Apr 29, 2016

Dotty Talks with Parrot Ignores Me and Does the "YouWho"

Do you know about Harvey the greatest Alzheimer's caregiver tool of them all?

A window into the life of an Alzheimer's caregiver | Alzheimer's Reading Room

If not you should.

Harvey became Dotty's best friend, kept her socialized, kept her company, and kept her talking all the way until the end.

Every caregiver should have a Harvey. I mean everyone.

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By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Not only is Harvey a good companion for a dementia patient, he will actually help you get some free time of your own. A form of respite. Read the article about Harvey to learn more about this.

I was reading one of my old articles and I decided to recount part of our experience.

We were only 2 months from the end. Dotty could no longer walk and I had to move her everywhere in a wheelchair. No, I had not given up. I was still taking her out and over to see Jim and Ruth; and, I was also taking her for long walks in the wheelchair - sometimes as long as 2 miles.

I was having problems keeping Dotty active, and yes, she was fading away.

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Dotty seemed very dull and I was trying to get her going. I started singing real loud with new Harvey (we wore out the first Harvey, I actually called the new one Petey). You have to learn how to stop and start to use the parrot effectively. So there we were singing away (me and Petey). I looked over and Dotty was mesmerized. She was looking at the parrot as if she had never heard him sing before. She looked happy. The thing is, she was looking right at him and she was engaged.

When we stopped singing, Dotty said to new Harvey, "you have a good voice". She praised the parrot. Paying no attention to me.

Topic - Alzheimer's Activities Tips

A little while later, Dotty and Petey were sitting alone at the kitchen table and I was in another room. This is what I heard.

Dotty coughed. The parrot coughed back at her. She said, "are you making fun of me"? Then she started the "You Who".

You who, where are you? You who, Bobby where are you? Over and over. Finally and after I didn't answer, she said to new Harvey, "I guess we are home alone" and began talking to him about that.

That parrot is one great caregiver assistant. If I didn't have him Dotty would have gotten "all bent of shape", confused, and likely angry which would have made for a very bad day.

Instead when I walked in she said to Petey, "oh there he is". And, all was well.

I can still visualize the entire episode in my head. Feels good.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide.

The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

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