Dementia:Yesterday’s Gone

Following an early morning conversation with Maureen  I’m going to shift the focus of this blog for a while.  We often reflect on ‘yesterday is history, tomorrows a mystery, all we have is today’.  I’m not sure who said it or if I have got it right but I’m going to stick with it as a mantra for a while, and see how it goes.

There is little point in recounting the ‘interesting’ day we had yesterday: ‘challenging’ might be a more appropriate adjective; even ‘exhausting’.  Yesterday has gone all we have is today, and that is where our early morning chatter came in.  Maureen is back in the land of nod now, and will have forgotten our lively banter. I haven’t, and have hopefully opened a door on trying to help Maureen find purpose (enjoyment) in her life.

Today’s thought is about seeing if I can get her to play the piano for me.  Maureen told me again this morning she used to love tinkering on the piano, and could play a version of ‘God Save The Queen’.   Her dad could play by ear you see.  She has often shared with me that she used to take that thought literally as a small child.

I prepared the ground on Maureen’s musical interest months ago.  I sounded out Kate our next door neighbour about Maureen tinkering on her piano.  She reacted positively to my enquiry, and ‘owes me one’.

A few months ago I asked Kate for support when Maureen was having a difficult day.  At the drop of a hat she came to my rescue, and accompanied me back home.  This may well have been the second time she had been in our house in 16 years.  On arrival she committed the cardinal sin and asked Maureen ‘if she remembered her?’  Things went downhill from there, with Maureen storming off.  Kate called herself a ‘silly moo’ after her gaff, and has not been round since.  So she ‘owes me one’…not really as she is an excellent mentor: her dad had a brain tumour; her mum dementia.

All you can ever do with dementia is ‘give it a go’: see if you can push the door open.  I just had Maureen in stitches about her success on the piano as her dad was not too fond of Royalty.  However, I think from what I have heard his little girl could do no wrong in his eyes: that’s another thing I would have had in common with ‘Union Jack’, as he was fondly known at the Raleigh!

There’s only one way to finish this post: 

 

I’ve just thought of a contingency plan: I could always get a cheap keyboard so Maureen could teach me how to play the National Anthem.  I can combine searching for a keyboard with looking for more records in Charity Shops this morning: another fun activity for today.

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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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