I think I’ve been kidding myself for the last few weeks. My view was that if I provided additional support to Maureen she would get through a rough patch that she seemed to be going through. What I am failing to accept is that dementia is a progressive condition that saps the life out of all involved. I need to take a fresh look at our lives and find a practical way forward.
In my efforts to support Maureen I’m trying to compensate for her dwindling functional capacity by doing things for her. This is counter-productive and is deskilling her. The fact that it is quicker for me to do things is not the point. I need to sit back as she struggles to find the missing whatever: rather run to her rescue. The Celebrity Chef needs to involve her in choosing and creating meals. It’s amazing how I have forgotten ‘use it or lose it’ in striving to have a peaceful life. Waiting on Maureen hand and foot is accpeting a ‘sick mentality’ where she can’t do this and that because of her condition.
I also need to back-track on the revised arrangements for carer support. Reducing ‘sits’ down to two hours would be a mistake: they need to be elongated rather than shortened. I need more time for myself not less – staying in whilst carers are here is not helping anyone. My life alongside being a Care Partner is my responsibility: I need to create it!
It will take a while to get the new regime into place and I will have to take any negative reactions from Maureen on the chin and plod on. ‘All Change’ as they say when you get to the end of part of your journey.