Dementia: Regaining A Life Of My Own

Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed.  Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become.  Be honest with every aspect of your life, always.  Because you are the one person you can forever count on.  Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. - via: http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself/:

Yesterday I shared my aspirations to make a Fresh Start and this drew some helpful advice from a number of quarters.  Trying to persuade Maureen to go to a Day Centre is important if I’m to regain a life of my own.  It’s not going to be a simple matter and I was very grateful to receive this advice, via LinkedIn, from Anne Kingsbury yesterday:

‘I work in a Day Centre and we often struggle to get people to accept respite. So many people trying to do it alone or with only a few in-home services. I just want to say as someone bringing in loved ones to a new environment “stay with it!”. It takes time for new connections and routines to be established. You and the Day Centre will become partners I hope. Remember if they ring you with feedback or questions try not to hear this as them complaining – they are trying to build the whole picture and get more clues to what is happening for Maureen so that they can better serve her (and you). Wishing you all the best’.

I spent time yesterday in discussions with the Manager and a Senior Carer at Royal Court Care Home preparing the ground for Maureen’s initial visit.  They are a very well organised outfit and I continue to be impressed by their professional approach.  Royal Court is clearly dementia friendly and offers a real prospect of meeting Maureen’s needs and helping me to gain much needed respite from my caring role.

Following my request Gary is now my social worker and our ‘Working Position’ is to ease Maureen into Royal Court next Tuesday.  We have decided that Charlotte our regular Carer will attempt to cajole Maureen to ‘dip her foot into the water’ as close to 10.30 am as possible and I will pick her up at 5 pm.  If all goes well we will use the same arrangements on Thursday.

We are all aware that Maureen may resist any attempt to move her from her home: hence I have postponed any attempt to visit family in Coventry next week.  Yesterday she ‘played hell into me’ for going out and leaving her with a Carer.  Once again she returned to a familiar theme of married couples doing things together rather than one or the other going out alone.  Yesterday evening and early this morning Maureen’s mood is particularly low and she sees living here as the cause of all her discomfort including: having no friends; a persistant sore mouth; people stealing her clothes and lots of things smelling.  

As always I have a number of strategies up my sleeve to try to elevate Maureen’s low mood.  I have no doubt that Good Music will give her a lift and her favourites will be on the next time she wakes.  I have also printed a To Do List on a whiteboard so that we don’t let depression lead us down a road of not being able to do anything.  I persuaded Maureen to have a shower and wash her hair yesterday – a trim and a bit of colour can only help to lift her spirits if I can move her in the direction of Mark her hairdresser this morning.

Edit: It looks like it’s going to be a rough one: a polo neck sweater has been thrown on the floor and Maureen is currently sitting in her underwear ‘up top’ and that is too tight!.  Tea has been poured into the sugar bowl and spat out as too cold with the thought that someone had left it there and perhaps a tramp would like it.

Thank goodness Gail will be here in a couple of hours and I can have a break from watching such a sad scene unfold.

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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: Regaining A Life Of My Own

  1. I’m sorry to read of your difficult morning – how did the day pan out? The advice regarding day care sounds good. It will take time for M to adjust and alter her routine; I do hope she makes positive connections soon and starts to enjoy her time there. All good wishes x

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