Maureen woke this morning crying that she wanted to go home as she doesn’t know anyone here. I played it by ‘the book of dementia’ gave comfort and changed the subject. With cold tea at her side I played on the fact that the one person she knew was letting her down. What sort of a Tea Boy would serve his mistress cold tea in the morning I posed? I then requested further training in the art of providing warm tea so the boss could drink my offering before she drifted back into the land of nod.
Once I had lightened things up I plunged into deeper waters. It’s ‘Carnival Time’ here at the weekend and I suggested inviting folks to share the day with us. From Maureen’s facial expression this is a ‘no no’ and I think I know why. My guess would be that Maureen doesn’t want to put me to any trouble hosting visiting parties but it goes deeper than that. In the last few days I have seen how reluctant she is to be in the company of others as it exposes her poor memory: too many folk are not dementia friendly and make her feel foolish or even that she is going mad.
I need to chat further to professional staff about the dangers of social isolation which could escalate as Maureen’s dementia progresses. My telephone conversation with Gilly from the Home Treatment Team this morning, will provide an opportunity to discuss this dilemma. There is no doubt that Maureen still has capacity at some levels but going along with her wishes to keep visitors, even close family, at bay may not be in her best interest.
Edit: I’ve just remembered I met Audrey one of our friends from Short Mat Bowls the other day. She suggested how welcome we would be if we popped in to see them on any Tuesday evening.. Now I wonder if I can steer our evening walk in that direction tonight?
Further Edit: The other possibility is to persuade Maureen to accompany me to visit Mike, our neighbour, who is in hospital following a heart attack .