but her face is clean and soft

Since her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, the transition from living in her own home to an assisted living facility has been the most difficult thing for my grandmother. Her physical and cognitive downhill slide has been slow and appeared slower because she retained the ability to hide her confusion. Although the periodic anxiety attacks that landed her in the hospital were exhausting to my mother, some primal survival instinct has my grandmother convinced that if she goes to the hospital frequently enough, doctors will find anything that goes wrong and “fix it”. Unfortunately or fortunately, doctors are disinclined to do anything but make comfortable an 80-something woman who has been in physical decline since having polio as a young adult. The most recent hospital visit revealed a huge drop in short-term memory and significant brain shrinkage. While adding more personal assistant time to assist with my grandmother’s daily schedule, it was discovered that she hasn’t bathed in over a year. Apparently each shift of helpers believed that bathing occurred during someone else’s shift. We can certainly understand their confusion, since each shift observed my grandmother fastidiously following the Clinique 3-step skincare ritual with the very best anti aging cream. Everyone believed that anyone that careful about their face would be equally concerned about their body. Baby wipes helped hide the absence of bathing until recently, but this time something didn’t quite smell right.  My grandmother may be filthy, but her face is clean and soft, thanks to a lifetime of Clinique.  Maybe they can use her in their next campaign.

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