Dementia: ‘Houston We Have A Problem’

I can’t remember who said it in the missions to get to the moon but we have a problem in Cleethorpes this morning.  In fact we have three problems Maureen’s current presentation, my well-being and a shortage of personnel at ‘Mission Control’.

At 2pm Maureen became concerned about her car again: she is fixated that someone else is using it and not taking her out when they are enjoying the luxury of her motor.  She went off on her own hunting for children who had been playing in her car yesterday and returned half an hour later having forgotten why she had gone out for a walk.  I’m extremely grateful to Susan Macaulay for helping me to reconsider my position on ‘wandering’.  Sue our social worker has also gave me live telephone support on this matter yesterday.  I have no intention of locking Maureen in and will support her right to go for a walk on her own whenever I feel she is in the right mode to be safe.

A secondary problem is that I am racked with pain this morning and needed a hot shower to ease the pain in my shoulders and legs.   The further problem is that Mission Control is depleted this morning as two key personnel have gone AWOL today (not really).

I have now arrived at a point in this Blog where I started yesterday when I pressed the wrong button and released an early draft: I’m spoiled for choice with the level of support that is available to me as a Care Partner this morning.  Sue our social worker never works on Wednesday’s and Mel my Admiral Nurse is on a course in London.  Despite the unavailability of such key personnel I still have a number of professional staff I can turn to if  to chat over my next move.

Just by chance I have an appointment with Paul Martin my counsellor this morning and I will arrange to see Dr Munjal while I’m at Clee Medical Centre.  I need to chat through with them my ‘cunning plan’ to deal with Maureen’s car , wanting to go home and being reluctant to take medication..  If they had not been available I know I could have chatted to staff at the Home Treatment Team or walked a few streets away to be with with Yvonna the chemist at Lloyds.  I could also contact Angie a Carers’ Support Worker and take up an offer of meeting her to discuss how things are going.

When Maureen and I decided to move to Cleethorpes lots of people questioned our sanity.  In retrospect it may well have been a reckless decision to move away from all immediate family who all live over a 100 miles away.  What they, and we, didn’t realise at the time was the range of services here is exemplary and I would be surprised if any Care Partner enjoys the options for support that I have at my disposal this morning.  I had hoped to praise the set-up to support carers here through the channels of the  Academy of NHS Fabulous Stuff and the  Huffington Post  but I fear that may not happen as Maureen doesn’t want me out of her sight at the moment.

I have a number of ideas on how to try to resolve Maureen’s fixation on her car, wanting to go home and being deserted.  It is fortunate that we have a slow puncture in the front near side tyre.  I bet those wheel nuts will be so tight it will not be possible to put the spare on this morning.  How convenient the car can be immobilised for a few days.

Bob Marco asserts that accepting the ’emotional glue’ is a prerequisite to becoming a supportive Care Partner.  He argues that once you accept this sticky solution life returns for those who are on this unforgiving journey: simple solutions all round then!

Today’s Tasks

  • Immobilise Maureen’s car
  • Seek advice on Maureen’s presentation
  • Make dental appointments
  • Encourage Maureen and carer to empty the ironing basket
  • Continue de-cluttering the house
  • Refer family members to Blog for an update
  • Continue to explore moving home with Maureen
  • Potter in the garden
  • Fast during the day to address pain in limbs

Footnote:  I will forward this Blog to the Academy of Fabulous NHS Stuff and Huffington Post and hope  they spread the word of excellent support for carers in Cleethorpes.


2 thoughts on “Dementia: ‘Houston We Have A Problem’

  1. It sounds like you have a great support network and it also sounds like Maureen is very lucky to have you. I enjoy reading your thoughts and some of Maureen’s behaviours and symptoms are very like my mum’s so it is nice to hear how someone else copes and the mechanisms and supports you have put in place to help you and Maureen carry on living. I look forward to reading more from you.


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