She was shaking like a leaf. Wild eyed with her white hair mussed in a way that made it look like the cat lady from the simpsons. She had always been quiet and well put together when I have seen her in the hall so seeing her like this was rather jarring.
She was babbling about a man who broke into her unit through her open kitchen window and that he was still inside her place
I immediately called 911. As i was relaying the information to the operator the old woman's story seemed discombobulated. The police arrived.
She was sitting on the bed Greg was consoling her. Still shaking she began to talk about a monkey poster or painting that the burglar put on her window and how he threw vegetables all over the floor.
At this point I began to think that this was not a home invasion but an invasion of a far more tragic kind.
She said her unit was 204. That unit was locked. It turns out her unit is 203. After sweeping the unit the hot cop said that there was no sign of entry. He asked me if i knew her well and if this could be a sign of dementia. I worked with dementia victims all throughout my university career and still deal with them occasionally at work.
I know the signs.
I know they were all there.
She kept saying that she had never done anything wrong to deserve this. Over and over.
Her words echoed in my head and broke my heart.
She is right she didn't do anything to deserve this. A thief has come in and is stealing things from her one by one and she does not even know it. She is on a very sad track and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
The edmonton city police were very very good. They listened to her calmed her found her walker and brought it to her and helped greg and I get her from my bedroom to the hall. All the while they were discretely trying to find out if there was anyone they could call. I applaud the sensitivity and professionalism that they showed in dealing with the situation.
She is gone now. I can no longer hear her in the hall. One of the officers is waiting with her i think until they can get a relative to come help her.
Soon she will have to move into a home. She will forget friends faces and lovers. She will lose herself and her ability to do simple tasks like brush her teeth or make it to the bathroom on time. It is a long slow robbery of what was once a life.
This is Alzheimer's.