Dementia: Choosing The Right Moment

There was an interesting news item on Monday about a school that had decided to shift lessons for 6th Formers to the afternoon.  Teachers asserted that is was counterproductive to get 16 year olds out of bed in the morning, as they needed lots of sleep.  Staff and pupils both commented on the benefits of switching to lessons in the afternoon.  There are issues about timing to be faced as Maureen adapts to life after her stroke.  

The brain injury that Maureen has sustained  has disrupted her cognitive functioning.   It now takes her far more energy to process information and function effectively. You only have to see her in action to almost hear her thinking before she acts.  Her exhaustion is evidenced by the need to take regular naps.  If she goes into ‘hostess mode’ she can keep going for longer but it then takes a couple of days to recover.  Following her exertions over the weekend Maureen is now in recovery mode: needing far more sleep than normal.

It would be foolish to push anything until Maureen gets her breath back after her cover up exercise on Sunday.  At the moment she is pottering around the house, and we have ventured out for short periods of time.

I declined to push her to choose new glasses yesterday.  It would have been unwise to encourage her to make choices: not something that comes easy following stroke.  So the mission at the moment is to keep things nice and easy and minimise distress.   We did manage a late evening stroll to the convenience store and I pointed out one or two landmarks in passing.  Maureen befriended a dog of a neighbour on our stroll – something I will return to later in the week.

If the escape from Maureen’s  prison is going to be  successful  it has to be well conceived.   It will only work if the route is well planned – otherwise she is in for a life sentence.   We made a start in that direction yesterday.   However, any attempted breakout at the moment would be doomed to failure: she just hasn’t got the energy to ‘go on the run’.

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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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