It took a while for Maureen to settle down last week after my day trip to London. Things began to return to normal by the middle of the week, as she began to regain her energy after her ordeal. In retrospect I think Maureen’s reaction to me leaving her for the day was quite understandable. She objected top being left with carers for 12 hours while I went to visit someone who could have come to see us. Her thoughts about accompanying me to London were way off the mark: the trip would have exhausted her. However, her questions about me going ton see someone who is able to come to see us was spot on. From now on I will only visit my mum and brother who are no longer able to travel to Cleethorpes.
One issue that needs to be addressed in the coming week is sleep. Maureen is sleeping a lot of the time. I’m not sure if this is genuine tiredness or boredom when she doessn’t know how to fill her day. My problem is the exact opposite as I’m unable to stay asleep for any length of time. I will raise the sleep issue in various circles in the coming week.
Next week presents an interesting challenge with Mothers’ Day on the horizon. I can get off lightly with my own mum. It’s easy for me to argue that she doesn’t want a crowd and leave it to folk in Coventry.
I can take the same position on her 95th birthday, early in March. I know that my sisters, and daughter, will do her proud on both of these days. My plan is to visit a few days after her birthday as too many visitors will add to her confusion. Maureen is keen to accompany me on my next visit – it would be lovely for them both if she could make it.
I’m not sure that reminding someone with dementia that it is a special day is always helpful or necessary. I think letting my 70th birthday pass was a pragmatic decision as far as Maureen was concerned. Reminding her it was my birthday would have been unkind.
As Maureen has not seen her family for a while they will need to be very careful if they are able to make it on Mothers’ Day. It’s possible she may no longer recognise some of them; remembering their appearance from when they were much younger. The very same issue that I may well face when I eventually make it to see my mum in a couple of weeks time.