Dementia: Safe and Sound

I am drafting this post at 11pm in the hope that Maureen will come to bed shortly and not interrupt me when I am in deep sleep. It became apparent during a late evening walk that she was unsure who I was when she asked me ‘if I had any children’.  She also said that sometimes she thought ‘I was here to help her get her memory back’.   It also became clear as we were homeward bound that she thought we had never been on Thorpe Park before despite many walks around the holiday camp.  In fact we took a similar route home on Friday morning.

She became very withdrawn a short while ago when sorting through some washing that our carer had ironed this morning.  She said that ‘n0-one had told her where to put her clothes once they had been ironed’ and referred to an incident a couple of weeks ago when she had felt humiliated by the insensitive behaviour of a carer who doesn’t normally darken our door.

I have now beefed up our security after the scare on Sunday morning.  The patio door has been made more difficult to open from the inside after a bit of DIY.   Both bolts are now operational on the back gates so that is another escape route that may have been closed off. In addition a warning bell now sounds when the front door is opened.

The other positive that happened today was that Maureen pressed the button on the baby alarm to get my attention.  I’m not sure she knew what she was doing but I remain optimistic on this front.

 Until this evening Maureen had hardly been out of the house for the last three days.  She has accompanied me on short car journeys to the shops but has generally been reluctant to go out for a walk.  Whenever I have suggested going out she has said she is too tired and has been sleeping for large parts of the day and evening.  She often says that her leg hurts or she has nothing suitable to go out in.  

There is no carer sit tomorrow due to a misunderstanding about my need to have some time to myself.  This may provide an opportunity to try something different in an effort to help Maureen enjoy the day.  She often says she is concerned that she is spending her life in bed or on the sofa: I’ll do my best to move her in a different direction tomorrow.

I am a little worried about leaving her alone downstairs, even with the baby monitor activated.  The back door key is missing and is likely to be in her pocket so she could get outside.   If she wakes and feels she is locked in goodness knows what might happen.  The safest option may be to kip on an armchair for a while: thank goodness it is possible to flick a lever and make them horizontal.  I can’t think of any other way to keep her safe and sound tonight.

 

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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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