Dementia: Finding the ‘Correct’ Path

Many describe lives where dementia features as a journey. My experience with Andrew an osteopath yesterday may just help me to find my way a little better.  Andrew has a way with words, and often answers an enquiry with just one word: ‘correct’.  My appointment with him yesterday has encouraged me to reconsider the path I have taken on our journey, and set off on the ‘correct path’ again.

Ironically I got lost on my way to see Andrew in Hull yesterday.  On previous occasions I had seen him in Cleethorpes, and he had helped me to solve the problems I was having following hip replacements.  My appointment yesterday was to seek his opinion on what was causing problems with the rotator cuff in my left shoulder.  He concluded that I needed an ultra sound scan to confirm his assessment that I have a damaged tendon.

Andrews simple message to me yesterday was to get back to my routines that he had previously recommended.  The problems I was having with my hips were eased by walking in waist high water.  Once I addressed the muscle weakness in my glutes the pain melted away.  He had a similar message over my shoulder: I need to build in stretching exercises into my daily routine until the results of the scan are known.  Then it will be a medical judgement about steroid injection or repair.

When I asked Andrew’s advice on returning to tai chi, you could probably guess his answer by now: correct he responded.  He went on to remind me of the benefits of time out from being a Care Partner, and the need for social-interaction.  I know Andrew is right on these matters: even correct!

Maureen also took an interesting path on my return from Hull.  She told me how she had resented by being looked after by carers for four hours.  Once again she had tried to send Gail off early, reminding her how she had successfully raised three children whilst their father worked away, often over-night, as a long distance lorry driver. She decided to take herself off after a small snack, and returned 40 minutes later refreshed from her walk. Her description of her route was rather vague but she had apparently made it back home under her own steam, without the need for help.

It’s been a busy few days with several additions to our normal routines.  I’m hoping we can get back to ‘normal’ now.  I hope don’t get carried away againand ignore Maureen’s energy levels as I did on Tuesday.  Carer sits on Monday, Wednesday and Friday are obvious choices for initial steps on my correct path.  Once that route has been firmly trodden I hope to make daily exercise part of my routine.  Hopefully Maureen will buy into the exercise routine by accepting my need follow Andrew’s advice.  With luck she will join me on occasions as things settle down.  The real bonus is she has seen that she is at liberty to escape for a walk whenever she likes.  Now that really is a positive direction for her to take on our journey or as Andrew would say: a correct path!

 

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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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