Lydia, our neighbor of about a year or so, had some form of dementia (found out today). We’ve only known her for about a year. She seemed a little strange when met her. However, as time has been passing she’s been getting stranger and stranger. Late last summer we saw her sitting in her car, listening to the music and seemingly talking to the tree in the strip between our homes. I told my family that she was probably wearing ear buds and talking to someone the phone. Well, after the same thing happened more than half a dozen times I realized she couldn’t possibly be on the phone each time.
Our dog was barking and she came to ask us to do something about the dog, she was sleeping. That was two Saturdays ago and it was about 7 pm, wasn’t even nightfall yet. She been somewhat of a Karen since she’s moved in and so went ahead and brought the dog in the house. Not every battle is worth engaging in.
I mentioned in another thread that I’ve been gardening, so I put together a hanging basket and hung it under the tree because it’s the perfect amount of light for the tree.
We came home a couple of days later after a Costco run. I went inside, my partner noticed that the hanging basket was on the ground. He assumed I put it on the ground for watering. He got it and was about to water than hang it up once again. Lydia comes over to him and tells him that he’d better not hang the basket up again. He said something like why not. She says it’s her tree and doesn’t want us to hang anything in her tree. It’s on our side of the property line, our basket, our tree. He tried pointing out where the property line was. She said, that doesn’t matter it’s my tree, as a matter of fact, the whole block is mine. He set the basket back down and walked away. He’s been saying she’s nuts, but thought she was off her meds or something.
We called the non-emergency police line to report the incident. She is walking onto the property and moving our stuff, we were concerned what she might do next. Don’t know if the police ever made it…but we decided not to fight over a basket.
Today, we’re outside cleaning the garage of some stuff…garbage and recycling day tomorrow, so we had some cardboard to get rid of. We’re working out there when we hear a commotion next door. Two women come running out of Lydia’s garage. Lydia is screaming obscenities at the other woman and throws a plate/platter…some piece of ceramic at her, narrowly missing the little boy that was here with us. My kiddo babysits this child. The boy’s father happened to be here at the time, and they both call 9-1-1.
I ask woman if she was hurt and if she needed any medical assistance. She said that she was okay, but apologized for her mother. She came over to talk to me, she was completely overwrought, poor thing. She tells me my mom has dementia. They (her and her family) noticed she was acting a little strange, but it seems they were in a bit of denial. She was "communing’ with nature, but suddenly her behavior has gotten irrational at a quicker pace.
Her mom comes marching out with the garbage cannister and almost falls down on the driveway, they have inclines and gravity was pulling it and her down. Woman says “Mom, careful, you’re going to hurt yourself.” and walks toward her mom. Lydia says “I don’t know who the fuck you are bitch, get the fuck away from me.” Ouch. I felt so sad for both parties.
I’ve never seen an elderly person with that kind of dementia before. She stomps back in her house. Her daughter, Martina tells me, she doesn’t recognize me sometimes anymore. I come over to check on her, but she’s really getting bad and violent at times. She didn’t know what to do. Lydia had been in the hospital until a week or so ago, and left without being discharged and she wasn’t even sure how her mom got home. Has refused to return to the doctor. Her car was recently impounded because she parked it somewhere she wasn’t supposed. Her attitude is that she doesn’t need a car nor does she need money. Martina was so distressed and said she didn’t know what to do, what her next steps should be.
I gave her a hug. I told her I’d worked in human services and that the local county jurisdiction had adult aging services and I could call and see if a social worker might be assigned to help her mom. She was super grateful and we exchanged phone numbers so I could let her know who to turn to for assistance.
Cops are driving up from the calls. Martina does off to talk to the police. They try talking to the mom and she slammed the door on the cops.
Lydia is completely belligerent.
Witnessing it first hand it makes the tragedy of dementia so clear. Lydia surely isn’t the mom she was to Martina maybe even a year or so ago. And Lydia’s confusion and pain must be deeply profound. The pain and sadness in Martina’s eyes is so profound. Lydia’s rage and confusion is very clear. What a terrible thing to happen to anyone.
I have been irritated, but quiet with her for the last year or so. I mind my business and try to go with the flow. But now that I know she’s so ill, I only feel compassion for both parties.
I don’t know what I’d do if that happened to people I care about.