Dementia: Saved By The Bell

I thought the creation of the lounge/bedroom had reduced the risk of Maureen going AWOL but I was wrong.  Fortunately the alarm on our front door and darkness at 3 am in the morning saved the situation the other day.  I had been fast asleep as Maureen walked by my bed; clearly unaware of my whereabouts as she opened the door to look for me.  I cannot risk being saved by the bell again and have taken to putting door keys in a safe place before retiring.

The beauty of the lounge/bedroom is that we sleep in the same room and consequently I’m getting more rest.  If Maureen awakes I have a chance of offering immediate reassurance and joining her as she returns quickly to the land of nod.   My sleep pattern is also helped by sunrise getting later by the day.

Maureen has been very tired today asleep on the sofa for much of the day.  So our plans to see the Massai Warriors tonight are in tatters

Today’s carer spotted something I have become concerned about recently: Maureen’s tummy looks very swollen. This will need to be looked into in the coming week and will add to her concerns that she is facing one health problem after another.  In her world she is continually hoping to be well enough to go ‘home’; away from a place that she has no affinity with whatsoever.  She is frequently thinking of writing to her mum to tell her she is on the mend and will be home again soon.  It is something she never quite gets round to and there is no point in me challenging her reality on this issue or any other.

I drafted the above last night while Maureen was sleeping and we have now been listening to YouTube since 4 am.  It has been a difficult night with Maureen waking asking where her mum and the others are on several occasions.  I told her that her mum wasn’t here and eventually that she had gone home: that settled her for a while.

The old favourites have lifted Maureen out of her despair.  She continues to be amazed that I am so in tune with the music she loved as a teenager and can’t quite grasp how I have managed to accrue such a selection of Golden Oldies.

This early morning awakening has had two productive outcomes.  Firstly, my perusal of the internet suggests that Maureen’s swollen tummy could well be a side effect of rivaroxaban: abdominal bloating has been reported by others.  Secondly, I have realised that it is the wrong time to attempt to introduce Maureen to Day Care.  As Gary my social worker has warned me; ‘we don’t want to be scuppered at the first attempt’.

Maureen is pleading on a daily basis ‘to be allowed to go home; away from this Care Home’.  To take her out of her own home and put her in a setting that could remind her of dreadful experiences in Ladysmith Road Care Home is far too risky.  What Maureen needs at the moment is lots of TLC from yours truly and further strategies to lift her spirits: how fortunate that after 25 years together I know how to ‘play it’.


About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dementia: Saved By The Bell

  1. Glad to hear you are getting a little more sleep and that your day has been productive.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s