Dementia: ‘It’s Surprising What Comes Back’

It’s been another early start this morning.  Maureen awoke around 2.30 am, having gone to bed at 7.30 pm.  I followed her shortly afterward and had a reasonable sleep apart from having to rescue her when she was wandering around the house clad in blankets at midnight.   I need to check if the CCG’s plans to bring in a programme for improving sleep patterns for those with dementia and their carers has come to fruition.

As we chatted away this morning Maureen said: ‘it’s surprising what comes back’ as she recalled her father’s funeral but mentioned she had no recollection of her mother’s.  This is the first time I have heard Maureen acknowledge that her parents had passed for ages. Generally, one of her first ideas, on most days, is a desire to contact her parents by phone or letter.

Maureen’s thinking this morning encouraged me to push at a door our Care Coordinator had nudged open a couple of weeks ago, and talk openly about her memory problems.  I have to admit this is something I have been nervous about for fear of creating further distress. Having heard a professional skillfully raise the issue I felt a little more confident about taking the plunge myself. I was pleasantly surprised about the conversation that followed and hope that I have moved things on in a very positive direction:

  • I have suggested that Maureen keeps a diary of her thoughts, achievements, and aspirations – it is already on the coffee table.
  •  Maureen wants to learn how to use YouTube and prompt cards are pending.
  •  Following singing along to ‘Do Cry For Me Argentina’, Maureen wants to find out more about Eva Peron and I will remind her of this aspiration

I’m rather tired after a busy morning: thank goodness our night sitter will be here tonight. How fortunate I am to have Key Worker who encouraged me to engage a night sitter and a Care Coordinator who made it easier for me to raise the thorny issues of Maureen’s memory problems without causing distress.

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