Dementia: Is Dr Dan The Man?

Some of my cyber friends have pointed me in the direction of Dr Dan Nightingale.   From my limited understanding of his work, it appears there may be an alternative to Trazodone: the medical solution to Maureen’s presentation.

Maureen’s behaviour became extremely challenging yesterday afternoon when she took off saying ‘she didn’t like it here’.  I followed her around the local area listening to a familiar tale of me ‘robbing, deceiving and abusing her’.  At one stage she confronted another woman who I had never seen before about her involvement in the affair.  The positive about this incident was that she got into the car after reprimanding this poor woman.  An hour later, it took the involvement of two support workers from the Home Treatment Team to persuade her to leave the car and enter ‘her house that I had stolen’.

Maureen was all sweetness and light when the HTT was here.  Following their departure, she sang along to YouTube beautifully for a while before becoming distressed about a strange man in the house.  My attempts to reassure her that she was safe had no impact so I gave her a cup of tea induced with a small amount of lorazepam.  I managed to encourage her to ‘rest her eyes’ but unfortunately by midnight she was on the attack again with a short spell of vindictiveness and sarcasm.

It is not easy to switch off and go back to sleep after seeing your wife out of control and looking menacing with a cheeses board in hand.  Therefore  I’m drafting this post as one ‘o’ clock appears on my VDU.

I’m hoping that Dr Dan will be the man to help Maureen never forget who I am and stop accusing me of being responsible for events in her life that have no connection with me.

I’m also hoping that my Buddhist teachers will help me to stop self-cherishing and recognise the spiritual lessons from this journey:

What a shame I can’t make the opening session of this Term’s meditation classes in Grimsby tonight!

Update at 4 ‘o’ clock:  Maureen wants ‘Mr Fish’ our Key Worker here to lodge a complaint that she hasn’t any underwear and the toilets are filthy.   Having listened to her diatribe for about half an hour I contacted Single Point of Access so that she could request a visit.  She wouldn’t take the phone to speak to them directly so I held it close enough for them to grasp her reality about ‘the state of play in this hospital’.   I expect a call from ‘Mr Fish’ shortly after he is on duty this morning.  I’m pretty sure he will press ahead with a Best Interest meeting so we can all get round the table to discuss how best to respond to Maureen’s fluctuating presentation.

Further, Update at 6 ‘o’clock: I have just heard a very articulate presentation from Maureen on why she no longer needs to be in this ‘Care Home’.  She makes the point that there is no incentive for them to send her home.  From her perspective, her parents are too intimidated to assert that she is well enough to go home.  She says Care Homes are only interested in making money and will keep her here forever.  From many of the things that she said I thought she had been in touch with Kate Swaffer to confirm her thesis on ‘Prescribed Disengagement’.  I just have a feeling that we might be able to harness Maureen’s fighting spirit to good effect and ‘rementia’ offers a way out of this very dark Tunnel.  Only time will tell if Dr Dan really is the Man!

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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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