Dementia: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

In the last few days I have been struggling to deal with changes in Maureen’s presentation. I have been focusing on her confusion and fears.  My detective work led me in the direction of a dip or further progression of dementia.  Then this morning I realised I had been barking up the wrong tree: focusing on symptoms rather than causes.  I had been going down a very risky path that may well have led to a referral to Mental Health and dodgy medication.

The trigger for the change in my thinking was something that Maureen said yesterday: ‘I’m being treated as if I’m stupid’.  That is a valid opinion from someone of high intellect.  As I have asserted on many occasions stroke has caused brain injury and Maureen’s recovery continues.  It is being hampered at the moment by fear and an approach to support that she regards as patronising.  Little wonder there are changes in her presentation: she is signalling she is not happy.

I am hoping that setting up the Girls’ and Boys’ Dormitories may help with the fear of men issue.  The initial signs are positive and I managed to sneak in for a brief cuddle early this morning.  There is more work to be done on helping Maureen  feel safe and establishing this is her home.

Helping Maureen to regain her confidence and become more assertive requires careful consideration.  The initial focus is easy: it is on my behaviour.  I need to follow Maureen mantra of ‘slowly slowly catchee monkey’ as I try to find a way of being that moves things in a positive direction.  As always I’ll keep you posted and look forward to feedback on how I’m doing.


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