Dementia: Tiredness Takes Its Toll

Maureen had a really good day yesterday until she tired.  She was up bright and early: so breakfast was over before Gail our carer arrived.  We had been chatting about our care needs as we ate, and I left Maureen to carry on the conversation with Gail when she arrived.

Gail fully understood Maureen’s point that ‘she wanted her life back’.  She explained very clearly that if others were doing the household tasks there would be little for her to do.  As Gail said ‘it is your home and life and it’s all up to you’.  Maureen was so careful to explain to Gail that it wasn’t anything personal, and she wanted to regain her independence.  We explained that as our social worker was coming next week we would continue these discussions on Tuesday.

Once we had explained our thinking to Gail we let her go early so we could get on with our plans.  This gave us time to pop into Cleethorpes so Maureen could choose some new spectacles.  It didn’t take her very long to choose what was needed with a minimal support from me and an assistant.

After the opticians I headed in the direction of Maureen’s hairdressers.  Once again Maureen confidently sorted out an appointment for next week when Mark would be back from holiday.  Following calling in at a supermarket we made our way home for lunch.

Maureen busied herself tidying up in the bedroom while I prepared lunch.  Following one of my Italian creations we decided to have a siesta.  Unfortunately, the window cleaner interrupted our plans, and neither of us had the rest that we needed.  This led to a period of confusion for Maureen as she thought it was time to visit a relative: something we had planned for Thursday.  As she couldn’t find her handbag the trip was postponed until another day.  It is interesting to note that until this point in the day Maureen’s presentation had been extremely good.  Unfortunately, the missing handbag sent her into a loop about ‘things going missing’.

We had tea a little earlier than normal as Maureen said she was hungry.  Following tea  I made a mistake by leaving Maureen to tidy up the kitchen while I typed away upstairs.  This led to a period of distress and confusion.  I heard her crying that she wanted to go to bed but didn’t know how to secure the house.  As I helped her with her night-time routine at 7pm she explained she wanted the bed to herself as she preferred to sleep alone.

I ventured into ‘Maureen’s bedroom’ about 6 am this morning.  She had no recollection of asking me to sleep in the spare room so I went along with her thoughts that I had slept beside her.  As always she has been thinking about a number of things as she lay there in bed.  This has opened up a number of possibilities for activity today.  With luck Maureen will send a couple of post cards to family and we might even venture to see her Aunty Ethel.

One thing for sure the window cleaner won’t interrupt out afternoon nap today.  It will be interesting to see how Maureen copes if we have our siesta this afternoon.


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