Dementia: Togetherness

Maureen is very fond of the above number by Emmylou Harris.  It is one of the many songs she has learned in the last few months as we have used YouTube to liven up our days.  The song may well be a subtle reminder to us both of something we need to focus on as we travel on this unforgiving journey.

We have decided to cancel the Carer Sit today and have a day to ourselves.  Although we are very grateful for the support we receive from carers we want to retain the independence that we have always thrived on.  I also need to avoid seeing Carer Sits as an opportunity to run off and do my own thing.

There are a couple of attractive possibilities this morning to revive our togetherness.  If the tide is in – always a problem when you live on an estuary – we could have a lovely walk on the beach. The wet weather alternative, which now seems more likely,  is a trip into Grimsby as we always enjoy wandering around the Indoor Market and buying good quality fruit and vegetables.

I have an appointment at 2.30 pm with a Consultant about the tear in my rotator cuff.  I’m sure Mr Bain will be pleased that Oliver, his  physio, has helped me to manage the condition and surgery will not be needed.  Maureen may prefer to stay at home while I’m away for an hour or so.  She did the same yesterday preferring to sort out the washing while I went to have my hair cut.  I’m also managing short evening walks around the block (now up to 5 circuits) while she rest on the sofa.

When I met Gary our social worker yesterday we returned to the delicate balancing act of preserving Maureen’s independence and ensuring her safety.  We both recognise that managing risk confronts all Care Partners day after day, and all they can ever do is exercise judgement at any particular moment in time.

The Carer Support Plan is now signed and sealed with 3 hour sits during the week and 2 hour at the weekend.  Gary and I both see the Plan as a dynamic document that will facilitate support rather than something that is set in stone.  It is surprising how quickly Gary has been able to bring this matter to a positive conclusion: perhaps social workers have taken a time to familiarise themselves with the Care Act. Gary seems to be taking a different position on my monthly Personal Allowance; his predecessor said that was an entitlement he is of the opinion it is a discretionary amount but I get the impression that the agreed purchase of a mobile phone will be honoured.


2 thoughts on “Dementia: Togetherness

  1. Strangely enough Paul I too am an educator. I taught in schools for many years followed by 15 years as a lecturer at Canterbury University. We live on a thin strip of land with the Pacific Ocean on one side and an estuary on the other. It really is a paradise to live here.

    Music is wonderful, John now has a collection of DVDs of his favourite artists. One of the caregivers in Mum’s home sang all the time – all the residents loved it (and her).


  2. Music works wonders here Diane and Maureen can sing the whole of South Pacific word perfect. YouTube is our mood lifter and there’s no side effects. I worked in community education in Coventry for far too long – then on supply in Secondary here: a real learning experience!


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