Dementia: ‘Baby Come Back!’

Maureen was in great form yesterday from the moment we ventured downstairs.  Our early morning bird spotting went well as we sat in the dining room watching the comings and goings in our back garden.  Then ‘my baby really come back’ as we moved into our lounge.  I’m sure Ali Campbell and Pato Banton brought back such happy memories for her as I called them up on YouTube:

She sang along as she had over 20 years ago when we saw them both in concert.  Then babies dominated the discussion when Girl Tuesday arrived a few hours before her scan that would hopefully tell her that all was in order with her pregnancy.

Girl Tuesday is a very intuitive carer and moved Maureen from the kitchen sink to the shower on the pretext that this was now the only comfortable way to wash her hair.  At three months how on earth could she be expected to bend over a kitchen sink?  Her efforts meant that ‘my baby had really come back’ as Maureen looked great on my return from Cleethorpes Leisure Centre.  Her hair is now a beautiful silvery grey that most women and men would pay a fortune to achieve.

The afternoon progressed in a similarly positive manner.  Our stroll took us to Ticker-T-boo where the staff always go out of their way to talk to Maureen.  I spent a pound on a door alarm and Maureen had a lively chat with the shop assistant.  We then ventured over to the Beachcomber Holiday Camp checking on their preparations for the coming season.  As we turned to come home Maureen thanked me for taking her out saying ‘she was pleased that the locals spoke to her even though they might think she was retarded or mentally ill’.

It is rather ironic that Maureen often attributes her shortcoming to mental illness rather than vascular damage.  It is possible that she remembers my periods of depression and that is clouding her judgment.  She may be reminded of my depressive episodes this morning when I tell her I’m going to meet Paul Martin the Counsellor at Clee Medical Centre.  He built on the good work of Navigo to help me put my depressive episodes into context.  I see Paul every 6 weeks.   I hope to meet Irving Kirsch one day to thank him for his research that  helped me to understand that mild to moderate depression is not the result of a chemical imbalance and does not require a lifetime on antidepressants:

It wasn’t the medication that helped Maureen’s baby come back it was the therapy that helped me understand that depressive episodes were a reaction to my environment!

Image result for home alone picturesUnfortunately, as dusk approached there were significant changes in my environment and Maureen’s presentation.   She began accusing me of ‘keeping her a prisoner’ and wanting to go back to her children.  As is always the case I had no additional staff to call upon and faced a night of being Home Alone!

I was really taken aback by Maureen’s presentation after such a lovely day together. Homefield House reported similar experience during her stay in Respite Care: positive interaction during the day but challenging behaviour once night set in. Eventually, after a protracted battle, I managed to get her to bed by 1.30 pm which is earlier than Homefield House ever managed!

Maureen woke around 4 am asking for guidance to the bathroom.  On her return, she bared her chest to me and told me someone had stolen her underclothes.   She hasn’t been wearing a bra for months but is adamant that someone has been at her bust while she has slept.   I have made several attempts to help her but she is distraught and has been trying to pull up her trousers to support her bust.

I won’t have an opportunity to catch up on sleep today as there is no day shift to come on duty.  Rather than taking rest I will need to summon support as soon as the phone lines open for business.  I sincerely hope that any assessments of Maureen this morning are undertaken by professionals from the Irving Kirsch school of thought: ‘Dump the risky drugs’: adding further chemicals to Maureen’s body when she is already struggling to deal with the progression of her dementia seems rather risky  We don’t need dodgy medication we need additional carer sits if I am to have any chance of avoiding Carer Burnout!

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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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