PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ruby: A Portrait

Ruby is a black woman who lives on the assisted living floor at Lieberman. She is in her early 90s, uses a walker to help her get around, and is totally blind.

Often, she can be sitting (and sometimes dozing) on a chair near the receptionist by the front door in the main lobby. I always greet her and she has come to recognize my voice. She always seems to be in a happy, friendly mood.

She is always dressed nicely if not tastefully in black with an attractive colorful blouse and has a neatly quaffed hairdo. She is not what I would call pretty but is pleasant enough to look at. You can tell she is blind because her eyes are rheumy and unfocused.

The thing that stands out most about Ruby is her love of good music. When attending a Sunday Entertainment in the Community Room, she can be seen clapping along to the music and if the music warrants it, standing between her walker and her chair "pulling a few steps."

I am told she used to be a dancer and from her involvement with the entertainment I do not doubt it. While many of the residents can barely muster enough energy to clap along, Ruby is clapping vigorously and keeps time to the music. She will add her own rhythm to the clapping and you can tell she knows what she is doing. Periodically she will shout out, "Yea!" or "Amen!" or "Go!"

When she is "stand dancing," she really feels the music in her bones and body and translates that to you if you happen to be glancing her way. She sways, bobs, side and back steps with a bounce, and periodically, when appropriate, shimmies her shoulders and breasts to punctuate the musical phrase.

At the risk of being disrespectful of Ruby's old age, I would say that watching her "move" has a bit of her old sexiness still about it! Ruby is a pleasure to know is all I can say to end this description of my experience with her.

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