In the last 24 hours, I’ve been faced with a harsh reality check on Maureen’s short-term memory. Yesterday, a few hours after I told Maureen that her mum was dead she was talking about sending a letter and going to see her. Early this morning she was reluctant to get into bed with me because she didn’t know who I was. I think she has already forgotten her focus a little later on about needing to be able to access her money so she could buy a toothbrush. Her reluctance to engage in personal care or change her clothing continues despite daily prompting from all quarters.
Most people would argue that Maureen is treading a familiar path: the inevitable decline in cognitive function as her dementia progresses. A minority suggest that it is possible to address cognitive decline or even reverse it. Over the next few days, I want to review my interventions as Maureen’s Care Partner and consider if a change of approach might lead to some productive outcomes.