BE AWARE DON’T BE SHY
In the last 20 years the general public has become more aware of Alzheimer’s, but there’s still more to KNOW about Alzheimer’s.
A few weeks ago, gift store traffic had slowed enough so the receptionist could help a lady on the phone with directions. In her car she was obviously confused and very apologetic for being a problem.
“No, no, not a problem,” the receptionist said, “You’re close. Take a right at the light. Then, on your right will be a big parking lot. At the second opening make another right and you are here. See you soon!”
The receptionist easily picked her out as she entered the store. An elderly lady with short, thick white hair, red sweater and gray slacks. A small black handbag hung from her left forearm.
At the desk she thanked the receptionist and said, “I don’t usually do that. I know my way around. I just don’t like big busy streets. Thank you for your help.”
She disappeared among the displays to browse through the store. After a while, back at the front, she hadn’t found what she wanted and asked the receptionist for directions to another store.
It was obvious she was confused. The receptionist asked light heartedly,
“Can we call someone to help you?”
“No, I live in a senior community on Park Street. I drove here myself.” Her voice became low and nervous.
“That’s nice, is there someone at the community we can call for you? What’s the name of the community?” the receptionist asked.
“No” she said backing away. “I drove myself, I’ll get home just fine.”
There was a rush of activity in the store, the elderly lady in the red sweater slipped away unnoticed…and drove away.
Later in the breakroom it became clear the elderly lady in the red sweater had met others during her store visit.
One sales person commented,
“What was wrong with her? She asked directions to the lady’s room then walked into John’s office!”
“Yeah, I tried to talk to her, but she couldn’t tell me what she wanted.”
The first sales associate added,
“She asked how to get to the store across the highway but when I told her she said that wasn’t the way she’d go. Something’s wrong with her.”
John had walked into the room and added,
“Yeah, she’s slippin’, or somethin’, for sure not all there.”
What can be learned from this situation? How did store associates help the lady?
If the elderly lady in the red sweater was your mother what would you want to happen?
If the elderly lady in the red sweater was your mother is it time to talk about driving?
With knowledge people become more accepting…aware of a situation they become willing to help.
Do you have an experience to share, a moment of learning? Send it to contact us.
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