51/54 Progressive: “Dementia”



Dementia is a disease that progressively gets worse over time. I found the following story about a first hand experience a daughter wrote about her grandmother who suffered from dementia. When the directive of progressive was presented to me I immediately began thinking of things that got progressively worse. That being step one, I came up with many ideas but struggled to think of ways to connect the ideas to kleenex. Most of what I came up with was sicknesses like alzheimers, dementia, schizophrenia, viruses and more. I personally experienced dementia first hand as my grandmother suffered from it for many years prior to her death. I watched it go from not bad, to worse, to awful and it was a very sad and disheartening experience. The link online that I found inspired my connection to kleenex, not only because of her story about her grandmother but because of the tissue relation that is presented in her story and how my grandmother would do similar things. She talks about how often her and her family members had to tell her grandmother “NO!” Her grandmother often acted childish and lacked manners just like my grandmother did. Kleenex is a brand that prides itself on cleanliness and comfort, our grandparents both lacked cleanliness and often used anything as a tissue while constantly needing to be comforted and told what to do. Here is an exerpt from what the girl wrote on her website about her experience with her grandmother, the connection to kleenex will be become more clear after you read this:

In the case of our loved one with dementia, we have one very special “no” that is constantly uttered. “No! Don’t rub your nose on that!” “No! Use your Kleenex, not the kitchen towel to blow your nose!” “No! Stop picking your nose at the dinner table. Go wash your hands!” Seriously, our loved one will rub her nose on anything-and I do mean anything. It doesn’t matter if she has a nose full of snot or not, she has a compulsion to rub her nose on grossly (bad pun here) inappropriate things. Now it’s not like she has constant post nasal drip or something, because she doesn’t. It’s just a bizarre compulsion.

– It doesn’t matter how many Kleenex or hankies (yuck! I hate them, but it was worth a try to see if this would curb her bad habit) you give her or scatter around the house. She nearly always wants to rub her nose or blow it on something she shouldn’t. It’s so bad, that we removed the towels and put paper towels in the bathroom for her to dry her hands on and to protect ourselves from her nose and snot germs.

– All towels usually have to be hidden in both the kitchen and bathroom. Sometimes we put them up high where she can’t reach them. Washcloths, towels, and once even a pot holder have been taken away from her as we catch her in the act of wiping her nose with them, and these are just the things we know about. Every time I change her bedding I shudder to think what’s on it, since I know she wipes her nose on her sheets and blankets also.

– She hides these neatly folded up Kleenex (and her used ones too sometimes) in her dresser drawers and in other odd places. Once when cleaning her room we came across half a drawer full of neatly folded up, but obviously used, Kleenex. We brought her to the drawer and asked her about it. We said, “Hey, look at all these used Kleenex.” Her reply was a genuinely grateful, “Isn’t that nice! I’ll never run out of Kleenex!” (I guess it’s the depression era child talking…) We tried to explain that they were used and that she had a half a drawer full. We counted them with her and there were seventy used Kleenex in the drawer that we promptly threw out.

What you have just read is obviously disturbing and very sad. It is sad that a sickness can bring someone to such a low mental state. The person you know and love now can not control themselves in many ways and in this instance it is with controlling where you wipe your nose. When someone is diagnosed with a disease like this you may be sad but not realize how but it could truly be. You may accept the dementia and think it is not awful but the disease will inevitably get progressively worse over time. Dementia may lead to many awful things and kleenex usage is just an example of something that may be affected by dementia but I believe that dementia is a disease that gets progressively worse and in many cases affects the elderly’s use of the brand of kleenex. My grandma hid kleenex in her purse just like this girls grandmother, and because of her dementia she would go through what seemed to be hundreds of kleenex a day always assuring me they were dirty when they were not. My grandma would use kleenex for everything, including hiding her earrings and putting flowers in them, literally everything you could think of.

Here are examples of how kleenex advertising has changed over time from the first logo to the current one:

-1924 Kleenex-

-2012 Kleenex- 88 Years Later


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