Dementia: Heeding Wise Counsel

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I eventually let my head rule my heart yesterday morning.  Once again our Key Worker kept me on the straight and narrow and eased Maureen into Alderlea Care Home.  He remains the only professional who Maureen remembers and trusts! Now I’m on my Buddhist Retreat I am grateful for his wise counsel.

I attended the introduction to my Retreat last night and I’m really looking forward to the next few days.  There are four teachings every day and we are encouraged to observe silence until late evening.  Madhyamaka is such a peaceful place: its impact on me is always significant.

I hope to find time to set up another page on this Blog so that I can share what I am  learning from my Retreat.

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Dementia: I’m Tempted To Go For It!


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Maureen has been incredible over the last three days.  Our Little Diamond has worked tirelessly on my daily shopping list of activities.  I’m beginning to wonder if she has been using laughing gas as hysterics greet me when I return from my time out.

Maureen’s mood is so positive at the moment.  She had a shower and washed her hair this morning with minimal encouragement.  Then to cap it all she put on a complete set of underwear for the first time in ages.

Our Key Worker will be here shortly to take Maureen to Alderlea Care Home.  She has been at home for a month and it is time for me to have two weeks respite from my caring duties.  However, as things are going so well at the moment I’m wondering if a holiday together would be more appropriate.  It seems such a shame to put at risk what we achieved in the last few days.

It would be simple for Maureen to accompany me to the Buddhist Centre today and join me visiting family at the end of the week: there’s room for two on all my bookings.  It’s really tempting to go for it and leave Alderlea as a fallback position if needed!

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Dementia: Foreplay Makes Sense

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Out Little Diamond always plays it cool when she arrives for her carer sit.  She is not of the ‘wham bam thank you mam school’: telling Maureen what she is going to do to her as soon as she walks in the door.

I watched her again yesterday as she eased Maureen off the sofa to join her in household duties.  If I’d been able to video her in action it would have had an excellent training video for her colleagues to watch.

Yesterday Maureen was eased into:

  • A short car journey into Grimsby.
  • Changing unsuitable clothing in Tesco.
  • Drying up the pots and pans.
  • Changing our bedding.
  • Preparing vegetables for lunch.
  • Volunteering for dusting duties.

On my return from some time out, OLD and Maureen were singing along to YouTube. She’s back again today and I know Maureen is in for another busy few hours.

I’m hoping she can help resolve an early morning underwear crisis: once again nothing fits.  As OLD is here for four hours today we might even be able to fit in a trip to Marks and Sparks so Maureen can choose some new undies.  Her current method of getting the necessary support up top; with a belt, or trousers almost pulled up to her neck, must be so uncomfortable.  This is a no-go area for me when Maureen doesn’t know who I am – particularly if she thinks I’m the guy who troubled her so much in her past!


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Dementia: Is The Real Problem The Act?

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The case for a review of the Mental Capacity Act has been made and accepted.  Unfortunately, Brexit has meant that it is not a priority at the moment.  However, I would humbly suggest that in this area common sense has gone out of the window and the MCA is being misused.

I’m very concerned about the way the MCA has been applied to us:

  • Meetings have not been recorded accurately.
  •  Professional staff who know Maureen have been excluded from meetings.
  • Meetings have been called when telephone conversations would have sufficed.
  • The Application to deprive Maureen of her liberty is appalling.

From our experience, it  is time for the Local Authority and NAViGO to review their guidelines to employees on the application of the MCA!

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Dementia: Thank God It’s Friday

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Our Little Diamond is back this morning: fondly known as the ‘Pocket Rocket’ by her Agency.  It is a relief to know that she is also on duty over the weekend.  We haven’t seen her since Monday and her colleagues have struggled with Maureen.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Maureen looking dishy after I’ve been out shopping this morning.  Our LD can generally ease her into the shower and help her to wash her hair.  I have seen how easily she gets Maureen to take her medication.  In the last three days, her colleagues have failed to get her to down her tablets!

My scheduled six-hour break didn’t happen yesterday: Girl Thursday wasn’t comfortable to be here for such a stint.  Unfortunately, she had not informed the Agency so I had to get back here  as soon as I could.

Maureen’s presentation can be very challenging and carers need to be cute to engage her in activities that will help her to retain her functional and cognitive capacity.  This is an issue I will need to talk over with our Key Worker.

Additional carer sits have now been agreed; to give me a weekly six-hour break one day a week and to allow me to attend Buddhist Meditation Classes on Wednesday evenings.  It will be frustrating if this means that Maureen continues to go to sleep when certain carers are here and then stays awake half the night!

It would be inappropriate to discuss any further the concerns I raised yesterday regarding the Local Authorities DOLs Application.   I have been advised to make a Formal Complaint about this matter

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Dementia: She’s Over The Moon

When I told Maureen about my forthcoming birthday treat she was delighted.  Last week I secretly booked a three-day trip to Thoresby Hall;

Thoresby Hall Hotel, Nottinghamshire, England - The grounds are nice for a stroll around

where a Rat Pack Tribute:

will be providing entertainment.

Since ‘my confession’, she has been singing along with Dean, Sammy and Frank on YouTube from the early hours.

The beauty of Thoresby Hall is the location: near to both Nottingham and Coventry.  Being so close to our birthplaces offers so many possibilities during our mini-break.

Maureen has always needed lots of time to prepare for holidays.  It will be interesting to see when she starts developing her lists so we have all we need for our holiday.  She has plenty of notice as my birthday is five weeks away.  In the meantime, it’s a delight to see her so happy as she sings along to some of our old favourites.



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Dementia: ‘Sparks Will Fly’

I have no doubt that there will be some casualties from the Local Authority’s DOLs Application.  It was an appalling document: calling my wife ‘Mary’ on one occasion and also stating that she was my ‘father’. When you see the level of seniority that has approved the document it becomes a real concern.

The Application was an inappropriate legal remedy.  I don’t need the Mental Capacity Act to tell me to keep my wife safe.  I’m quite capable of ensuring that her welfare is protected at all times without an order under the MCA.  This law is an ass and words fail me to describe those who processed the Court Application!

I have been assured I will get a written apology for this mess: an explanation would also be a reasonable expectation.

N.B. I have posted the above at 8pm as sometimes it is important to get a bad taste out of your mouth.  Some really good things have happened this week and I will share these in the morning

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Dementia: Are My Knickers Needlessly In A Twist?

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I’ll find out this morning if I have got my knickers in a twist based on a misunderstanding.  The Local Authority has applied to allow me to deprive Maureen of her liberty.  It is perhaps fortunate that their application- despite being accepted by a District Judge – requires revision as it contains several inaccuracies and misleading statements.  Consequently, I have been unable to complete my statement and have a meeting this morning to discuss my concerns

What I hope to clarify this morning is that I can exercise discretion.  If they really want me to become Maureen’s goaler I may walk away from being her Care Partner!

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Dementia: Let Them Eat Cake!

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Afternoon tea was taken again yesterday.  Scones with strawberry jam and cream were followed by Bakewell Tart.  This new routine is part of a cunning plan to entice neighbours into our home.  Aunty Clarice has already accepted her invitation.

I’m sure it won’t take long before our invitations are reciprocated and we are popping across the road to have tea with a friendly widow or two.  That is when the real fun will start as they are sure to offer homemade produce.

The ‘Cleethorpes Bake Off’ is within our grasp and if Maureen thinks I’m going to be a ‘Lone Baker’ she has another think coming.  I wonder how long it will take me to learn how to make her signature ‘Cut and Come Again Cake’.   What a delicious way to attempt reminiscence therapy!


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Dementia: ‘Happy Meal’ Saves The Day

When I returned from Cleethorpes Leisure Centre yesterday it soon became things were not good.  Hostility was in the air and I made it worse by stupidly suggesting that I took our grandson to see a neighbour’s dog.   This gave Maureen a further opportunity to vent: her husband wanted to leave her for a pet!

Fortunately, our daughter in law played a trump card by taking her two children out for a walk.  This gave me and Maureen’s son an opportunity to cool things down.  He told me how Maureen had spent the last hour convinced she was in the hospital awaiting treatment and their distraction techniques had not changed her reality.

The ‘Sound of Music’ in our sunroom set the tone for a change of presentation.  I didn’t manage to get Maureen to move into her normal dance routines but following a hug from her son and a cup of tea we moved on to join the rest of his family at McDonald’s.

A Chocolate McFlurrie saved the day and two grandchildren saw moments of the Nana they know and love.


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