Dementia: Taking Gardening Leave

I’m tired this morning after a challenging day yesterday.  I think the best way of coping today is to take self-imposed ‘Gardening Leave’.

We got off to a positive start yesterday with great news on the BP front 130/70 revealed at our local chemist.  Then it was on to a local Car Boot Sale where we snapped up a couple of bargains including one for a Sunderland fan.

Maureen was asleep when a new carer arrived.  When she and awoke she seemed startled to find a stranger in the house.  I think Elaine blotted her copybook by trying to physically guide Maureen.  One thing Maureen hates is a misplaced hand that treats her as on old lady or a child.  This resulted in Maureen taking to the utility room for safety; so I thanked Elaine for her help and encouraged her to ‘clock out’ a little early.

Lunch was a disaster as Maureen spat out the aubergines – clearly not impressed with my efforts.  I should have known better and stuck to more familiar fare!  My sweet rescued the day and Maureen took to the sofa shortly after lunch.

The afternoon did not go well with the Sky Blues failing to score yet again and Maureen going AWOL as they went into extra time.  I have no idea where she went or how she found her way back home: she appeared at the back door as I was about to summon the police.  My searching in the car had been fruitless and none of the neighbours had seen her take off- very strange indeed!

A late tea went down well but Maureen remained restless in the evening ‘shadowing ‘ me as I tended the garden. alongside.  She also complained about the dangerous state of a passage way at the side of the house.  As darkness arrived she became very confused not knowing where she was or how we got here (sundowning ?).  At one time I thought our new sleeping arrangements had become redundant but as I was about to go upstairs she let me off the hook by saying that I could stay in the same room as I wouldn’t be in her bed.

The night has passed relatively peacefully with reassurance helping Maureen get back to sleep on a couple of occasions.  I have decided to draft an early morning post to help clarify my best approach to today.  Maureen appears to have taken an instant dislike to the new carer and I can’t see the two of them hitting it off: a ‘hands on’ approach will never work here.  My current thinking is to cancel the Sit and take ‘Gardening Leave’ for the rest of the day as a general tidy up might just satisfy the Health and Safety Officer (Maureen).

Now where is that wheelbarrow!

Edit: Change of plan – spoke to Agency at 8 am they will advise Elaine to be in the background to see if Maureen warms to her this morning.

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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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2 Responses to Dementia: Taking Gardening Leave

  1. AmazingSusan says:

    Yes, Paul, some caregivers just don’t work out for whatever reason.

    Like

    • Remember Me says:

      I think I may have pulled it round with my call to the Agency and am now optimistic that Elaine will become an asset to the team. Handy I have skills in induction from my professional life! The real positive is that Maureen remembered her name as it is the same as her middle one..

      Liked by 1 person

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