Dementia: Facing The Music

The ‘Little Girl’ as Maureen calls her came to my rescue yesterday evening.  As soon as I called her up on YouTube Maureen’s presentation changed:

I was rather shocked by what I saw when I called to pick Maureen up from Alderlea Care Home yesterday.  I watched an elderly lady with a rather hunched posture attempting to escape the attention of a male resident.  She greeted me with ‘here’s Paul’ but I was immediately challenged by her suitor who wouldn’t accept that I was her husband.  He became rather persistent in his questioning of my status and it took the intervention of a member of staff to shake him off.

Maureen’s confusion was paramount as we tried to resolve a missing weekend case full of her clothing.  I found it difficult to comprehend her reality, apart from grasping that ‘I was a wicked man for putting her in this place by lying to them about things she had done wrong’.  She was hostile to all and sundry as we attempted to clear up any outstanding matters from her residence.

Once home it took a short rest, a cup of tea and an evening meal before hostilities began to ease.  Then music paved the way for a beautiful evening with the ‘Little Girl’ working her usual magic.  When Maureen asked me to dance to this one from Rod I breathed a sigh of relief:

This morning Maureen is in raptures about the pleasant evening we spent with her dad last night.  She is delighted that he enjoyed singing with the children!  She is also really pleased that we will be going to a local farm to pick some raspberries this morning.

Tom Schuller my Senior Lecturer from my days at Warwick University, often suggests I spell out the lessons I am learning from our journey.  My simple message this morning is: following a Respite Break always be prepared to face the music and get the fruit in!


2 thoughts on “Dementia: Facing The Music

  1. Yes – often times caregivers don’t take the respite because they fear the aftermath. IMHO, there is going to be something or the other that goes wrong; if we do not take breaks to replenish our strengths and reserves, we won’t be able to cope with the other stuff. I am so glad you are doing this. And I love the song Maureen wanted to dance to! She has great taste – in men and music 🙂 Cheers!


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