Dementia: ‘I’m Moving Out Of Here’

Maureen woke at 2.30 am frightened there was an animal, possibly a fox, in her bedroom. She is convinced that the people that run this place keep animals here to deliberately scare residents: ‘if anyone would take her she is planning to move out of this place’. This early morning incident put the icing on the cake of what had generally been a bad day for Maureen.

 I wasn’t surprised when the Occupational Therapist from the Home Treatment Team concluded that Maureen was no longer safe to go out by herself.   She had accompanied Maureen on a short walk and found that she is now at risk when crossing roads.  Maureen didn’t question Yvonne’s judgement or see any problems with her conclusions until well after her departure.  Then it became clear that her memory of being a conscientious mother keeping her children safe outweighs her ability to see that her capacity has changed radically.  I’m sure we have not heard the last of this issue from Maureen’s point of view. 

I can fully understand that my independent wife will be concerned about further limitations on her liberty.  When she wants to go out for a walk now I or others will have to accompany her.  The challenge for me is to maintain vigilance without creating the impression that she is locked in.  This will mean that I will have to keep a track on her movements and lock all doors whenever I need some shut-eye.  Receiving hostile reactions to the place being locked up will be preferable to the risks of her wandering across busy roads and forgetting to look left and right! The good news from yesterday I found another musical gem in a Charity Shop.  Maureen sang along with Bing Crosby for a couple of hours in the early evening:  a double LP for 99p of Bing’s show at the London Palladium.  The sun is out this morning with a Car Boot Sale within walking distance; that  Johnny Ray LP could be within my grasp!

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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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