Dementia: Respite At Last!

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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:

Buddhist Meditations for Challenging Times

New Term Starts w/c April 23rd

Hardly a day goes by when we’re not experiencing some kind of challenge, whether it’s falling out with a friend, getting sick, losing our job, or feeling overworked and over-tired. When we experience such adversity how should we respond?

This series of classes based on the book How to Transform Your Life by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso will explain practical methods to maintain a positive and peaceful state of mind in the face of adversity. In this way, we will be able to meet all challenges, great and small, with confidence and wisdom.

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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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2 Responses to Dementia: Respite At Last!

  1. Dominique says:

    Paul, I’m so pleased that you are managing to get some respite at last. Maureen will no doubt take a few days to adjust to her unfamiliar surroundings, but the staff are trained to deal with difficult and challenging behaviour. Take advantage of this time. Thinking of you. x

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