester, it should be good quality fabric that does not scream, "polyester!"; it is an inexpensive fabric and wears well and some of it, you cannot tell it's polyester. If one finds garments that are a certain percent cotton or other fabric BUT it has a % of polyester in it, it will usually hold up well and not wrinkle and quite often, the tag will say it can be washed and dried by machine and NO ironing needed.
It has been touted that cotton is cooler, but I have not found that to be so for myself. I also find polyester travels SO much better in a suitcase so when I go, I pack most things with polyester in them. 100% cotton will wrinkle like an old prune.
I like washer and dryer stuff; BUT I also am now buying blouses that are 100% cotton because they have been treated so they come right out of the dryer as though they have been ironed. They will be advertised or tagged to indicate they are non-wrinkle, no-iron.
These work great, but one must take them out of the dryer and put them on a hanger as soon as the dryer stops running. If they sit in the dryer for a time, they will wrinkle just like anything else.
If I find something very special and it requires hand washing, with only occasional exception for very fine fabric garments, I will put the item in a fine mesh laundry bag that zips closed and wash it on gentle wash in cold water with other garments requiring cold, gentle wash. Then I can take the item out and "lay flat to dry." I HATE "lay flat to dry," but sometimes it happens.
Bras need, "hand wash," but I find a fine mesh zippered bag in the washing machine works great for them too. I can put three to four bras in the size bag I found. I wash in cold water when I run my blouses or tops and then hang the bras or lay them to dry. NEVER put a bra in the dryer, it will ruin them very quickly. Even pantyhose can be put in a fine mesh bag, run on cold/gentle with other items, and hung over a shower rod to dry and they turn out okay, but I seldom wear pantyhose any more.
I never buy a sweater that is, "ramie cotton," that stuff stretches out of shape in no time at all. I actually like sweaters I can machine wash and throw in the dryer. However, I have several that go in the mesh bag and lay flat to dry.
My jackets are all "dry clean only," and I don't mind that. It need not be done often and they are nice jackets. If a jacket becomes accidentally a small bit wrinkled, (not mashed), after one takes a warm shower and the water is turned off, one can hang a hangered jacket in the steamy bathroom and shut the door. After a time, the steam will usually release the wrinkles.
In the winter, I will sometimes put turtle necks under my jackets and use a nice necklace or put a nice pin on the jacket to dress it up. I have turtle necks in several colors and they can even go under blouses or jumpers if you have one. I also use them under other shirts that have a slightly scooped neck and layer the items.
I stay away from blouses and slacks that have spandex in them. Spandex IS hot and it also gets funky from washing and soon the garment is out of shape and saggy or baggy.
If budget is a severe concern and there is little money, one can shop in some of the thrift stores. I had a friend and a cousin who did this. My friend did it out of economic concern, and my cousin (young and slim), likes "vintage" clothing.
Children's Hospitals and Women's Leagues sometimes have good Thrift Shops and Goodwill can be a good hunting place too. I do wonder if being in a "good" part of town makes a difference in what kind of clothing is available in these shops; sometimes if in a good part of town they may send their better garments there. One can find lovely winter sweaters and cardigans for a song. My cousin found a couple that didn't cost her more than a $2.00 or so.
Marshalls and Ross stock their stores for area. If one lives in a "richer" area, they have nicer choices. In other areas, the choices and garments are not as nice. That really is unfortunate.
If one does not know how to put things together; one can ask the clerk to help; let the clerk know there is a medical condition and you need help making an outfit. If a skirt or pair of slacks is a solid color and black or brown or navy, or even summer colors, it is going to be easy to make an outfit.
One can pair that solid garment with anything on top. One can use colors and prints in tops and not go wrong if the bottom garment is solid.
That bit about makeup; if you are going out to somewhere a little special, it is good to wear a little subtle liquid foundation, it really makes the skin look SO much better. Get it in your skin tone and have the clerk help if needed. Some of the stores including some drug stores have a policy that you can return anything you don't like, even if opened; you may want to check that out.
Lipstick is also good. On a person more mature, best to watch the "intensity" of color. Nothing loud that will scream at people. Nice subtle shades. A little blush is nice, also subtle. Subtle matte eye shadow NOT frosted if you like that and always, a little mascara. Waterproof if you can find it. NOTE: No frosted blush or frosted eye shadow for the daytime. AND if you are going to be in photos, no frosted eye shadow, blush or lipstick - it will reflect the light and look dreadful in the picture.
The day of heavy eyeliner is out, especially heavy on the bottom of the eye; the raccoon look has gone the way of the dodo. A little subtle eyeliner on the top lid next to the lash line, okay, but SUBTLE; practice makes perfect and liner should not be highly visible. As we get older, (40 and up), subtle is better. I would hate to look like a garish clown.
And; no intention to be insulting, but if going out, one wants to be pristine and shower. No overwhelming perfumes, just something light.
Whether going out or staying home, NEVER let hair get greasy. That is a huge turnoff and is also not healthy. Shampoo in the shower and it will not only feel good, but it will look good and won't have an odor and will help scalp not to flake. I am also a big believer in deodorant.
For women who have a, "sneeze, or cough" issue. There are some terrific products out there that will help keep you fresh. Poise and Serenity are two good products and come in different sizes for different needs. One can Google to get the phone number for their consumer departments and one can get free samples of the product.
Shoes. Clean. Polished if need be. No broken down, broken strapped, heels worn off if one can afford not to have to wear those shoes. If one has no money, then that is entirely understandable, but if one can buy shoes whether brand new, or at a thrift store, then it is good to have a couple pair for your closet that are not falling apart.
A pair of basic, plain black flats will serve you well in almost any place you go. This is a staple. If going to a fancy wedding or something, one can even find various size removable shoe clips such as bows or rhinestone or pearl accessories that clip to the shoe and dress them up; it make the shoes look like a completely different pair. Decorative shoe clips can be found online, in accessory stores in the mall and in bridal shops. Some are large with a lot of bling; others are a little more conservative.
I tend to go barefoot inside the house, and in winter I wear a pair of chenille socks in the house. When out and about, I usually wear tennis shoes. If going to church or someplace nice, I wear basic flats. I have black, brown and navy blue. I'd like to add some color, but I also have wider feet and it is hard to find shoes that fit properly.
I have completely run out of steam and this has gone on like a ranting manifesto; sorry.
Now YOUR turn, what do you do and what are YOUR problem issues? We can help each other.
Gee, for me it's so far so good. When I stopped practicing law, I gave to Goodwill and other charities my suites, business dresses and dress shoes I knew I would never need. I'll be moving to another place next week and will use that opportunity to get rid of a lot more. If I haven't worn an item in 6 months or more, to Goodwill or other charity it will go.
I feel a sense of freedom the more I give away or sell. I won't be able to take all the furniture and art I have to my new place, and may miss some of it, but am so looking forward to the move...my final destination. Packing up and moving the stuff is another matter!
Hi Miriam, I did not catch the fact that you were moving, that is a HUGE job to get done, but it sure does clean things out!
Where are you going and how do you feel about it?
Isn't it funny when we look back and see how we dressed when in the work-a-day world? I literally haunted Nordstrom's during their half year sales and got to know the clerks really well.
Now my daily summer at-home "uniform" is a casual pair of slacks, casual blouse or top AND bare feet. If I go out on errands, I change my uniform a bit; I put on a pair of tennis shoes!
My winter at-home "uniform" is a casual pair of slacks, casual sweater or turtleneck, sometimes both; and a pair of chenille socks on my feet.
Only time I'm at Nordstrom's anymore is when I need some makeup I can't find elsewhere, (rare), or at Christmas when they carry the chenille socks I love so much and they are SO inexpensive!
I hope that your move will go smoothly and that you will like your new home. I can imagine not taking some of the art will be difficult. Will you sell it or give it to family?
By the way, how soon are you moving? May you find it a smooth transition and may you have lots of folks to help.
Johanna, I prepared a long response and moved a little and my message disappeared. Do you have any sway with the staff who run and monitor this site? It is so dementia UNFRIENDLY. Urrrrrrrr.
Anyway, I'll try to remember what I wrote you. I'm moving this Friday and haven't started packing, yet. But I've moved so many times that I think I have it down. Will be packing as much as I can on my own, and one of my daughters volunteered to come down to help me pack one day. Then I need to rent a moving truck and get my family and friends to help me load and unload the truck. Unfortunately, I'll be living on the 4th floor of the building and will be using an elevator, so it may take some time.
Myriam, are you moving into a senior building? My neighbor, who sold his place last week, will be moving two hours from me, near Palm Springs. He's looking at several senior communities, but he hasn't chosen one yet. He keeps trying to get me to move out there, too.
Good luck with your packing and moving. Iris L.
Wow, Myriam, I can totally relate! I'll match your urrrrrrrr & raise it 10, no, 100x!!
Can't believe it's already been a couple of months since I found awesome forum AlzConn, but I STILL haven't been able to upload my profile! I finally called the Alz help line(thought it was for emergencies) & reached a gentle, patient, & very apologetic guy. Unfortunately, after a few em exchanges & a week(5 wks before I called) of incredible stress & frustration-to the point of shutting down, curling up in a ball & sobbing. I'm blessed to have 2 wonderful dogs(4-legged kids), one of which gently licks away my tears & stays next to me till I calm down, letting me know it's gonna be alright! Kewl, unconditional love & free therapy! Thankfully, because currently I have a blank caregiver profile!!! : ((
//break-Shoot, no sh*t, it's taken 2 hrs to write this & I have to get up in 4 hrs to wk 5hrs yard work for a couple of clients.
I've also tried & failed to post, especially to Iris, Alz+, llee, & you(& others) because either I did something 'wrong' or mainly can't write what I'm feeling inside. I'm OCD & spend HOURS & HOURS reading & wanting to reply to so many posts. I'm overwhelmed!!
I don't 'lurk', I read EVERY post! I'm so grateful/inspired/hopeful that this EOAD forum is here & all who are able to post, but also to those who might have the same problem I do or don't have the time.
Iris, I too am very vulnerable. I just found ya'll! I'm now trying to post short replies(well, except for this one) to let ya'll know I'm here & I care. We all need each other to get through 'this' sh*t. We are not alone-I'm not alone! WooHoo Just know there's more inside me.
Oh yeah, the MAIN reason I posted was to wish you a uneventful & safe moving experience!
Now that's what I call a short reply!
Jo, Great post!
Problem issue: too many tops with necklines cut too low or plunging these day's. I usually buy a bigger size for more room in the tummy which makes the issue worse and then I have to keep pulling the top down from the back because it rides down in the front. The other issue is the camisoles to go under these too low cut tops which are low cut also and made of nylon fabric that is not very breathable. I have a couple light cotton same color undershirt type of shirts to wear under the low cut shirts but they are hard to find. I must look like I have a tick or something when I'm sitting in a meeting and discover that my top has ridden down in the front and I try to sneak my hand behind my back and pull it down so it comes back up in the front. Turtle necks are not looking well on me these day's and I feel they emphasize the chicken chin!
BTW how about some of these young women struggling to walk on stilt like heels!
Yes, Iris, the building I'm moving into is for 62+. There is a group (SHAG=Senior Housing Assistance Group) of investors whom have built 26 buildings. There is an income limit. As I may have mentioned, I am very impressed with the building I'm moving into. Frankly, I will feel much safer there. I can bring my dog, Joe Cocker, and the amenities include a fitness center, business center, live-in management, wifi, etc. And there is a lake, park and community center across the street. It is close to everything, including bus line, shops, recreation, and they have a calendar of events, activities and trips.
Maybe you can find something similar in your area that you may like. Here's the website for the one I'm moving into: http://www.shagnewhaven.com/
Myriam, I LOVE your new place! It looks fantastic! I love that the logo is "where your friends live."
I'm sure you will spend many happy years there!Iris L.
Miriam, what a beautiful place! And views too. I love Washington and while most of my time is spent further north in the state, I really like Seattle. Wonderful state.
Your dog is Joe Cocker - that made me chuckle; great name. Please keep us posted about your move and how things go, and if you can; send some photos of your place or have someone help do that - we'd like to picture you all cozy in your sweet new home.
Miriam you are not the only one having difficulty with losing your message. This happened to me several times this week and it also kicked me completely off the board twice. Other Members have also mentioned this. Very irritating. I will report it this morning.
Ilee, those baggy necklines can drive someone nuts. If too much cleavage, one can get a soft fabric tank top and wear it under the other top.
If the fit is off, but it fits good in your tummy, if you know anyone that sews, they can adjust the shoulders/neck for you and it will fit well.
Dry cleaners often have alterations and if one looks online or in the phone book one can find a seamstress. It is worth having done so the top fits right.
Myriam! Really sounds IDEAL. Friends when you want company, your own space, no worries about house repair. And Joe Cocker can make friends.
I was very interested in your moving plans and it makes me think how I could have more of a social life without being in a ... facility.
Well done. really happy for you!
When some one makes a change like this the ripple effect is tremendously helpful to all of us not sure what next.
Love and Courage
Ilee, those baggy necklines can drive someone nuts. If too much cleavage, one can get a soft fabric tank top and wear it under the other top.