Maureen took off at great speed yesterday evening. I hastily grabbed my jacket and trailed her down the street. Despite wearing a pair of my size 11 gardening shoes she was going at quite a pace. When I caught her up, and handed her a jacket, she said she was looking for her sister who had gone missing whilst in her care.
We spent about an hour looking for Maureen’s sister who eventually became ‘the little girl’. Our search involved driving around the local area. On our return home Maureen searched the house and eventually consoled herself that the little girl must have gone home.
My post yesterday pointed out something else that is missing in any appraisal of Maureen’s presentation; common sense and co-ordination. The snapshot approach by professionals has serious shortcomings as it is infected by the dynamic nature of dementia. Even the most basic reader on dementia points out that ‘once you have met one person with dementia, you have met one person with dementia’. They also allude to the constant change that is a feature of the condition.
My mission remains to minimise distress something that was made quite clear to me very early on. by my Counsellor Paul Martin. His advice is based on substantial experience as a Mental Health Nurse on a Dementia Ward. Paul will always be a significant other for me, as he helped me to think my way out of depressive episodes, and escape from a life-time on medication.
It is easy to spend your life criticising the approach of hard-working professionals who are often adhering to legislation and the way things have to be done. That has never been the intention of this Blog. Therefore, in the next few days I will have exploratory discussion with a number of players to explore if it is possible to adopt a common Agenda that seeks to minimise Maureen’s distress, whilst also protecting her independence. After all what is the point in having a Master’s Degree in Lifelong Learning and the Management of Change if it remains on our bookshelf?