Dementia: Patience Is Key


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I had to seek help last night when Maureen was very distressed and refusing to come home.  A stand off took place outside her Aunt’s home and it took a long time before we were able to ease Maureen’s distress.  It is worth noting here that her Aunt is a veteran of dementia care having supported her late husband for over 20 years.  His Alzheimer’s presented very differently to Maureen’s mixed dementia but nevertheless, she was in good hands.

When Support Workers from the Home Treatment Team arrived on the ground Maureen had calmed down a little.  From a distance, it appeared that they were a ‘red rag to a bull’.  The ‘other women’ were now in Maureen’s face just as a woman from our neighbourhood had been earlier in the day.  I returned to the scene and tried to play my trump card of getting Maureen and myself away from these two ‘interfering bitches’ and that’s putting it mildly.  They had told me that Maureen was being abusive and upsetting her Aunt and ‘none of this was fair’ to any of us.

Eventually, her aunt and I managed to get Maureen into ‘her car’ and I drove her home. When a Nurse from the HTT arrived at our door she saw that Maureen was no longer distressed and left us to it.   Maureen and I then had a very pleasant walk along the Prom and around Cleethorpes: just the sort of time that Maureen craves.  She wants us to be left alone so ‘our courting can continue and we can get to know each other’.

We both agreed that walking around Cleethorpes at night was preferable to sitting in front of the TV.  On our return home I managed to persuade Maureen to put her PJ’s on – the pants went over another pair.  It took a long time to remind her where the bathroom was and which side of the bed was hers.  Once in bed, she settled down and dropped off to sleep quickly.  She woke following my early morning return from the bathroom and was lost in her surroundings.  It took a while to guide her to the bathroom and on her return, she dropped off within minutes.

I’m very grateful for the Nurse from the HTT  her wisdom prevented Mauree going down what could have been a difficult road.  This morning there is a scheduled visit from a Specialist Doctor following the request for an assessment from the Home Treatment Team.  IMHO Maureen could not be in safer hands than with someone who has often supported us on this journey.  Twelve months ago this doctor, who exudes empathy, told me that Maureen had moderate to severe dementia.   It will be interesting to hear her assessment this morning.

Our Key Worker reminded me yesterday that we are all acting doing our best to protect Maureen’s  Best Interest.   Therefore, patience is key at this moment in time as we all respect the decision to allow to remain in her own home.   There are five weeks to go until her home is fit for purpose.  The Sun Room, along with an additional shower room will make then make it easier for family members and carers to stay in our home to give us both the additional support we now need on this unforgiving journey.  Talking of showers – I managed to persuade Maureen to have one this morning and wash her hair.  In the last six weeks, I’m the only person who has been able to persuade Maureen to have a shower: three in six weeks.  If I’m patient things can only get better!

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