Dementia: Looking Back: Looking Ahead (Week 8)

It took a while for Maureen to settle down last week after my day trip to London.  Things began to return to normal by the middle of the week, as she began to regain her energy after her ordeal.  In retrospect I think Maureen’s reaction to me leaving her for the day was quite understandable. She objected top being left with carers for 12 hours while I went to visit someone who could have come to see us. Her thoughts about accompanying me to London were way off the mark: the trip would have exhausted her.  However, her questions about me going ton see someone who is able to come to see us was spot on. From now on I will only visit my mum and brother who are no longer able to travel to Cleethorpes.

One issue that needs to be addressed in the coming week is sleep.  Maureen is sleeping a lot of the time.   I’m not sure if this is genuine tiredness or boredom when she doessn’t know how to fill her day.  My problem is the exact opposite as I’m unable to stay asleep for any length of time.  I will raise the sleep issue in various circles in the coming week.

Next week presents  an interesting challenge with Mothers’ Day on the horizon.   I can get off lightly with my own mum. It’s easy for me to argue that she doesn’t want a crowd and leave it to folk in Coventry.

I can take the same position on her 95th birthday, early in March.  I know that my sisters, and daughter, will do her proud on both of these days.  My plan is to visit a few days after her birthday as too many visitors will add to her confusion. Maureen is keen to accompany me on my next visit – it would be lovely for them both if she could make it.

I’m not sure that reminding someone with dementia that it is a special day is always helpful or necessary.  I think letting my 70th birthday pass was a pragmatic decision as far as Maureen was concerned. Reminding her it was my birthday would have been unkind.

As Maureen has not seen her family for a while they will need to be very careful if they are able to make it on Mothers’ Day.  It’s possible she may no longer recognise some of them; remembering their appearance from when they were much younger.  The very same issue that I may well face when I eventually make it to see my mum in a couple of weeks time.

5 thoughts on “Dementia: Looking Back: Looking Ahead (Week 8)

  1. I so admire what you right. It makes me feel I am not alone!

    I have long decided not to protect my husband too much from too many people, because, in the overall sceme of things, it really makes no difference to him. We go out for a coffee every day so that he does not sleep all the time. However should conversation is so confusing at times, and I can change to a different person with in a blink if an eye. He is extremely likely now to pick up on something that is said or done, in person or on tv, and pull it into a conversation and story line: I put the rugby on the other day, and within 3 minutes he was hunting around the lounge for a blue rugby ball!

    Today we are travelling to Madeira a place we go every year. It is with some trepidation that I attempt this trip (alone). Rob is not likely to be distressed about what is going on provided I remain calm but he will almost certainly be confused – after all he doesn’t recognise his own home, let alone a familiar holiday destination – so it is down to me not to get flustered and to be calm at all times – and he will be relaxed about what is happening. He really wants to go – he loves to go – and so I must dictate the mood!

    What a struggle it is to get it right for our loved ones!


  2. I haven’t even spotted the typo and I’m sure I make loads. How brave you are to make that trip. I hope it goes well. Must renew our passports and reconsider seeking the sun rather than the frosty day we have this morning. Hope you can keep calm ant it rubbs off on Rob. I’ve spotted the typo now. Perhaps a Freudian slip? Happy landing as my dad would have said.


  3. Dad had no idea it was his birthday, didn’t seem to know how to open his cards or know who had sent them – but he did know how to tuck into cake and eyed up a bottle of whisky with anticipation. Telling him age was a bit pointless, though, as he clearly didn’t think he was as old as he was! Actually, that’s quite a happy place to be, isn’t it – believing you are younger than you are 🙂


  4. Hi Mary you make an interesting point. Maureen is constantly disbelieving how old we both are. I feel like the Tin Man some days with my metal hips. On other days I’m like Peter Pan. Hope Sleeping Beauty wakes up for a little longer today or I’ll need to switch to being Prince Charming.


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