It’s been a busy week, and I think that is why Maureen has been exceptionally tired. Attending the funeral on Monday really took its toll, as that was the first time for a year that Maureen had been in a gathering of relatives. She clearly enjoyed sharing happy memories with some folk who she hadn’t seen for some time.
As Maureen’s dementia progresses I am attempting to keep to routines that minimise distress. I let her rest whenever she needs to but try to steer her way from bedding down for the night on the sofa. Sometimes these arrangements don’t always work out. Last night a foolish intervention on my behalf led her to taking to bed shortly after 7 pm.
Following advice gleaned from the Alzheimer’s Reading Room I am using mid-day and afternoon snacks to break up the day. Elevenses and mid afternoon tea with biscuits have become milestones on what must be a very long day if you have forgotten how to fill time.
I continue to encourage Maureen to take a fair amount of exercise. The cold weather doesn’t help on this mission, and it’s a shame we can’t seek some Winter Sun to make being in the fresh air more attractive. I was so pleased on Wednesday when Maureen went out by herself, and returned under her own steam 40 minutes later. We both have exercise routines that we carry out in the house or garden when we don’t fancy going far in this cold snap. Anyone who stumbled on us yesterday would have been very puzzled. Maureen sat adding a further pair of thermal socks to the two she already had on her left foot, and I was bent over, swinging my arm with a tin of chick peas in hand.
Yesterday the underwear crisis reared its ugly head once gain. In Maureen’s view: ‘all of her gear had been stolen, and what had been left in its place was totally unsuitable’. Seeing her so upset was disappointing after a really good start to Valentine’s Day.
Radical changes of mood, and confusion appearing out of the blue, are now a part of daily living. Thankfully, I’m getting a little better at understanding when ‘Mrs Dementia’ is in control rather than my dear wife.
I’m hoping that progress will be made on a further diagnosis on my shoulder problems today. In the mean time I will follow the advice of the osteopath and return to tai chi classes as soon as possible. As Maureen’s condition progresses the last thing I need is avoidable pain.
Once again pain has woken me early this morning, and caused Maureen distress. I’d gone downstairs to carry out some pain relieving exercises, and Maureen didn’t know where I was. She thought I hadn’t been here all night. There are real problems when I am out of sight, as confusion often reigns. This generally means that I’m left to pick up the pieces either practically or emotionally.
I need some advice on how to resolve the tensions of being a Care Partner, and having some time to myself . I will contact my Admiral Nurse today to arrange a time when we can chat over how to meet my own needs, and consequently increase my effectiveness as a Care Partner.