Dementia: Manufacturing Family Contact

Maureen was determined not to see her G P yesterday morning.  She tried every delaying tactic in the book even climbing into a single bed in the box room.  I managed to let Dr Munjal know what was going on and he said: ‘you know I will see her whenever you can get her here’.  Such a wonderful G P full of empathy and so supportive to us.

Maureen’s question of ‘what about me’ has become even more valid: in the four days since her accident she has only had one phone call to check on her well-being.  So yesterday I took action to manufacture some family contact.

Just before a late lunch I raised Maeve on the phone and Maureen chatted to her favourite granddaughter for a while.  That really lifted her spirits; particularly that she was consoling Maeve for  also ‘ being in the wars’ from dropping a bowling ball on her foot the night before.  At seventeen Maeve handles Maureen’s dementia well even when she is asking about her mother who is no longer with us.

I opened a second front in the afternoon by summoning Aunty Clarice to sit with Maureen while I went out to buy my daughter a late birthday card.  On my return I invited us to have tea at Clarice’s and we had a great time.  When those tw0 get together it’s a laugh a minute and last night was no exception.  It helps that Clarice knows dementia well after nursing her recently departed husband for 20 years with Alzheimer’s.

We returned home around 9 pm and Maureen fell asleep on the sofa shortly afterwards.    I gave up trying to persuade Maureen to go at midnight and left her to it on the sofa.

The Baby Monitor woke me shortly after 1pm with Maureen on the move.  She was very confused saying she was ‘going to leave this Mad House as soon as possible’.  I vacated the marital bed to leave her alone in the safety of the ‘Girls Dorm’.  An hour or so later she was on the move again very frightened there was n0-one else here and she welcomed my suggestion to join her in bed.

Maureen woke this morning and asked me if she would ever get better sharing her concerns that ‘things aint what they used to be’.  As always I tried to reassure her that she continues to make good progress in her recovery from stroke.  She has decided to go back to sleep after a frustrating half an hour trying to find underwear that was comfortable: it’s going to be one of those days.  Perhaps a shopping mission might be on the cards.

There is no doubt that Maureen was lifted by contact with family yesterday.  I’m hoping that the pressure is off for those who have had a busy working week and they will be on the phone today to see how Maureen’s injuries are progressing.

 

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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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