Dementia: ‘A Stitch In Time’

I’m posting earlier today as I have a coach to catch at 7am.

I became rather concerned on Monday when I heard that there would be some new faces looking after Maureen today.  At first I wondered about the wisdom of leaving her for 14 hours ,mostly with people she has never met before, while I visit family in Coventry .  Then I remembered the work that we had done to provide some ‘Handy Hints’ for carers.  Any newcomers will now have the benefit of some basic guidelines on how the ‘old hands’ care for Maureen.  The guidelines are  predominantly about preserving independence, and dignity.

The other thing that is reassuring is the quality of the support team I now have available to me.  Within the last few days I have received good support from a:  neighbour, Social Worker, Admiral Nurse,  Chemist in addition to carers. They have all played a significant part in helping me to cope with Maureen’s changing presentation.  It’s so good to know that I only have to:  call next door, walk around the corner, switch on my computer, or chat with our carers and informed support is available.

There are three of pieces of advice that are particularly pertinent from the last week.  Firstly, I need to take time-out to see my own family.  Secondly, not to absorb what Maureen is going through: otherwise it will overwhelm me, and disable my effectiveness as a Care Partner.  Finally, Maureen still has some capacity but that doesn’t mean that she is necessarily capable of making rational decisions about her own welfare.  The advice from Yvonna our chemist about not absorbing Maureen’s presentation, was particularly poignant yesterday afternoon.

When I reminded Maureen of my plans to visit Coventry today it caused quite a reaction. Maureen began her normal routine of coming with me in: the car, coach or train.  She even suggested that she could  be dropped off at her sister’s in Nottingham, and I could make the onward journey alone.  When I outlined the impractical nature of her suggestions she became very hostile.  Following a sleep on the sofa she said she was surprised I had already got back from Coventry. I chose not to contradict her confusion, and fabricated answers to her questions about how mum and my brother were.  An hour or so later as she was preparing for bed she said she was surprised I was here, as she thought I was staying overnight in Coventry.

Unfortunately, all is not well in my birthplace: Mum has a heavy cold, and my brother has recently had a couple of falls in his Nursing Home.  His wife Jean has flu and hasn’t been able to visit for a few days.  I am hoping that my lunch buddies:  daughter Lisa and sister Jill, are well enough to make our date at the Red Lion.

 It will be good to be back in Sky Blue Land and I hope that my presence helps ‘The City’ to get back to winning ways on Saturday.  I couldn’t close this post without a tribute to J H: the man gave so many of us such pleasure when he transformed our Club.  Rest in peace Jimmy after your brave battle with Alzheimer’s.  I hope that my beloved Sky Blues mark your passing with promotion this year.  Let’s all sing together: play up Sky Blues.


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