Dementia: Tiredness Takes Its Toll

We were both exhausted when we returned home last night after our day trip to Coventry.  Not at our best our tiredness almost spoiled what had been a very enjoyable day. 

I was amazed how Maureen managed to keep going for the whole of our away day.  For over 12 hours she stayed in Hostess Mode keeping ‘Mrs Dementia’ at bay until she stepped through the front door on our return home.  Then almost as soon as we turned the key that ‘wicked woman’ returned with a vengeance.  After taking refuge in the downstairs toilet for half an hour she reappeared as ‘you know who’ and let loose with all guns blazing.  

At first I struggled to cope with her presentation until I realised she was only expressing a familiar reality.  Once my tiredness, along with frustration, ebbed  I got to grips with her reality of being brought to a strange place against her will. Why should she be happy when she had been taken away from her family and friends?  After all she has no happy memories here only vague recollections of tragic events in her life.

We always try to accentuate the positives and there were many from yesterday with Maureen really enjoying spending quality time with her eldest son.  I’m not sure my mum enjoyed such a positive time with her’s as my visit must have seemed rushed as we tried to beat heavy traffic on our homeward journey.  She is used to seeing me alone and having my wife and daughter in tow may have been confusing.  We responded to her request to ‘take her out’ but it may have been rather late in the day as she fell asleep on the way back to her Care Home.

I need to create some quality time with my mum and daughter as soon as possible.  My change of plan made that impossible yesterday. One thing  for sure is my ‘flexible friend’, Sue the Social Worker, will soon sort out my next day trip so I can compensate for what my mum and daughter missed out on yesterday.  Sue will also applaud that I manged to persuade Maureen to make a day trip to Coventry and spend quality time with her son.

Footnote: ‘Maureen’ is back in residence this morning singing beautifully in bed as she samples her first cup of tea of the day.  I’ve just realised she is singing a track from one of our latest vinyl bargains:

Maureen has just thanked me for doing all the driving yesterday; commenting ‘it was a lovely day’

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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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