Dementia: Room For Optimism

I’m feeling a little more optimistic following the events of yesterday evening.   It is more than just having a reasonable night’s sleep: 

Our day had been mixed: full of life’s ups, and downs on this unpredictable journey.  One thing that became evident was Maureen’s willingness to share her insight into her condition: on several occasions she mentioned her fears and anxieties.  I struggle to conceive how my extremely capable wife copes with feeling inadequate on so may fronts. All I hope is that my line of: ‘accentuating the positives’ doesn’t sound too patronising.

Sometimes it’s amazing what can lead you in a positive direction when dementia calls the shots.  Maureen had been struggling with something stuck in her teeth for most of the afternoon, and we were out of dental floss.  A chance trip to Tesco solved our dental mini-crisis and much more.  The store was relatively quiet, and Maureen mentioned afterwards that it was the first time she had felt comfortable in a supermarket for ages.  Then my time filler of seeing the lights on the prom paid dividends.   As we watched the light show Maureen enquired if we were going to see her Aunty?   Our visit to see Clarice  led to confirmation of something we need to address as we continue on our travels.

Clarice should be an ally for two newcomers on this road: she is something of a seasoned traveller whose life has now taken a new direction.  Dennis her husband is coming to the end of his journey with Alzheimer’s in a nearby Nursing Home.  Maureen and Clarice have always been close: once they get going they can be like excited schoolgirls.   More importantly Clarice is ‘dementia friendly’ and Maureen is comfortable in her company.  The other advantage is she is a talker so Maureen can sit and listen: that is her only option!  So they enjoyed their time together, while I ate the proffered cake and listened

As my ‘Sleeping Beauty’ has arisen from her slumbers this morning she seemed in good spirits as she declined tea until a more respectable hour.  I have no idea what the day will bring.  What I need to do is supply lots of TLC, and continue to seek company that is ‘dementia friendly’.  Imagine what it must be like when other people feed your anxieties about your limitations?

 

 

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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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