Dementia: Moving Forward

In one of my latter professional posts with Coventry City Council my Line Manager often outlined our ‘Working Position’ to a specific issues.  Maureen’s presentation has changed considerably during the last few weeks and to use Bill Malley’s approach our ‘Working Position’ is outlined below:

  • From today we will have 18 hours of carer sits a week.
  • Maureen does not have the capacity to determine her care needs
  • Additional sits will be organised to allow me to visit family in Coventry on the 25th of April.
  • I will not encourage Maureen to move outside her comfort zone.
  • Our priority is to avoid agitation and keep Maureen calm.
  • I will encourage family to visit as often as possible but to come in small numbers.
  • I will discourage Maureen from going out on her own and trail her if she tries to wander off.
  • I will attempt to get Maureen to carry the GPS Tracker whenever we go out.
  • I will get a Sound and Movement Monitor tomorrow for those occasions when Maureen chooses to sleep downstairs.
  • The Home Treatment Team will remain on standby: available to be utilised whenever needed.
  • Lorazepam is only to be offered when all else fails and Maureen remains agitated.

We are fortunate to have been  be supported by professional staff who have moved very quickly to review our Care Plan.  Maureen has been treated with respect and compassion throughout a period of mental health assessment: staff have concentrated on the person rather than the condition.

It is not possible to note all the acts of kindness that have been shown towards us in the last few days but I want to share some memorable moments.  Firstly, Natalie a Mental Health Nurse worked tirelessly to build up solid rapport with an agitated Maureen: including listening to Maeve on YouTube.  Her emotional  reaction to Songbird and others meant so much to Maureen.  Then Dr Kokton was the epitome of warmth and sincerity: at one stage she sat on the floor as she engaged Maureen on challenging matters concerning her mental state.  Sue our social worker was a model of empathy yesterday: at one time holding Maureen’s hand as she reassured her that it didn’t matter if she had forgotten events when she had been behaving out of character.  I could go on and apologies to all the staff I have failed to mention who have been working on the front-line or in the background during this challenging period in our lives.  When things are more settled I will record my thanks for the excellent support we continue to receive from staff within NAVIGO ( Mental Health) and Social Services.

N.B. I may well post more later as Maureen woke at 3 am this morning.

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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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