Dementia: Cold Causes Cancellation of Carers’ Assessment

I received an E Mail from our social worker last night informing me she has a heavy cold.  Therefore, I have called off the meeting to discuss my Carers’ Assessment.  I can’t risk passing on an infection to Maureen as that would make her dementia worse.  My request for respite, so I can visit family, will now be dealt with via E mail this morning.

This is the third, or fourth, time this meeting has been postponed.  I’d better keep my poor memory on this quiet, or they might refer me to the Memory Clinic.  I wonder if that is why I keep counting back from a 100 in 7’s and looking at the calendar?  Best to be prepared; to  have  answers ready in case I am if I am referred for memory testing.

One of the beauties of blogging is allowing yourself a bit of humour now and again.  What isn’t funny is I haven’t seen my mum, and family in Coventry for a couple of months.  I feel bad about this as I can recall reassuring my dad that I would do my best, along with my sisters and brother, to look after mum.  I remember making this promise as he lay on his hospital bed approaching the end.   The photograph below is the last one taken of mum and dad together.

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I can imagine what dad would say about the delays in my  Carers’ Assessment.   He would wonder why another social worker can’t progress matters.  Dad spent his life working in the motor industry; where illness, and problems with phones, would never have delayed production.

Dad retired well before computers made communication somewhat easier.  In his role as a Senior Foreman, at British Leyland, he never had the luxury of New Technology at his finger tips.  What he had in abundance was compassion for his work force.   I worked on the shop floor of the same factory as dad: I knew his ‘men’; I witnessed their respect for a compassionate manager; they were proud to hit production targets;  I was proud to be known as Jack’s Lad.

It will be interesting to see if new technology and compassion can work in my favour this morning.  Dad will know that I will keep my promise to help to ‘look after mum’.  He knows I won’t put up with this ‘pussy footing’ around for much longer.  He often talked of the shop floor of the car industry as the ‘University of Life’:  a place where you learned how to look after yourself.  The time may well be approaching to dust down those old overalls, and call for assistance in securing my right to a Carers’ Assessment.  I can’t continue to put my health and Maureen’s welfare at risk.  The consequences of carer burnout are well documented, and result in a little more than a cold.

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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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