So this happened…
Very recently a relative (let’s call her Vicki) who is NOT my mother (my mom wanted me to make that clear) decided not to return phone calls or texts, not answer her door and to “ghost” the entire family like a bad internet date for more than 2 weeks!
As result of her lack of response, the fact that she lives in New York (about 2800 miles away), her age, and a recent hospital stay, we were forced to request a wellness check.
The following was their game plan:
First: Speak with neighbors on both sides of Vicki to see if they’d seen her recently.
Second: If she had not been seen someone would attempt to go from balcony to balcony to see what they could see inside Vicki’s home.
Third: If they could not confirm her wellness, they would break down the door to gain entry with my mom’s approval by phone.
Sidebar: Before you judge my family as a bunch of over-reactive, intrusive jack asses, you have to understand a little backstory. A few months back Vicki fell and couldn’t get up! Yup, just like the commercial! What the commercial doesn’t show is the very real release of pee etc that happens while you wait for help. Vicki decided to call another one of my relatives who lives in Toronto, Canada to come and help. Toronto is roughly a 500-mile drive but this sweet person jumped in their car. Vicki made THIS decision instead of calling emergency services or building management. THIS decision meant that she would lay in her own waste until she was rescued!? Huh?
Back to my story: Well the manager, decided not to risk life and limb and went to Vicki’s door again. He banged on it like the cops looking for a “perp” and received no answer! He found Vicki inside alive, walking, and well. He told her we’d been looking for her. She said she’d call everyone, to which he replied, “How? All of your phones are disconnected!” Apparently, she looked at him like…”AND?”
My mom was so mad! I mean she was hotter than oven-fresh biscuits on a Sunday morning! I was at my house laughing… sorry mom!
Is Vicky playing Hide N’ Go Seek or is this the beginnings of dementia?
Vicki is in her late 70s. Shouldn’t adults at any age have the right to say “Eff the world?” I am not that age, but I’d like to think that when I am (or even now), people will allow me to be alone if I request it. The key is that I request it! There is a big difference between ghosting and asking or telling someone to leave you alone!
Is this a thing, the aging population “pretending” they are demented? I mean, will this be like Halloween or something for the Baby Boomers? WTF? Is this what we’re doing now?
Dementia is a serious diagnosis! What if a dementia faker, actually develops dementia? Will they be like the boy who cried wolf in the children’s story?! Holy crap, that’s dangerous!
So here’s a message to my non-demented parents and all those who are lucky enough to be aging gracefully, and healthily! Please don’t play games with dementia. You only get one chance to fake it before people are on to you!