Dementia: Seeking Explanations

I was very grateful that Marie from the Home Treatment Team found time to phone me last night to tell me that Maureen remains settled.  It is important to remember that this is a Crisis Team which is often stretched to the limit responding to situation far worse than ours.  That is why we need to minimise our contact with them and respect the nature of their work.

I was so pleased to hear that Marie had been able to take Maureen out for a walk.  She will find it very difficult if she is deprived of the fresh air she seeks whenever she gets the opportunity.  Marie tells me that Maureen has not lost her sense of humour doubting that I have been doing some Spring Cleaning: ‘fat chance of that’ she replied to explanations about where I was and what I was doing.

I suddenly realised this morning the answer to what Margaret from the HTT asked me on Friday evening.  She wondered what might have triggered the events of the previous day when Maureen accused Sarah of ‘picking her up off the streets and imprisoning her in a strange house’. The hints are there from later in the day when she told me that Chloe was trying to get her to shower and wash her hair.  Quite simply: Maureen is fed up with being told what to do.  To her it must seem like a return to a previous life where she says she was bullied and manipulated for years.

Maureen wants her independence back so that she can exercise choice in her life.  She may have dementia but that is not a reason rob her of independence. Once she settles and the antibiotics sees off her infection we need to explore how to give her the independence she craves.  How fortunate Maureen is being supported by a HTT team that delivers person-centred care by seeking triggers for presentation rather than medication to control behaviour.

I managed to squeeze in a late evening visit to Cleefest.  I only heard a tribute to Abba but managed to see ‘The Saturday Night Bee Gees’ on stage.  They didn’t cover one of favourites from the Brothers Gibb so it my belated post on my Good Music page.


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