Monday draws ever nearer and I’m getting really excited about seeing my mum and family in Coventry, after such a long time. However, my excitement isn’t just about seeing family. It is also because on Monday I will be a relative popping in to see a family member who has dementia. This should help me to empathise with those relatives who pop in here. It gives me an opportunity to think about how we can make their visits compatible with our approach to dementia.
In need to seek advice from those ‘on the ground’, my two sisters, to help me plan my visit to Coventry. How long should I stay with mum; what is the best time of day to visit? What is the best way for me to behave when I see her again and much more…? When I’m on site I can also have a chat with her carers, and fit in with the way they go on.
It’s a similar story with my brother. I hope his wife will join our little get together at lunch- time, so I can catch up with her. She will be able to help me to get up to speed on what has been going on, and what to expect now John has moved rooms. There have been changes in his Nursing Home and he has been moved upstairs into slightly better surroundings.
I also want to see if I can use music in any way during my visit. Again I will seek advice from those on the ground before I play a few tunes. It’s just a sneaky feeling that mum will tap her feet if I play some Sinatra. John may well leap out of his chair to Bill Hayley – if only! I will take advice before I wade in and disturb the status quo in the lives of mum and John.
It would be hypocritical of me to barge into my mum’s and John’s Homes without asking those on the ground how to go on. How on earth can I expect our visitors us to take any notice of the ‘man on the ground’ here if I don’t take notice of those who know what is going on in Coventry?