Dementia: Finding Her Husband

This post is an update from last night’s –Whatever Next? – when Maureen told me she was waiting for her husband to come and take her home:

It didn’t take me long to settle her and to be seen as her husband again.  Just by chance I came downstairs singing a Bing Crosby song that her dad used to sing to her, and that did the trick.  Suddenly Maureen remembered who I was and was happy to go to bed.  She told me she was glad I was back as she had been wondering where I’d go to. Subconsciously I was working to the mantra of Paul Martin, my Counsellor, who has schooled me on how to ‘minimise distress’.  His tapping on the shoulder technique has worked wonders on many occasions.

I was referred to Paul by my G P.  He works at Clee Medical Centre on Wednesday’s.  He has his own Practice for the rest of the week.  Paul has helped me to ‘think my way out of depression’.   Without his help I may well have been on medication for life – the prescription of a Psychiatrist.

When I happened to mention to Paul that Maureen had dementia I didn’t believe my luck. His initial experience had been as a Mental Health Nurse working with patients who had dementia.

Last year during one of our sessions Paul asked me if I’d ever considered blogging.  I looked into his suggestion, and with the support of various people put my toe into the water.  His suggestion has been transformative, as blogging has become a cathartic pursuit. I’m amazed at the number of people from all around the world who continue to support us on this journey.  How fortunate I am that Paul Martin is on the staff of Clee Medical Centre.

I was also in touch with the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Centre in my hour of need.  They provided prompt advice to; stay calm and accept her reality.  Blogging and the Internet are such helpful resources as we travel on this journey.

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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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2 Responses to Dementia: Finding Her Husband

  1. Gill Butchard says:

    I am reluctant to leave another post on what is a very personal journey … but on this occasion I thought I would share something I do when my husband doesn’t know me, but thinks I am one of several people. Yesterday morning, I was not his wife .. so I engaged him in conversation asking him about her, asking him about his interests, about his job, about his family, about things he likes to do, how he feels about his health issues, what his interests are .. I ask the questions, but of course already know the answers, but that doesn’t matter as I am building a relationship as one of the people he recognises but doesn’t really know… I took the stance that I already knew Gill his wife, and that I already had some knowledge about news that he might want to share with me in his own words. For 2 hours we chatted, and I learnt a little more about him, his thoughts and his feelings .. and it was restful, enjoyable, and very, very, precious. This of course is not so easy if he is distressed, but provided I am calm and relaxed, engaging in conversation with him in this way makes the strains of dealing with dementia melt away, and for him creates a new relationship with someone he can trust, feel close to, and bond with .. of course he still doesn’t know my name 🙂 … hopefully you don’t mind my adding this to your blog

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    • Remember Me says:

      Thanks Gill I really appreciate your comments and sharing your experiences. You have set me thinking and that is great. Maureen wants to go home this morning so that is our focus. I’m hoping that will lead to a trip to see her brother and sister in Nottingham. Keep posting whenever you can your experiences are invaluable as I try to minimise distress and find an enjoyable route on our journey

      Like

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