Dementia: ‘For Goodness Sake Come To Bed!’

Unfortunately, reading the writing of those diagnosed with dementia doesn’t help me with a particular aspect of Maureen’s presentation at the moment.  Whenever she wakes up from a period of rest, confusion abounds and she thinks it’s morning.  Yesterday she was also worried about where the children had gone.  She wanted reassurance that they were at school: most of their children have now left university!

My attempts to persuade her that it was time to go to bed at 11pm failed, and she insisted that she always slept on the sofa.  Eventually, at 1am I managed to cajole her to climb the ‘wooden hill’, and fall into bed.  These patterns of behaviour are becoming more prevalent and I need to think of a way of breaking this cycle.

This morning I am hoping that Chloe will be able to persuade Maureen to have a ‘Pamper Day’.  Chloe can assume the mantel of beautician, and encourage Maureen to wash and style her hair.  If the going is good Chloe might even persuade her that it’s preferable to wash her hair and shower at the same time.  It has been a couple of weeks since Chloe has been successful on that front.  To make things easier I will go out in case Maureen sees me as a ‘strange man’ in the house: that might just ease things along.

We all do our best to help Maureen to enjoy her days, and it sometimes difficult to know what to do for the best.  She can remember how to carry out household tasks but seems to have forgotten how else to fill her time.  Trying to keep her occupied all the time is exhausting but left to her own devices she often chooses to ‘rest her eyes’.  How on earth I am going to break this cycle, and wrest her from the sofa when it is time to go to bed I am yet to discover.  Leaving her alone late at night downstairs while I’m in bed risks her waking and feeling she has been deserted.   Then she may become extremely distressed, and anything could happen..


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