Dementia: ‘Bless Her’

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I would gamble that if I mentioned Maureen’s behaviour this morning the locals would say ‘bless her’.  However, being woken just after midnight is not something I’m exceptionally pleased about along with being told  I’m a ‘nasty, horrible man’.  My sleepy response to her question about ‘where are the others’ led to increased vitriol.   When I suggested that she lay down in beside me in bed her response is probably best not repeated.

Once I followed Maureen downstairs she was in fits of laughter as she sang:

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there isn’t a medical term for her early morning presentation and a tablet for it.  Maureen sang a few others numbers before she lay down on the sofa and went back to sleep.

My response to blood-curdling cries at 4 am were a little more conservative than my earlier attempts to console Maureen.   She had woken up feeling dizzy and scared.  My presence seemed to have a calming effect and she went on to aplogise for waking me as she was aware ‘that it would upset my wife’.  Then I risked it by confirming that Maureen’s mum was dead when she pleaded with me to tell her the truth.

A little later, when I tried to distract and redirect Maureen I was surprised by her response.  I had moved the conversation on to what to buy her for her birthday on the 26th of this month and she said ‘you have already given me my present by telling me the truth about my mum’.   She went on to tell me that she was fed up with people not answering her questions because they didn’t think she could cope with the truth.

I have decided to gently take Maureen up on her request to tell her the truth and see where it leads.  To an extent, I feel there is little to lose providing I do it in a way that attempts to minimise distress.  Unfortunately, my first shot on this front has not gone well when I suggested that Maureen sometimes ‘forgets’ to take her tablets it was greeted with abject denial.

The next ‘truth issue’ has to be personal care: once again I will attempt to nudge Maureen into taking a shower and changing her clothes this morning.  If words don’t do the trick I will pluck up the courage to spill a glass of water down her.  What else would be expected of a nasty, horrible man in the circumstances?  I’m not sure if the locals will continue to bless her if she continues to walk the streets in PJ’s that remain inside out and have become rather shabby after being worn for two weeks!

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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: ‘Bless Her’

  1. Y Vermeer says:

    Well written and I wonder what actually works with regards to ‘ nudging’ someone to shower, or dress for that matter.

    Like

    • Remember Me says:

      My current approach is do you want me to help you this morning or Girl Monday? I’m not sure if this is going to work as Maureen has suggested helping me to take a shower. When our extension is built there will be an additional shower room much larger than our current one. Joint showering might then be the solution!

      Like

  2. Rhonda Nay says:

    So for a change, bless you. It is heartbreaking, frustrating and bloody hard work

    Like

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