Dementia: Lack of Confidence or Capacity?

We had a lovely walk around Cleethorpes yesterday evening.  It is always interesting to see where it is at for the Friday night crowds in this town.  As always there were quiet spots and places where real action was taking place.  We both agreed how pleased were were far too old to join in the celebrations that the weekend was here.

As we returned to the car Maureen began to talk about her frustration about the consequences of stroke.  She was particularly concerned that she had forgotten how to deal with her personal banking.  There are many issues here for her to confront but primarily she just wanted to be able to access her cash.  After a fairly long conversation I reassured her that i would help her to learn how to deal with her personal finances again.  On our journey home she mentioned another matter that has the potential to move things on as we live our life with dementia.

Maureen had some recollection of a chat with a man who wanted to take her to Nottingham; her home town.  She talked for a while about this man and her concerns that he wanted to stay the night with her.  Then she asked: ‘was it me?’  I reassured her that it was me who had suggested going to visit family in Nottingham this coming Tuesday:  the day after her brother’s birthday.  Maureen laughed and seemed happy when she put the conversation into context.

I am just wondering how much confidence rather than capacity is at the heart of Maureen’s concerns?  It is possible that the fear of embarrassment is holding her back on many fronts; not just banking and going to see family.  I have often seen her shudder when she realises she has made a ‘boo boo’ in conversation or action.  At her age I suppose it is really difficult to accept that you feel you have made a fool of yourself.

It is now time to ‘go back to work’ to resume my role as an adult educator.  After 20 odd years  in the profession I need to get out the WD 40, blow away the cobwebs, and see if I can help Maureen regain her confidence.  Never had a better Job Description in my life!

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