Dementia: Seeing The Light

Image result for fibre optic lamp working modelI had a surprise birthday present yesterday; a fibre optic light I had forgotten I had ordered on eBay.   It was a cheapie and no instructions were included, so it took me a while to get it working.  From what I have seen so far it might just provide soothing light; even a  diversion when the going gets tough.

When I came downstairs yesterday morning I saw something I have possibly been reluctant to see.  Maureen told me that she had ‘made me a birthday card but couldn’t remember where she had put it’.  Then the reality check was before my eyes on the dining room table: a used envelope on which she had written ‘HAPPY XXX’.  Inside the envelope was a used sticky notelet book.  When I thanked her for the card she broke down and said ‘I can’t write any more’.

Half day closing yesterday at our Medical Centre meant that it wasn’t possible to check if Maureen has a UTI.  Even the collection of the sample caused problems with Maureen telling me ‘that Lady ( Girl Thursday) had made her feel a fool’ by correcting her approach to water collection.  I’m hoping that things go a little more smoothly in the morning and we can check if antibiotics are needed.

I’m beginning to wonder if we are now trying to shut the door after the horse has bolted.  It is possible that professional staff encouraging Maureen to widen her social circles and become more active could well be too little too late.

I think it is important for me to remain focused on minimising Maureen’s distress.   Those who have decided the Best Interest Meeting is the way forward could well be contributing to Maureen’s decline by scaring the living daylights out of her.

 Posted live at 2 am as ‘Storm Maureen’ has been raging for an hour!

2 thoughts on “Dementia: Seeing The Light

  1. Ahh Paul. So sad to read, but one consolation is that Maureen remembered your birthday, even if it wasn’t written how she used to write it. When I used to see things like this from Steve, I treasure them, as it was the best he could do at the time, regardless of how much assistance was provided. I have a lot of cards from the two years prior to him going into care, where he just couldn’t understand what to write or how to write it, even when “coached” by his daughter (or me on occasion!). And it’s the thought that counts. It doesn’t matter how or where the message is written or how it’s delivered.
    It does sound like the horse has bolted, unfortunately. Trying to get her involved in social activities now would be more of a burden for her and she would probably find it confusing, confronting, terrifying, etc etc.
    As you mention a lot, keep her interested in whatever she wants to do (as long as it’s safe) and whatever she can do, and as long as it is fairly meaningful to her.
    As always, I think of you often, and hope that you are managing to “weather the storms”!
    Take care of you, too.


    1. Thanks Dom for sharing your journey. I hope to make it to Austarlia one day to thank you for your support and introducing me to Kate Swaffer. When I was looking through my precious possessions the other day I found poems that Maureen had written to me 25 years ago that brought back such happy memories.

      Liked by 1 person

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