Dementia: Spring In The Air


Yesterday was something of watershed in our journey with dementia.  Spring was clearly in the air as we began to tread a fresh path on our journey.

The first step was taken when I discussed changes in Maureen presentation with our G P.  I was relieved to know that Maureen’s referral back to the Memory Service is underway.  We have arranged to get together with Mel my Admiral Nurse a week on Friday to make sure that the referral has found its way to the Home Treatment Team.

During the morning and the afternoon I encouraged Maureen to help me around the house. I cajoled her into joining me in the kitchen or the garden rather than lying on the sofa ‘resting her eyes’.  I picked my moments to try to make sure I wasn’t seen as the bad guy and gradually she warmed to activity rather than staying on the sofa.

Late afternoon Maureen’s elder son phoned;  he is planning to visit in a couple of weeks.  I managed to have a chat with him to confirm that Dr Munjal feels that changes in Maureen’s presentation are atypical of her condition, and a brain scan is not necessary at the moment.  Shortly afterwards we managed to get through to the ‘birthday girl’ and Maureen sang to her 17 year old granddaughter.

I listened to the delight in her voice as Maureen spoke to the ‘birthday girl’.  The joy on her face brought a smile to mine: was she really taking to the girl who ‘didn’t deserve a card because she never calls or visits’.  It’s fortunate that Maeve is old for her years and would have taken in her stride Maureen’s request to ‘say hello to her mum and dad’.  After all she noticed Maureen’s dementia long before others in the family, so she has got used to her Nana not remembering that her mother has passed away.

We have also made a seasonal change with our viewing on YouTube.  Yesterday we caught up with more of the antics of ‘Terry and June’, with a marathon session after our evening meal.  We had watched several episodes when I suggested it was time for bed.  Maureen said she was ‘still waiting for Paul to come home’.  I was taken aback by her comment as I thought we had been sitting on the sofa together as husband and wife.  Then I had a huge slice of luck or a piece of sound judgement.

As I sat in my office catching up with responses to my Blog Maureen opened and closed the front door.  I gathered that she was looking for me so I bade my time as the search continued.  Then I had a brainwave: I went down stairs and said ‘here I am I’ve been on the computer again’.  Maureen greeted me with some relief: her husband was home again.

We had a relatively restful night sharing the same bed.  Maureen woke on a couple of occasions upset with her thoughts ‘that they were keeping us here against our will’.  Being close by I was able to nurse her back to sleep.  I have learned to be very tentative with any form of physical contact for fear that she doesn’t know who I am, and it will spook her.

Maureen’s younger son will be here in time for me to see the physio this morning.  We have decided to leave his visit as a lovely surprise for his mother: she will be so pleased to see him.

 I have no idea how today will pan but there’s a spring in my step this morning: it’s been a long hard winter.

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