Funny & Cute Things Our Demented Patients Say - page 8

Anyone who works around the demented elderly population can attest to the fact that they sometimes say the darndest things. Mr. Rider is a pseudonym for the slightly plump octogenarian nursing... Read More

  1. by   DOwannabe
    I know this is an old thread, but I had to register for an account to post here!

    I also want to say, I can see there is some controversy regarding the 'lighter side' of LTC, but I genuinely believe that these stories come from a place of love, and laughter is sometimes the only response to the crazy situations nursing home caregivers are presented with. No judgement or schadenfreude intended!

    I worked in a private-pay SNF for 2 years before moving to a med/surg hospital floor (the hours are just a lot more conducive to schooling, I did love LTC!) Almost all of the stories shared here hit home for me in some way, but I saw a couple truly original ones in my time at the nursing home.

    One gentleman in particular was truly unforgettable - this man was in the Navy for a good long time, and a lot of...questionable...behaviors seeped back in once his dementia progressed. One time it was 'cutting' lines of sweetener on the dinner table in front of 2 scandalized little old ladies, and proceeding to snort his Splenda lines. The placebo effect gave him quite the buzz until the CNA's noticed, cleaned up, and he forgot about it.

    Another time he told me and a fellow petite female CNA that "You blokes are navy men! I can tell by the way you walk." I'm not even sure what to make of this one, but he also told me one day, while I was lifting his wheelchair out of a very awkward position shoved behind some furniture and he was watching from bed, that I had the "touch of a blowtorch".

    The best was a note he left at the nurses station very casually one night. There in spidery, almost illegible handwriting was the following message (punctuation included). "HELP! I'm stuck on a submarine!!!! They are very nice to me, but I cannot get out without sinking the whole d*** boat. There are POW's being tortured, I can hear them screaming about their dinners through the walls. Please TELL NO ONE I CONTACTED YOU. THIS IS K. (last name)!!!!!!!!"

    This isn't so much funny as endearing - we also had a very sweet, shy, completely receptive aphasic former chemist lady who would occasionally concoct formulations of juice, sugar, salt, oatmeal, whatever she had handy and offer them to people who looked ill to her. Those motor memories of mixing and pouring never left her sweet head!
  2. by   jubu97rn
    When I was a new nurse's aide, I had a lady in her 90s and one night she said she was waiting for her parents to come visit her. She did not appreciate my attempt at reality reorientation: I asked her how old she was and she replied "Are you implying that my parents are dead?"
  3. by   Contessa of Triage
    Years ago, 2 elderly sisters walking down the hall of the nursing home, Sister 1,"How old do you think we are?" Sister 2,"I don't know, about 80 I guess." Sister 1,"Well no wonder we are confused!" How precious are our elders!.
  4. by   GypsyRose444
    The funniest thing ever said to me by a confused patient was by my grandmother. I had been living overseas for several years and came home for a vacation. My grandma was in a local nursing home so I would go daily to see her as she was failing and I knew that I would probably not see her again. She tolerated my (short) daily visits for 4 days, but was getting visibly irritated by my visits. Finally, on the 5th day when I showed up she looked me in the eye and said, "Don't you have any friends?" It's been 12 years since then and I'm still laughing about it.
  5. by   GailSchultzHansen
    After 20 years of working in geriatrics, I have heard it all! But my favorite story is about the time I am walking down the hall with one of my residents who spoke only "word salad". She looked at my name tag and said my name and then my title "Admini-Monster". I even had a name tag made up with Adminimonster on it as my title and wore it on Halloween every year. God love her.
  6. by   GailSchultzHansen
    I would like a nickle for every time I have sang "You are my Sunshine" or "Daisy Daisy, give me your answer true" or "Jesus Loves Me". I have also said the Lord's Prayer or the Pledge of Allegiance many times attempting to access the person's automatic response to deescalate an agitated resident.
  7. by   GailSchultzHansen
    Both were very common themes in my building as well. I think so many think there is an upstairs is because in the older homes, the bedrooms were often upstairs. I had many residents that would say they were going upstairs and that was our cue they were looking for their rooms. The money issue probably is because most are from a generation that went through the depression and they were proud people who didn't want to spend their money or that they couldn't afford. The usual answer that worked was everything was being paid for by their insurance.
  8. by   cmryan12
    I saw a post on this thread about reality orientation in patients with dementia and it reminded me of a story from my days on stroke/neuro.

    We had a lady who had what I like to call goldfish syndrome: they're only able to remember things for 5-10 seconds, then the cycle repeats. This lady was convinced she was in her "younger days" and get very upset when we told her the year. She had wandered down to the end of the hall where our large windows were. The CNA was attempting to get her back to her room for lunch with no success. The CNA had gotten me and told me what was going on. I went to the patient and struck up a conversation with "HI! Whatcha doing?". She told me she was watching Hitler March across the battlefield with his bombs. I said, "Well, if there are bombs going off, should we move back to your room where it's safer, without these big windows that could break?". The patient got right up and let me lead her to her room. No fuss, no being upset. We chatted while she ate lunch, and things went beautifully after that.

    I always thought it had to be difficult to be a patient with dementia, especially if someone is telling you that what you believe to be true isn't. I always looked at the situation, and as long as it wasn't harmful, sometimes it's better for the patient if we go to their reality instead of trying to bring them to ours. It isn't about it being easier, but about being better for the patient, especially in cases where the alteration in mental status is permanent. My own two cents, but it comes from a place of care and respect for our elderly. I always figured if you made it 70, 80, or 90-some years, you earned the right for me to meet you "at your place" in a way.
  9. by   NurseyB
    96 yo F with advanced dementia wouldn't take her pills from the new grad I was orienting because she needed to ask her mother first. I advised the nurse to tell her something along the lines of "these medicines are to help you be healthy, I know my mom wants me to be healthy, and I bet yours does too". Turns out, pt thought the nurse was a teenager trying to get her to take drugs. Took them right down for me!