Dementia: Using A Four Letter Word

I was really pleased last night when Maureen used a four letter word I had told her to yell out whenever she needed help.  When I heard her shout ‘PAUL’ at the top of her voice I knew I had to get downstairs as quickly as possible.  She had woken yet again from sleeping on the sofa frightened that she had been left alone in the house.  Thankfully one of my ideas to reduce distress had worked: I have been working on another this morning.

Maureen woke at 4 am this morning and went downstairs to make a cup of tea.  She returned empty handed with hair brushed but no tea.  When I went downstairs a little later the kettle was filled but had not been switched on.  I’m not sure if she has forgotten how to make tea or that she wanted a drink. I soon put matters right and made a cup of tea that has warmed Maureen up and allowed her to go back to sleep.  As I have had 7 hours or so in bed I have decided to find some missing items and make one or two changes around the house.

The bolt has already been taken off the door of the utility room; the one of the bathroom is a little more obstinate.  It will be off shortly and prevent another episode of ‘Oh dear what can the matter be’: Friday’s episode of Maureen being locked in you know where.  With Maureen’s presentation changing so rapidly it’s difficult to keep on top of what needs to be done to maintain her independence yet keep her safe.  How ironic that someone who has always been averse to using profanities is now happily using four letter words.

There are often times when Maureen doesn’t know who I am: apparently there are now several Paul’s in her life.  What I hope is that when she shouts for ‘PAUL’ he helps her to to feel found as conveyed in this poem:

into dementia An insight

 

I think I’m here but I’m not

My route to the facts are all blocked

Places don’t sound right

And people don’t sound right

And I don’t sound right

And what is the answer, the ‘right’?

My mind is all twisted around

Then suddenly, from the fog, you appear

And straighten it out from the weird

The answer? For now, I AM found

Poem courtesy  of Terri at Academy of NHS Fabulous Stuff.

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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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