Dementia: Please Cut Us Some Slack On DoLS

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It was clearly not in Maureen’s Best Interests to let her walk by herself yesterday because the pavement was littered with preparation for the ‘Bin Men’s’ arrival this morning  So last night I stayed by her side during Circuit Training and commented on our route as we walked hand in hand.  I’m seeking to break down our route so that it becomes so familiar to Maureen that she will be able to walk around the block almost with her eyes closed.

I would assert that at this moment in time it is not in Maureen’s Best Interests to seek approval from the Court of Protection for DoLS within our home.   Professional staff who have to work within the confines of the Mental Capacity Act are seeking to move swiftly down that road.  I’m hoping to buy a little more time to see if Maureen can become safe in the community once again.

The Mental Capacity Act and DoLS are new territories for me.  I will be embarking on an eLearning exercise and seeking guidance from a number of quarters this morning. What I’m hoping is to discover is means of maintaining Maureen’s liberty for a while longer.

I have deliberately let our milk stocks run low this morning anticipating that Maureen will accompany me to our Spa Stores again shortly.   She was with me almost as they opened yesterday morning seemingly at home in the company of friendly faces.  If I encourage her to take ‘baby steps’ there is so much more to come from our early morning trips down the road.  Where better to seek cognitive stimulation than in the community? It would be hypocritical for me to see any other way forward after my lengthy professional career as a Community Educator.

I’m not convinced that Maureen’s presentation at the moment is just about the progression of dementia.  I think it is predominantly a reaction to her stay in Ashgrove.   She is terrified this morning of being left by herself. Yesterday, she was afraid that I would put her in the hospital again – her explanation for a recent stay in a Care Home.  I was tempted to tell her that I couldn’t afford to do that as they have overcharged us and still cannot find some missing items of clothing.  She has also told me she doesn’t want another baby: her description of the pain she endured following the work of District Nurses to cure her severe constipation.

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There are possibilities for a really positive development this afternoon.  I have engaged a Private Carer for a couple of hours.  She is a Dementia Specialist and  I have tasked her with solving the great underwear crisis. This is not to persuade Maureen from dressing like Superwoman.  I solved that yesterday following advice from our Key Worker.  It is to help Maureen find underwear that she feels comfortable in.  I’m sure my models in M&S will miss me but all good things have to come to an end!

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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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