All that talk about parole yesterday went completely out of the window. Maureen decided that she could wait no longer and about 10 am nipped off while the coast was clear. I came downstairs from posting the second blog of the day to find that she was nowhere in sight. Just to put my money where my mouth was, I resisted going to find her, hoping she would make it back here under her own steam.
I caught sight of her, out of our lounge window, about 45 minutes later walking away from our house. Like all good husbands I hot-footed it to the front door yelled: ‘hey Blondie’ and she turned around to return home. When I asked if she had been far she said: ‘I don’t know, I hadn’t got the pedometer on’. As you can imagine I was reassured to see her and felt justified in my action: she had made it back home under her own steam.
Her absence had given me a chance to have a chat with our social worker for half an hour or so. It had been helpful that I had been able to talk about recent developments openly, without fear of offending Maureen. Once again I was reassured that we were now being supported by someone who understood dementia. After welcoming the new arrival by making drinks, I popped out for a short while to give Sue a chance to chat with Maureen.
I managed to have a brief chat with Sue before she left, and she confirmed that Maureen: ‘still has some capacity’. In her view we are at a challenging stage as dementia progresses; with Maureen accepting that she needs some support but wanting to preserve a level of independence. Our plans for my next away, a week on Saturday, day are an attempt to strike the balance with Maureen having some time to herself, along with carers supporting her at key times of the day. Neither of us are supporters of the camp that believes constant supervision is the best way forward at this moment in time.
Footnote: We didn’t make it to the Leisure Centre yesterday. An early morning walk and an hour with a social worker is enough for anyone who is recovering from stroke. It’s not surprising that Maureen slept for most of the afternoon: ‘fed up with these people who keep coming to your house to ask questions.’