Dementia: What A Team!

I would not have survived yesterday without significant help from friends (including cyber) professional staff, and family members.   It is possible that I will not have space to thank them all so apologies in advance if I fail to mention you!

My day got off to a good start when I met Ed one of my friends from the Buddhist Meditation Group.  Our chat for an hour or so helped me to understand the ‘message’ a little more.  Ed is such a generous man who is always prepared to meet me at the drop of an E Mail and fields my questions in a very helpful manner.  Like all good Buddhist we ended our chat by talking football as Ed is a ‘Town’ supporter and they have just got back into the Football League.

I returned home from the calm of Buddhism to the storm of Dementia.  Maureen was incensed that Gail her carer had stopped her from walking alone.  She vented her frustration at me for several hours and I had to trail her for well over an hour.  There is little point in repeating her recriminations or accusations: they are familiar tales in the dementia bubble.

During one of the intervals in the hostilities I sought advice from Mel my Admiral Nurse but failed to reach her.  Yvonne the Occupational Therapist who had declared Maureen unfit to wander was on holiday but I had a helpful chat with one of her colleagues about the practicalities of re assessment.   I also managed to reach Sue our social worker who provided excellent telephone support and reassured me that I was on the right track (the digital tracker is currently on charge).

I hoped that tea would move things in a new direction as the vegetarian burgers ended Maureen’s hunger strike and I anticipated all was fine and dandy.  Unfortunately the food may have hit one spot but opened another door and Mrs Dementia re -entered wondering ‘when her husband would come to pick her up’.  She asked me ‘if I could give her a lift home as her kids would be wanting their tea’.  Despite my best efforts I couldn’t help her to see that she was home: during her musings she mentioned Clarice, her aunty, and that opened a door in my thinking.

At a lull in the attack I slipped away to call Clarice with a cunning plan.  Half an hour later I dropped Maureen at Clarice’s where she could wait for ‘her husband’ to pick her up.  Once home again I spoke to Colin Maureen’s son on the phone to appraise him of developments.  He was very supportive and we chatted about contingency plans for my visit to Coventry in a couple of weeks.  Colin made some very helpful suggestions about Ian (his brother) and Barrie (his uncle) potential involvement in the arrangements to see my own family.

I returned to pick up Maureen an hour after I had dropped her off.  In my break from hostilities I completely change my outfit and deliberately wore a red fleece that belonged to Maureen.  Clarice was very tolerant of her niece and husband catching up on the latest news for half an hour or so.  When we returned home as Mr and Mrs Collins I manged to keep conversation on how Clarice was coping living by herself now she was widowed.

Maureen had clearly been frightened by Clarice’s plight and shared her fears about being left alone in a strange place.  She was pleased that ‘I wasn’t angry’ about her thoughts about ‘the need to move from the sea-side and go back home’.

I have managed to stay in bed for about 7 hours and recharge the batteries a little. Maureen has woken a couple of times and reopened a number of issues.  Her initial concern was about going back home.  Then she has moved onto her concerns about short-term memory loss.  Once again she claims that ‘no-one has told her how to get her memory back’ and I have gently contradicted her assertion.  This has not gone down particularly well and I hope I haven’t overplayed my hand.

I have never mentioned  Kate Swaffer to Maureen or Dominique Klotz who advised me to check her out.  I’m so fortunate that Paul Martin my counsellor suggested that blogging might be helpful to me as a Care Partner: as it has opened the door to neuroplasticity.  Kate continues to bang the drum about potential and just as Irving Kirsch was my route out of depression Kate’s has to be the guide on this journey.

I firmly believe that Maureen has the potential to regain her independence and wander safely at will.  It is possible for her to show us that she can cross roads safely and with the tracker in place can get safe help if she feels lost.  All she needs is patience from yours truly and she will prove to others that she is safe to wander.  Once we have overcome that little matter it may well be possible to encourage her to explore other opportunities to get her memory back.

Thank goodness that Lisa will be here with her husband and two beautiful daughters by noon.  We both need a day off and with luck we might make it to the circus together.

Jen one of my cyber friends uses her blog to show gratitude and we wouldn’t cope  without such a wonderful Team who have supported us to find our way on this journey. Once again sincere apologies to anyone who I have missed out on today’s post but you know who you are!

Please note:  I am short of time and have not provided any links to Kate Swaffer or Irving Kirsch on this post: they are well worth following up on Google.

Footnote:  I just couldn’t resist that photo.  Did I ever mention that Coventry City won the FA Cup in 1987?

Further Footnote: 8.15 am the attack continues with a vengeance that I have not seen before: another type of circus.  Where are the clowns?

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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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8 Responses to Dementia: What A Team!

  1. Dominique says:

    I’m so glad that you have found inspiration from Kate and thank you for your kind words. I also found her helpful. I hope you get to meet her one day too. Take care Dominique 😀😊

    Like

    • Remember Me says:

      Thanks Dominique I also hope to get to meet you: Australia is on my Bucket List. I have good friends and a niece Down Under. I particularly want to see Pete and Dot such good friends: it is my turn to offer them some support after their loss. Pete is my a good friend from my school days and so solid alongside me in the midfield in our footballing days.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a hectic day! Hope it all turns out okay. I too fully believe in and pursue the neuroplasticity route. Patience and persistence!

    Like

  3. Remember Me says:

    There’s no other way my friend for followers of Swafferism.

    Like

  4. Henri says:

    It is the biggest dilemma I have as a human being, former caregiver, potential dementia develop-er and a care professional – to let PLWD “wander at will” or not. Who is safe, and who is not? I am so inspired by your quest to ensure Maureen is independent and living life to her fullest potential. It cannot be easy, to say the least! But you are a rockstar, and she is spirited! What an amazing pair you both are!!

    Like

  5. Remember Me says:

    I have just been with the ‘Happy Wanderer’ and it would destroy us both to reign her in. I continue to tread the tightrope of independence v safety so the ‘circus’ continues: oh for a safety net!

    Like

  6. AmazingSusan says:

    Keep up the good work Paul 🙂 and on the topic of wandering, my feeling is we should delete the word entirely when referring to someone with dementia. I’ve written a couple of related posts on the as you may have seen:

    http://myalzheimersstory.com/2016/05/24/20-questions-to-ask-yourself-about-wandering/

    http://myalzheimersstory.com/2016/05/27/1-reason-people-with-dementia-try-to-escape/

    Like

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