It was 1998 and I was working full time as a custodian at “Grace United Church“, my hours were 2 pm to 10 pm Sunday to Thursday, I also worked part-time as a Janitor at Peel Manor (weekends, graveyard shift), Friday 11 pm to 7 am. I was in my late 30’s, 38 to be exact, I devoted myself to work, really there was nothing else in my life at that time that interested me more than my jobs, I spent most of my spare time volunteering at the church helping all the sweet little old ladies, and that they were very sweet, kind and great big hearts, they always made me feel special and I will never forget that moment in time. While working at “Peel Manor”, A Long Term Care Facility for seniors, 80 % of whom suffered from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, some wondered how I could do the job I did, knowing that I got called frequently to clean up after the residents, they did without warning release there bowels as they were walking in the hallways or wherever they may have been, an 8 hour shift went by quick. I always tried to speak with them, it was sad cause some didn’t even know their own name, then others were fine at times, other times not knowing where they were and why they were there. You try your best by making them believe they are kidding you and say, you know your name is Robert and your a computer programmer, they would say oh ya right sorry, always asking a lot of questions, sometimes fully aware of their surrounding, other times not knowing who I was, or where they were.
Sometimes they would become violent, because they wanted to go home, demanding to be taken there, then the orderlies would have to strap them down to their bed. It was sad to see as most were prominent business men and Ladies earlier in their lives. So did I hate my Job? no I did not, I went to work everyday, seven days a week and really miss it now, because I enjoyed the work I did most times going outside my own responsibilities, without giving it a second thought, it gave me a since of purpose by helping and caring for others no matter the medical condition, makes me now long for that since of purpose in my life again. In closing I want to say it’s kind of ironic really, the disorder of “Dementia” is not new to me, but I never imagined it would attack my very own Mother.