Dementia: A Headless Chicken?

Image result for Rushing Around Like Headless Chicken PictureI had a stark reminder early this morning that I’m trying to do too much.  Last night I was so exhausted that I went to bed at half-past eight and left Maureen to her own devices. Five hours or so later I found her sitting on the sofa looking terrified and desperate to relieve herself but no idea where to find the bathroom.   She was so relieved in all sorts of ways to see me, particularly as there had been ‘a strange man in the room again’.

It is painfully obvious that I’m not able to cover all bases at the moment.  I’m trying to solve too many issues and wearing myself out often running around like a headless chicken.  Tiredness kills when you are a driver: it causes distress when you are a Care Partner.

The bookcase in the lounge has now predominantly become Maureen’s space with lots of opportunities for cognitive stimulation.  I need to summon further support from Occupational Therapy to see how the remainder of the house can become more supportive of Maureen’s needs.  However, too many changes could well cause further confusion and a focus on our lounge towards the end of the month would be sensible.

Maureen’s refusal to engage in personal care or take her medication continues to cause concern.   All carers have been alerted to the need to try and get Maureen to shower and change her clothes.  The medication issue is something I will need to discuss with her GP. The progress on these issues will be reviewed with our Key Worker when he visits on Friday.

The ‘headless chicken’ is also painfully aware of the stiffness in his body after a consultation with a Fitness Instructor at  Cleethorpes Leisure Centre yesterday morning.  He has now decided that hydrotherapy is preferable to Tai Chi and will be walking on water later this morning!  Cue Loudon Wainright:

Footnote: Just had a lovely moment after seeing Maureen looking tearful.  When I asked her why she was looking so sad she said:  I’m going to miss you when I go home.’

 

 

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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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6 Responses to Dementia: A Headless Chicken?

  1. AmazingSusan says:

    Based on my experience, I think a team of 4 – 6 people in rotation is required to care for one person in the middle – late “stages of dementia. When I cared for Mom, I was supported for the last 10 months by an angel caregiver who came 5 days a week from 09:00 – 18:00. Even then, Mom when into LTC, we were both exhausted.

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  2. Janet says:

    You raise an interesting point regarding medication as this was something one of the carers raised last night at the Carers Support Group I run. The lady in question is in a care home and was refusing to take her medication. The care home required the signature of the family member with lasting power of attorney to sign a document along with the signatures of the care home manager and 2 health professionals to say they agreed the medicines could be given covertly, i.e. disguised in food. The carer wanted to know why this was necessary as it was in the lady’ s best interest. It was explained it is a legal requirement as the lady is in the care home’s care.

    Your situation is different though your approach to speak with the GP is a good idea. You can clarify if given the difficulties all the medicines are necessary and sound them out about giving the medicines covertly.

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  3. Janet says:

    Incidentally, we briefly discussed the Gems model and I told the group I had learnt about it via your blog. I also told them what a great source of inspiration and knowledge your blog provides and suggested they have a look at it.

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