Hide ‘n Go Seek or Dementia?

The story you are about to read is true.  The names have been changed to protect the possibly demented.

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.

We decided that calling emergency services in Vicki’s area without knowing if there was an emergency would not be our best course of action.  My mom had already called building management and left several messages to no avail.  We decided to call NYPD (New York Police Department) dispatch and request a wellness check.

Just before my mom made the call to NYPD, she heard back from building management who agreed to check on Vicki. They received no answer after knocking on her door so they explained the next steps.

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.

Now that sounds like a reasonable plan, right?  NOPE!

person doing parkour exhibition
Photo by Lennart kcotsttiw on Pexels.com
I was thinking, what kinda ParKour, suicidal crap is this? Vicki lives 13 floors up!  Some dope is paid enough to climb from balcony to balcony, BEFORE breaking a door?  Really?  Maybe Spiderman is on staff? Whatevs!  At this point, my mom was so worried, that I decided to turn a blind eye to the dumb ass with a death wish!
Besides, Vicki has lived in NY her entire life so she’s pretty feisty.  If dropping 13 floors doesn’t kill the person, Vicki might just shoot first and ask questions later if some weirdo suddenly shows up on her 13th-floor balcony!

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher on                      Murder She Wrote
So step one was executed.  One of Vicki’s neighbors said they’d picked up newspapers (a newspaper is old school “Google News” for you youngins) in front of her door because they’d assumed she was out of town.  The Jessica Fletcher in me said ” A-Ha” more
evidence of a problem!

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!

Vicki is fine.  And no, she has not called anyone to say she’s ok.  We’re not sure if she is struggling with a mental illness or if she’s being a jerk, but the latter is her choice.  Shouldn’t we allow her to live the way SHE wants? Where is the line between intrusion and concern?
If Vicki is tossing the double middles, all I can say is Rock on Sister!  Live your life on your terms!

Love, Light, and Allowing

P.S. Dementia is a very serious diagnosis. If you believe someone has dementia, please have them visit their medical professional right away!

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