I could give examples galore that illustrate how Maureen’s dementia is progressing and the impact it is having on me, Perhaps just a glimpse of the last couple of days will suffice. On Tuesday night Maureen insisted that she always slept on the sofa as she didn’t have a bedroom here. At 6 am on Wednesday morning she awoke and said: ‘Where is everybody? I thought you had all gone out and left me on my own again.’ She was very frightened; confused and agitated. Her confusion continued well into the morning. When a carer knocked at the door at 10 am Maureen greeted her with: ‘Hello who are you and what are you doing here?’. Later in the morning she confided in me that it was: ‘Very naughty of the Care Agency to send people without giving us warning.’ This morning she woke at 2 am and asked: ‘if it was time to get up’ and the same again an hour later. I could go on……..
The top and bottom of all this is Maureen is extremely confused for large parts of the day. She is very frightened if I am out of sight, as she fears she has been left on her own. On occasions she is not sure who I or the carers are. She frequently doesn’t know where she is. Her ability to distinguish between day and night has gone. Generally, her attempts to assist with household tasks only helps rather than hinders if she is continually prompted. In the last few days she has been outside the house partially dressed. It is no longer sensible to leave to Maureen in the house on her own.
I now feel I have to be on constant watch to keep Maureen safe and sound. This is fundamantelly different to her presentation when our current Care Plan was drawn up. Therefore, the demands on me as a Care Partner have increased significantly. Hence the need for an urgent review of our situation.
There are a number of things that need to happen to cope with the ongoing progression of Maureen’s dementia. Something needs to be done to deal with my present level of exhaustion as carer burnout may be near. I have informed our social worker accordingly and Tracey is trying to arrange additional support. Unfortunately she is on a training course for the next couple of days and is dealing with a Care Agency that continues to be in turmoil as it hands things over to another concern.
I have managed to progress a couple of matters that should make life simpler and safer for Maureen. Yesterday morning I pared down the clothes in her wardrobes so that choice is no longer so much of a burden. I am hoping that fewer outfilts will simplify life for her in the morning. In addition, I have ordered a walkie talkie type monitor so that Maureen can contact me immediately when I am out of sight. This will also allow me to be in the garage or garden and know that Maureen is safe in her own surroundings. I am hoping that this will reduce the times when anxiety kicks in when Maureen thinks she has been left alone in the house.
So Monday becomes another D Day here with the social worker calling around one’o’ clock to see how things are going. It would be great if she has been able to set up a couple of additional sits before her visits. That would really help to get things off on a positive note as soon as she walks through our door.
This is a very early morning post and I am hoping that now I have got this off my chest I might manage a little more sleep.