I got it completely wrong this morning with my 2 ‘o’clock greeting to Maureen as I heard her make her way upstairs. She didn’t respond at all well to my Charlie Drake impression of: ‘hello my darling’. It soon became clear that the feelings were not reciprocated as I was the man who was encouraging her ‘to sleep or dress up in horse blankets’. She then went on to ask ‘why was I talking in a strange voice or if I was drunk?’
It didn’t take me long to grasp that my aspirations to get her into bed beside me were rather optimistic. Clearly, my hopes to provide early morning cognitive stimulation were out of the question: getting my marching orders were far more likely! However, rather than leave Maureen to rant I decided to change tack in an attempt to shift her reality.
My first move was to address the horse blanket issue head on and agree that we needed softer bedding. Two old nags like us need the comfort of continental quilts and all we have to do is cut up a double to make two singles. Having solved this issue I returned to something I had mentioned yesterday: to start sketching again I showed Maureen some of my previous work. She suggested that I had a hidden talent for drawing and that led me to mention Susan Boyle. Once I called her up on YouTube we were away; singing along for over an hour, especially to this one:
I think I will leave my Charlie Drake impressions alone for a while: I’m clearly not at my best first thing in the morning! Sketching is something that may well become a joint activity particularly if I choose the right moment and have some music on in the background.
A short while ago Maureen asked me ‘how is grandma this morning?’ I’m used to her not knowing who I am but her son was shocked yesterday when for a while she thought he was her brother. He was also surprised by how much her dementia had progressed since his visit earlier in the month. Maureen has not mentioned anything about her son following his visit and remains distressed by the absence of visitors! I have asked our Key Worker to visit on Wednesday afternoon to review Maureen’s presentation. It is now a year since I was told Maureen had ‘moderate to severe dementia’ and her son and I both wonder if that diagnosis is still appropriate.