As a young adult, Janice watched her grandfather endure dementia from its frustrating onset to the grizzly last moments of his life. Recently, in her late seventies, Janice recognized the same early symptoms surfacing in herself. She was unwilling to go to her doctor because she feared the probable prognosis. She did her best to hide her symptoms. She coped with her secret through behaviors. A point came when her husband couldn’t take care of her anymore, or keep her secret for her. She was placed in a locked assisted living facility.
She became an escape artist. On several occasions she confidently walked out the front door along side an unsuspecting visitors. She paid close attention to the combinations of buttons the visitors pushed to unlock the doors. She then found the perfect timing to dash outside when the staff were busy with other residents. She picked locks, ripped through screens and broke windows for a brief chance to wander the neighborhood. On one occasion a neighbor lady invited her in for coffee, then soon realized she was very confused, she called the police. Janice was always completely willing to come back home, she never put up a fight.
Finding a way out was the only sense of accomplishment Janice had.