Dementia: Missing Gear and Absent Relatives

When Maureen and I first got together I used to hide all over the house and she would try to find me.  Now she is getting her own back in all sorts of ways.  I am certain there is a conspiracy going on here to keep me on my toes.  On most days some of Maureen’s gear goes missing, and things come to a halt until they are found.  I am not sure if this is all part of a ‘cunning plan’ to help me to become more patient but generally when we are planning to go out we are delayed until one thing or another turns up.

I have now gathered that there are some familiar places where certain things end up.  Maureen has never put them there because her mantra remains: ‘everything has its place and everything in its place’.  So the explanations about her things appearing in the strangest places continue to confound me.  Sometimes it’s the one legged lady who nicks her shoes or the common thief who has stolen her toothbrush.  Standard advice is to go along with the explanations and never challenge their validity.  I have learned that this is the only way to achieve  anything that resembles a quiet life.

Searching will begin in earnest this morning for three relatively important missing items.  Maureen’s reading, and distance glasses, have been missing for a week.  Someone has also stolen, or stashed away, her winnings on the Premium Bonds – fortunately only £25, or unfortunately.  Best get my thinking cap on and get searching as soon as possible..

From Maureen’s perspecive people are also missing: particularly close family.  Maureen feels that: ‘they never come to see her’.  She often rationalises this thought with: ‘they don’t know where I am’.  The fact of the matter is that they do know where she is, and we know where they are.   Maureen believes that we have no contact details for each other.

In fact Maureen has forgotten that her eldest son was here eight days ago.  What she may be suggesting is that from her perspective she doesn’t see them often enough.  They all live considerable distances from us and have busy lives of there own.

Maureen never complains about the behaviour of family members; accepting that children move on when they get married.  She finds phone conversations difficult and is often reluctant to take their calls.  When they visit she resorts to the ‘hostess mode’ and puts on a show to convince them she is fine: as all mothers do at one time or another. This means that they may have little idea how her condition is progressing.   When she she puts on a show, and confabulates, her cover up is convincing.  That means they have no idea how time may be running out on them to be with the mother that has nurtured them so lovingly.  I hope that my approach to being a Care Partner gives us all  time to appreciate what a beautiful person Maureen still is – even with dementia changing her in all sorts of ways.

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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