Dementia: Time For Caution

Time is not on my side to encourage Maureen to make it clear the amount of care she feels is needed when I go to Coventry on Monday.  It is possible that she would say that she doesn’t need carers with her until her son arrives and after he goes.  It’s one of those occasions where a cautious decision has been made to ensure she has some form of company while I am away from home.

Yesterday morning Maureen couldn’t seem to get it together at all.  I had to cajole her to eat breakfast in bed with some musical accompaniment from YouTube.  Then she struggled for ages trying to find some comfortable clothing and eventually went back to bed exhausted by her struggles.  It is so distressing to watch on one of these days and they come along quite often.

Maureen’s tiredness continued into the afternoon and evening.  It was one of those days when she seemed lost.  Elaine Paige gave her some respite and she sang along to songs from several musicals.  Towards the end of the evening Maureen spent a long time examining her new glasses.  She was convinced that neither pair were hers: they were the wrong colour; prescription or they smelled of perfume.  On reflection it just seemed one of those days when there was little I could do to ease her distress.  Hang on a minute I’ve just remembered something else.

At several times during the day Maureen was looking for missing people particularly children.  In the afternoon she checked: ‘if there were any drinks for the kids’.  Later on she was wondering: ‘where the others had all gone’.  During the evening she commented that: ‘it wasn’t the same any more at Christmas’.   Following her comments I suggested that we ‘trim up for Christmas’ but once gain she wanted to leave it until tomorrow.

An ongoing contentious issue arose as we were going to bed.  As Maureen struggled to find her toothpaste I said she could get a new tube tomorrow; to which she replied: ‘how can I haven’t any money’.  It wasn’t the time to go into this issue but now I have found one of her missing handbags it might be opportune to fill up her purse a little.  However, I don’t think we will ever make any real headway on this issue as Maureen anticipates that her money will continue to be taken out of her control and thieves will keep taking her clothes.  If only one of them would return her missing boots I could call off the search party.  On the money front to put more than small change in her purse is courting disaster.  Based on previous behaviour it will either go missing or ironically be returned to me for safe keeping.

I am not sure of the best approach to today.  It would be lovely if I could do something to solve the clothes issue but I don’t want to get caught up in the mayhem of Christmas shopping, for what could well be another fruitless journey.

Maureen has just woken up and I have taken her a cup of tea.  She has just asked me: ‘Has Paul my husband gone away?’  Following my reassurance that I am with her she has gone on to ask if her mum and dad are still alive.  We have talked about several things and agreed that I will try to solve the underwear crisis with an early morning trip to Tesco.  Once again I have not helped this early morning confusion by getting up early: I have to solve this early morning wakening.

I think I need to stay close by this morning and see what we can do together in preparation for what is going to be a Christmas with a difference; more on that later.


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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