Dementia:Capacity and Best Interest


Maureen spent most of yesterday in bed and made no mention of the events of Police bringing her home on the previous evening.  She was reluctant to get up in the morning when Chloe her Carer was here.  It was late afternoon before she made her way downstairs.  I used music to lift her mood prior to our evening meal when she had a pleasant hour singing along to Eva Cassidy and Rod Stewart.

Maureen took to the sofa around 8pm and was extremely unpleasant when I woke her at bed time.  At one stage I thought it would be another night that she would spend downstairs.  It was well after midnight before the banging around in the Girls Dorm ceased and the lights went out.

At 3 am I heard Maureen moving around in the Girls Dorm.  After a short while she burst into  into the Boys Dorm saying that ‘someone had been in her wardrobe moving her things around’.   I tried to find helpful things to say but received hostility and recriminations in return.  Apparently I’m falling short in my duties sleeping morning afternoon and night – if only I could.  Maureen’s rant lasted around 15 minutes until all went quiet: I wish I could drop off as easily after such outburst.  If I am to survive this I cannot afford to absorb any aspect of Maureen’s current presentation: Mrs Dementia is not a nice person and her antics are best soon forgotten.

At 4 am Maureen was up again calling fo her dad.  She then made her way downstairs  calling for Paul.  I joined her downstairs made her a cup of tea and lay beside her in bed.

Maureen woke again at 6 am and held forth about being kept a prisoner here.  She said she hasn’t done anything wrong and they have no right to keep us here.  Once again she wanted to go home to our own place.  This familiar routine continued for some time and she reassured me that it isn’t my fault and she is just sharing her thoughts out loud.

I had several telephone conversations with various people yesterday about the demands of being Maureen’s Care Partner.  It is not my intention to attempt to summarise what was said here.  In common with professional staff I am concerned about capacity and best interest: mine.

Following discussions with our social worker I need to progress plans for visiting family and periods of respite..  Such plans will have to be carefully managed or the benefits of respite for me will be diminished by bitter recriminations from Maureen; as happened after my day trip to see my daughter in London in February.

Only time will tell if it is possible to have the capacity to be Maureen’s Care Partner, protect my well-being and develop a life of my own.

It would have been my dad’s birthday today.   He would be very concerned about his daughter in law’s current presentation.   He would be pleased to hear that Mum has recovered from a spell of the novo virus that has plagued her Residential Home.  He would also be pleased to hear that John, his eldest, is back in his Nursing Home after a night in Coventry University Hospital following a fall.  I know he would have ‘managed’ watching three people he loved dearly have their lives complicated by dementia: that was the Old Man.  We all miss his wisdom dearly as Finbar puts into words so poignantly:



My dad always encouraged his children up to ‘tell the truth and shame the devil’.  The simple truth is I am ‘managing’ despite the views of the Police passed on to me by Adult Social Care.  The fact is no-one could sustain the level of input that is needed to address Maureen’s current presentation.  I will be contacting our social worker this morning to request improvements in our Support Package before I keel over with exhaustion or something far more significant: it’s time for a focus on my capacity and best interest.

Just before 7 am I  sang along to ‘The Old Man’ and when I got to ‘he made me what I am’ Maureen said ‘I made my children what they are but where are they now: too busy to visit their mum!’

2 thoughts on “Dementia:Capacity and Best Interest

  1. It sounds as though things have become rather tough lately. Similar things happened in our lives too hence the decision I had to make – for both our sakes. While it is not a decision that you want to take, you may have no other option if things become unsafe and you start to really struggle. Thinking of you. Take great care Paul – of yourself x


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