Dementia: Reclaiming Our Lives

Hey Kate Swaffer, my cyber friend, we still feel young so I hope you don’t mind me using the cover of one of your publications to introduce this post:

Image result for Reclaiming Our Lives from dementia Picture

It was good to have a long chat with our Key Worker yesterday.  He was concerned that arrangements needed to be put in place to ensure my wellbeing.  As he rightly pointed out if I burn-out then matters would be taken out of my hands and Maureen would be taken into care whether I liked it or not.

As anyone who reads this blog would expect it would be unlikely that I would walk down that well-trodden path of seeking respite by placing Maureen in a Care Home.  This route has been far from safe in the past and does not address our aspirations of togetherness.  So I am exploring what all couples do: having a break together.  My initial inquiries have gone well.  One of my sisters has offered open house: although it is a bungalow in her case.  The Madhyamaka Buddhist Centre are also keen to accommodate us in their tranquil surroundings:

Image result for madhyamaka kadampa centre yorkshire

My previous plans to have a regular break by myself at the Centre do not make sense: we are a married couple who enjoy being together.  I’m sure this is only the tip of the iceberg of getting our lives back as we come up with other ideas for mini-holidays and family members invite us to travel around the country to share their company.

‘Ginger’, as Maureen calls him, also encouraged me to put in place structured arrangements for personal support.  I have, consequently, arranged to meet my Admiral Nurse every two weeks.  This Blog will be used as a basis for discussion on how things have gone in the preceding fortnight along with the reflections of carers.  In addition, I will use my Support Worker from the Alzheimer’s Society to chat over my plans ‘as and when’ as they say.

Plans are already in place to make our home safer and more dementia friendly.  Our decorator is imminent to use colour to make it easier for Maureen to find her way around. Our builder is holding off on plans to make our patio safer until the danger of frost has passed.

Spring is in the air and there is plenty to do in our garden.  It would be easy to spend the summer months pottering in the garden and enjoying the tranquility of Cleethorpes.  This would not address aspirations to get our lives back.  However, if we make sensible arrangements to travel further afield who knows where we might get to in the coming months: then we will both feel we are living again!

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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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One Response to Dementia: Reclaiming Our Lives

  1. Janet says:

    It is good to hear you are making plans for breaks. They might be a bit far for you but have you heard of Vitalise breaks? Throughout the year they have a few what they call Alzheimer’s breaks where couples go together with carers on hand to help out so the partner of the person with dementia can have a break.

    Liked by 1 person

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