As ‘Girl Monday’ was off sick yesterday I tried something a little different. We needed some basics so Maureen came with me to Aldi where she seemed ill at ease, despite almost skipping around on our last visit. When we were putting our purchases in the car she said ‘she felt useless; as she was no longer capable of shopping alone’. She recalled earlier days where she filled up the shopping trolley alongside adding up the cost as she traversed the aisles in supermarkets.
We chatted as we made the homeward journey and I decided on some action as we neared our fishmongers. I stood outside his shop with tears in my eyes watching Maureen chatting confidently to the owner as she took advantage of today’s Special Offer: ‘Three pounds of haddock for £10’.
During the afternoon Maureen couldn’t settle and frequently came to find me if I was out of sight. Her shadowing became intense as the evening approached and she often sought a hug telling me how frightened she had become. We retired at 8 pm as we were both exhausted and during the night she found me after I had moved to the spare room. She shared her fears that ‘some people had invaded the house and were cutting up clothes’. At that juncture, she followed me into the bathroom and closed the door behind her at a time I would normally enjoy some privacy.
I shared my concerns about Maureen’s current presentation with certain professional staff yesterday and adjusted some plans accordingly. Our social worker was on leave and will be aware of my need to speak to him this morning. Maureen struggled last week with Wednesday’s overnight sit and we will need to review our plans on that front in light of the fear factor. This may not be one of the occasions to take a leaf out of the advice in the above book but the author may not have been taking dementia into the equation.
I have broken off completing this post to make Maureen a cup of tea. She has ended up contesting the restrictions on her right to roam. I accept she has a point and I disagree with the doomsayers that she is not safe when she is out by herself. This is something I need to explore with others urgently. Why keep Maureen under lock and key and be seen as the Bad Guy if this is not really necessary?
Footnote: 10.15 am I have just sent Girl Tuesday home she has a dreadful cold and we can’t risk either of us catching her infection. How on earth carers are being sent out to work with vulnerable clients in that condition defies belief!