In today’s post I’m only going to look back on yesterday: to consider if our approach to yesterday’s Special Day was effective. The simple answer is a resounding YES as Maureen enjoyed her day and didn’t show any signs of distress. Our strategy worked as the whole family worked together as a team to make sure Maureen had a good day.
Unfortunately, the story for my brother was entirely the opposite. Jean my sister inlaw is beside herself with her experience of my brother’s birthday. She arrived at his Nursing Home to find him still in bed at 11 am. Staff told her they were letting him have a lie in as it was his birtday. It took some effort to encourage the staff to clean him up, get him breakfast, and sort his room out. When I spoke to her yesterday evening she was distressed by having, once again, to assert herself to ensure that her husband is cared for.
I am yet to have news of my mother’s day but I know family in the area would have done her proud. I also know there is a lovely photo of mum in the entrance to her Residential Home about her 95th birthday on Wednesday. I’m sure the Home will do their best to celebrate her birthday along with family members.
It is not easy for anyone trying to deal with the challenges of dementia. Distress is only minimised when all parties work together. The teamwork was exceptional for Maureen yesterday, and she had a good day. I have no idea what went wrong for my brother. I would be pretty confident that mum was well looked after.
In terms of looking ahead I’m optimistic that we have a common understanding that our prime focus is to minimise Maureen’s distress. We cannot control her condition but we will all do our level best to create an environment which is supportive to retaining her independence.
There are a number of issues I now need to deal with to help me to continue to be an effective Care Partner. My sleep pattern continues to give me real concern, as early morning wakening seems so firmly established. Pain from my legs and shoulder add to my difficulties in staying asleep. The former has been solved in the past; the latter needs research before I decide whether to manage the condition or go under the scalpel once again.