In October I outlined my approach to being a Care Partner to Maureen. Her recovery from stroke continues, as does improvement in her cognitive capacity -neuroplasticity in action. I am now using a numbered list to clarify the approach we are taking to life:
- Maureen’s dementia is not a mental health condition.
- The brain does find avenues to re route or repair: neuroplasticity.
- Some recommended supplements are included in our diet: including coconut oil.
- We take regular exercise: Maureen has developed her own circuit in our garden.
- We build cognitive stimulation, and lots of fun, into daily living.
- We avoid activities that separate and label participants
- I try to refrain from giving Maureen any bad news: others should do the same.
- I need to ask relations to keep phone calls short, and never ask questions.
- I try to avoid saying : ‘Do you remember?’ to Maureen.
- I try to talk less and listen more.
- I attempt to grasp Maureen’s reality at any particular moment in time.
- We play music that has meaning for Maureen.
- We are trying to simplify our lives and build in more routine.
- Maureen tires easily and needs plenty of rest.
I am sure I have missed out one or two things from the above list: after all our approach is a ‘work in progress’. Maureen continues to make excellent progress and we all need to sing from the same hymn sheet to make sure she maximises her recovery from stroke.