Maureen has now spent her second night at Homefield House. It was no simple matter to get her there: it was 4 ‘o’ clock on Wednesday before we were able to persuade her to put her foot in the door. Initially, she appeared to settle well then her behaviour during the early hours became extremely challenging and disruptive to fellow residents.
The phone lines were busy yesterday as we tried to find a way of minimising Maureen’s distress and enabling me to have a much-needed break. At one stage it looked as if she would need to be moved to an Enhanced Unit where staffing ratios would have been more supportive to her needs. However, I responded positively to the suggestion to pay for some one to one support in an effort to help her settle. The news this morning is slightly more positive with Maureen being abusive but less aggressive during the night and eventually going to bed at 2:30 am.
I am getting wise counsel from a number of quarters during this challenging period in my life. It is reassuring that staff from Social Services, Admiral Nursing and the Alzheimer’s have all played a significant part in helping me to keep my cool as we tried to find a person-centred approach to our dilemma. I always know that empathy and skilled professional help is available at the end of the phone whenever I need to mull over my thinking.
I’m hoping that Maureen will continue to settle for the remainder of the week and I can make my informal retreat at the Madhyamaka Buddhist Centre for a few days from Sunday. How profound that the focus of their meditation programme is about to be: