Tag Archives: Packing to Go Home

Dementia: Time To Call A Halt To This Madness

Featured imageThere had to be some changes in the initial plans for D Day following the arrival of a new kid on the block.  When our carer arrived for the morning sit I realised we had never met her before so I asked her to leave.  She fully understood Maureen’s need to have people that she knew around her and happily went on her way.

There had been some crossed wires with our social worker and the review of my Carer’s Assessment will now take place on Friday.

One of the outcomes of Tracey’s meeting with Maureen yesterday afternoon is pictured on the right: packing to go home .  Maureen experienced discomfort and upset following her visit.  My conclusion is that these visits may satisfy regulations but they are unhelpful as far as we are concerned.  They appear to achieve little that is of any help for either of us yet cause considerable distress.

I am unclear if the problems are structural or more about the way an individual carries out her statutory duties.  I accept the need for social workers to carry out capacity assessments on specific matters.  The social worker has to explore with Maureen the nature of the care she would prefer if I am to be away from home for a day or two.  What I struggle with is her constant need to try to encourage Maureen to move outside her comfort zone.  Encouraging Maureen to take ‘baby steps’, and that is what is needed following stroke, is my job in conjunction with carers.  We toddle forward with that focus in mind day after day: we are sensitively relentless on that front.

I am not surprised that Maureen was packing to go home in earnest last night.  I am also not surprised that she was unable to do her normal washing up stint:  the kitchen looked like a bomb site after her efforts.  I am not surprised it took her around half an hour before she was comfortable in bed and I could switch the lights off.  It is obvious what caused her to go off the rails as soon as the social worker had gone.

Well my focus is clear this morning: I have to find a way of bringing some sanity into proceedings. I have to find a way to call a halt to this madness.  Maureen has just woken in tears asking ‘Why do I have to stay here in this Care Home?   Why can’t I go home and be with my  family?’  and much more.

Wish me luck if you can: social workers don’t take too kindly to telling them they ‘don’t understand dementia’.   If they did why do they persist in talking to someone at length who only has an extremely short concentration span?  Why don’t they realise Maureen will pick a negative out of the conversation on dwell on it?   I wonder what it will take to get them to listen to care partners, rather than concentrating on their statutory duties?  Well I may be in a position to let you know very soon.  Fortunately, I have  appointments to see the Head of Casework and the Assistant Director of Strategic Planning for the Clinical Commissioning Group in my diary .

I often reflect on why I chose a Masters Degree in Continuing Education and the Management of Change for my year’s secondment at Warwick University in 1987.  Well I think I know why now!  What good fortune that the internet means that I have resumed contact with Tom Schuller my Supervisor from Warwick.   I think he is still keeping a watchful eye on his student even after almost thirty years have passed of the parting of our ways.   Even during my retirement he is   suggesting relevant reading material –  yes Tom I have skimmed the opening passages of Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks!

Dementia: Hoping Sleep Therapy Helps

I am hoping that Maureen’s afternoon siesta will help to get things back on an even keel here.  Things went well early on this morning, then the slide began.  My complacency has not helped.  As soon as my back was turned ‘packing to go home’ took place in earnest.  You should see the stack of gear in readiness for the homeward journey.  This is the first time for weeks that Maureen has been on this racket.  There has been more evidence of abject confusion whilst I have been at the keyboard.

I thought she had done a runner a couple of hours ago.  I returned from my office and the signs were not good, as I had foolishly left the side gate invitingly open.  Then I caught sight of Maureen in next doors garden holding a pair of my joggers.  As i cajoled her back here she mentioned she had been looking for me to see if I wanted her to put my clothes in the car.

It is possible that tiredness is taking its toll.  Maureen has been up much earlier than usual this morning: on the go all the time.  I am hoping that a short rest will help her to make sense of things.  Optimistic I know because confusion about: person, place and time are the constant features of dementia.  So it’s not surprising if she is frequently confused on these three front.  However, it’s just possible that a short nap will make it easier to keep her on the straight and narrow.

I don’t know you just can’t turn your back for a minute when you are a care partner for someone with dementia.  Oh dear it’s very quiet down there and Maureen may have scarpered.  Phew that was a close one – she is getting the washing in.  A woman’s work is never done even when they have dementia.

Dementia: Buffering Leads to Packing to Go Home

We had a lovely evening yesterday watching an Emmylou Harris concert on YouTube.  She is a recent discovery of ours a belated rave from long ago.  Just In case you are not familiar with her songs here is one of our favourites: Making Believe. Then buffering started and we waited for the Internet to get up to speed:  I will just have to spend some more of our cash and get cable installed.

To go back to Emmlou we had sang along for  the best part of an hour, then the natural break occurred and M took herself off in the interval.  She was gone for a while and I busied myself with something; even dozed off.  When I came round and the buffering continued I switched to  a T V channel, to watch how James Bond was pursuing the latest villain.  I caught up with 007’s latest antics for a while, and then decided I had better check up on my wife.

Bet you have guessed what she was doing by now.  Yes there she was in our utility room packing to go home.  I would suspect that she went into the kitchen; called into the downstairs loo/utility room, forgot why she was there, and decided to get some things together for the homeward journey in the morning.

It all seems to fit together somehow.  If you wanted to get away from somewhere you would plan your escape.  You wouldn’t want to leave the nightmare of dementia without some of your own things.