Dementia: ‘Peach’ Is No Distraction

I decided to remind Maureen today was her Granddaughter’s 18th birthday.  Conversations earlier in the week had resulted in ‘she doesn’t send me a birthday card, why should I send her one’.  However, as her mother died and we undertook to try to maintain a close relationship with the young lady I reminded Maureen of the special occasion this morning.

Things went exceptionally well for a while with Maureen singing along with her Granddaughter on YouTube.  This is one of the numbers that Maureen really likes:

Maureen accompanied Maeve for quite some time, waving to her and clapping after every number.  Then problems emerged as Maureen tried to work out how to send a birthday greeting.  My explanations were not well received as I tried to help her understand that YouTube was not interactive and Maeve could not hear her accompanying her singing.  I even suggested visiting the  Birthday Girl in Coventry but that fell on deaf ears.  After a while, things turned really sour with Maureen returning to a familiar theme of being brought to this house against her will.

When Maureen is ‘wanting to go home’ there is little I can do to shift her reality – it is one of those occasions when distraction and redirection rarely work.  I will need additional support today if I’m going to survive Maureen’s current presentation.   Once again I’m looking to our Key Worker to come to my rescue with his usual person-centred approach to our situation.

One final point it is my guess that the forthcoming Best Interest Meeting has triggered unfortunate changes in Maureen’s presentation.  Her advocate was here yesterday and the last time she was here Maureen was distressed for a couple of days.

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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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