There are lots of things that don’t add up as we travel on our journey with dementia. I am focusing on Admiral Nurses today; following bidding farewell to Heather this morning. Although Mel her replacement will be looking after me before Heather jets off to New Zealand, I can’t help wondering why Admiral Nurses are not available throughout the UK. Anyone who has dementia within their family faces a steep learning curve. It is ridculous that there is a post code lottery determining the availability of Admiral Nurses to help you on your way.
As regular readers of this Blog will recall; my mum, and brother also have dementia. When I think of the mistakes I made with my initial reactions to their behaviour, I shudder with embarrassment. We were all taken aback by John’s behaviour when my dad died. None of us could fathom his inability to grasp simple detail: we had no idea that his short term memory was failing. How on earth could we be expected to know what was behind his gaffs and out of character behaviour? We had no idea what was wrong or how to deal with someone who might have dementia.
I committed a cardinal sin, or two, in the early days of mum’s decline. She told me she must have had an argument with dad as he hadn’t been to see her in her Care Home. Like a fool I reminded her he was dead. Being a thoughtful son I also took her to see John shortly after he had been incarcerated in his Nursing Home . Not up to speed with dementia I did her more harm than good: she gathered he didn’t recognise her.
There is a steep enough learning curve for any of us on this journey. Without guides we can only stumble along the road and damage others in the process.