Dementia: Upsetting The Apple Cart

 

It looks like taking Maureen back to her childhood home has upset the apple cart  and may not have been a good idea after all.  She slept for a long time after her morning of visiting familiar ground and busking.  In between she had periods of upset – wanting to go home.  There were times when she looked completely lost in her surroundings and I had to guide her where to go when it was time for lunch.  She also asked me ‘if I always ate in this cafe as the tea was not what she normally drank’.

She got really mixed up late evening when she went to make a cup of tea.  After she had been gone for a while I checked up on her progress in the kitchen.  She had made two cups of tea and asked if ‘I would take one in for grandad’. The England opening match in the European Championship failed to impress her and she was asleep again when Russia equalised.

Maureen awoke when I closed windows in the lounge as I prepared to go to bed.  She said she wanted to stay on the sofa as she was nice and comfortable.  She mentioned she was going to write to her mum about a shortage of blankets.  When I pulled her granddaughter’s quilt from behind the sofa she asked me where Maeve was.  When I told her Maeve was in Coventry she said she wanted to go to see her.

Around 11.30 pm I could heard Maureen wailing on the Baby Monitor.  I rushed downstairs to comfort her and she told me that she was ‘going to go back to Nottingham in the morning to live with her mum’.  I eventually got her to go upstairs but she noticed I hadn’t brought up her usual cup of water to keep her mouth moist if she woke during the night.  Unfortunately, I stayed in bed and let her go down to find a cup of water.  As she had been gone for a long time so I went down to see what she was doing.

It took me a while to find her as she’d opened the patio door and was standing in the garden.  She told me she was ‘looking for her mum’.  She then returned to our bedroom and shut the door.  I opened it cautiously and found her looking out of the window.  She told me that ‘a policeman across the road was now watching out for her car’.  I said ‘I was pleased’ and she got into bed fully clothed, as she often does, declining to get under the quilt preferring the comfort of a blanket that she has when she sleeps on the sofa.

Maureen was awake at 1.45 pm trying to make sense of things.  She told me ‘I was stupid for telling her that no-one else lived here’ as she wandered from room to room looking for other people. She then told me ‘to stop speaking in that silly American drawl’.  It took some time before she settled on sleeping downstairs on the sofa warning me ‘not to wake her’.  Unfortunately I had to get up then as the Baby Monitor was switched off and she has found out how to open the patio doors and get outside.  I’ll have to try to catch up on sleep during that day because I’ve had none tonight.

As I tidy up the kitchen at 4 am Maureen is on the move again.  She declines a cup of tea saying she’ll make one when she wants one.  Then she announces ‘there are crooks and there are crooks who steal from their friends’ as she marches about the house looking for something.  She addresses me as someone who works here rather than her husband.  Which reminds me when we came across the busker yesterday he was singing: ‘You Don’t Know Me’ – how profound and one of Willie’s numbers:

Maureen has taken the opportunity of occupying the marital bedroom while it is vacant. She has thrown my pillows out of the bed and is sleeping in a central position. It looks like I’d better retreat to the spare bedroom for a while as that deep seated fear of men in her bed has returned: we all know the origins of that concern.  How sad it is that when she sleeps alone she can wake at any time totally distraught; fearing she has been deserted and locked in the house. Fortunately, I’ve managed to make sure the Baby Monitor is switched on so I can be with her if the need arises.

At 5.45 Maureen is on the move gain looking for a cardigan that her mother embriodered for her.  This is something I’ve never heard of before and I think she means a cardigan that I recently bought for her.  I’m wrong again she is talking of the cover for the continental quilt that we bought some time ago which is on the bed inside out causing confusion.

Maureen woke again at 7.15 as I was having my first an hour of shuteye. She tells me she ‘just wants to get better’ and welcomed me lying beside her on our bed.  I hold her tight and eventually sing some silly songs which are warmly appreciated.  After I finish drafting this post(something I’ve beeen doing on and off for quite some time)  I’m on duty as ‘Tea Boy’ but my guess is she will be asleep before I reappear with the goods.

I’m worn by the events of the last 12 hours: it’s been relentless.  I plan  may to ask the Care Agency for a hour or two of carer time if it is the weekend that our regulars work.  I would guess professional advice, on Monday, will be to  call off plans to visit Coventry next weekend and try to ‘settle her’ as the saying goes.  It’s a miserable old day in Cleethorpes this morning so we will have an easy day not straying far from the house: which will probably never be home as far as Maureen is concerned!

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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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4 Responses to Dementia: Upsetting The Apple Cart

  1. You are such a great care partner but you day/nights sound exhausting. I hope you get the extra help.

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  2. Remember Me says:

    Thanks Kay have just been on the phone to social services for support during the night if the going continues to get tough. It looks like it could be another challenging one!

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  3. Such a long, long night.

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