Dementia: A Sense Of Perspective

It’s 3.40 am and I’m paying for a mistake I made last night.  Shortly after ten I took up a kind offer from Maureen’s youngest son to contact him when she is adamant she doesn’t live here and I’m not her husband. The phone call had an immediate impact with Maureen going to bed but it has backfired this morning with a bitter vitriolic attack about the type of person I am.

This morning has been a stark reminder to accept Maureen’s reality: last night’s remedy was ill conceived and naive.    From now on if she wants to remain on the sofa and wait for ‘her husband to take her home’ that’s fine.  The Baby Monitor will be on and I will take to the spare bedroom on red alert in case she wakes in a confused state and panic sets in.  I have to let Maureen sleep wherever she wants and try to find a way of getting rest myself.  The solution to all of this is adjusting to Maureen’s presentation and accepting her reality.

I made a second foray into looking at Care Homes yesterday. The place I visited was certainly preferable to the one I saw the day before but was a stark reminder of what lies ahead.  I became rather sad in the afternoon that dementia has robbed us of a long and happy life.  

An Email from a very dear school friend gave me a sense of perspective this morning.  Pete passed on very sad news that his son had been killed in a motor bike accident.  I know that Pete and Dot’s faith will carry them through at this difficult time in their life.  My thoughts are with them in Brisbane today as they cope with their son’s memorial service.  All I have to contend with this morning is another day when ‘Mrs Dementia’ may surface for some of the time but I still have the luxury of Maureen being beside me when dementia is not calling the shots.

Maureen woke again at 5 am requesting her first cup of tea of the day.  She is now happily tucked up on the sofa.  I hope I can have the courage not to challenge her reality again!

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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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