Any consideration of my posts for the last week would reveal the challenging nature of Maureen presentation. Her general confusion has increased, and her emotional struggles continue. Myself, and my fellow carers are also witnessing a significant decline in her functional ability: such tasks as laying the table, and washing up the pots are no longer within her grasp. Maureen often addresses me, Chloe and, Gail, in the third person asking if we have any news of where we are. She frequently thinks she is in hospital or a Care Home, and that her family don’t know where she is. That is her rationalisation for the dwindling contact, in any form, from her immediate family.
The EMail copied from my Admiral Nurse, earlier in the week, outlines the consequences for me: it’s exhausting. Unfortunately, at a time when I am often on my knees, I need to up my game. It’s possible that the need to repeat my blood tests last from week may reveal a health problem that needs to be addressed. In the meantime there are a few things I can do to improve my own wellbeing: joining Maureen for siestas, and building short periods of meditation into my daily routines can only help.
Our focus for the coming week is to look for ways of addressing Maureen’s confusion. We need to introduce more routine into her environment, with fixed routines on most days. We need to come up with a clear plan for the days that carers call. I need to get my act together and stick to a fixed routine.
Maureen and I have already started making the home environment simpler for her to comprehend. Yesterday we took down some old photographs of people that she no longer recognises: a case of out of sight out of mind.
I need to use the various whiteboards in the house extensively. They have to become the back up to Maureen’s poor short-term memory. Whenever I’m out of sight I need to write down where I am, and what I am doing.
I’m hoping that a few simple changes in our environment will make life easier for us all.
My cyber friend Kate Swaffer has blogged that today is Dignity in Action Day and that: “Dame Joan Bakewell, Dignity in Care Ambassador said:
“Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn’t do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit.”
Supporting Dignity Action Day will:
- Raise awareness of the importance of Dignity in Care
- Provide someone with an extra special day
- Demonstrate that everybody in the community has a role to play in upholding Dignity in Care
- Remind the public that staff have a right to be treated with dignity and respect too
- Provide a great community networking opportunity.
I just hope Chloe will be able to persuade Maureen to have one of her Pamper Days.
I will make sure that today, and every other day, is an extra special day for Maureen.