Dementia: The Right To Say No

Image result for The Right To Decide Picture

We had a beautiful day yesterday.  The sun shone for most of the day as we enjoyed the kind folk of Cleethorpes at their best.  Some of them we had never met before, others  often support us on this journey:

  • A new face at the paper shop was lovely with Maureen when we collected an early morning loaf.
  • Two locals in the above shop chatted away to Maureen as we stood waiting to be served.
  • The ‘Blanket Lady’ a homeless woman who lives on the pavement in the centre of the town had a lovely conversation with Maureen as she continued asking passers by if they had any spare change.
  • The shop assistants in the Card Factory bantered with Maureen as we waited for our next helium filled balloon* to be blown up.
  • A young lad and his baby sister entertained Maureen for a few minutes as their mum made a mobile phone call.

* The choice of the balloon was a ‘no-brainer’ because Maureen had been distressed by an afternoon phone call from her son.  She said ‘ he didn’t even ask me how I was and I’ve been lying in bed ill for months’.  Such calls feed her anxiety that no-one really cares about her.  When we got home and I let the balloon loose in our lounge she struggled to read the words and then she said ‘I love you too.’

We finished our time in the town centre with a reminiscence walk as I guided Maureen around the area where she used to live as a young child.  As we walked the route she would have taken to get to Primary school,  she amazed me with her recollection of events over 70 years ago.  She recalled where her mum used to get baby milk and pay her mortgage.  As we bought a few things for our evening meal she remembered the first time she had ever seen tinned food.  Reminiscence therapy is always regarded as ‘Good Medicine’ for those with dementia and Maureen loved recalling her childhood.  In the evening, she made it perfectly clear what she regarded as ‘Bad Medicine’.

Following our evening meal my efforts to get Maureen to take her blood thinner (rivaroxaban) fell on the stony ground once again.  I tried to prompt her in several ways to no avail.   Eventually, I left her to it and half an hour later found the little red tablet discarded on the floor.

I count my blessings for such a beautiful day and  I have no I have no idea what today will bring.  The only fixed feast is to continue to offer Maureen her medication and note the outcome.  Some would suggest she lacks insight into her need to take prescribed medication but if they were here 24/7 they could not arrive at such a conclusion: she is asserting her right to say NO!

A final word from one of our heroes on this theme:

Love and peace for the weekend; sisters, warriors, and brothers.

Footnote: I have decided to close my Good Music page.  YouTube and playing records are such an integral part of how I support Maureen that I will share tunes that have had resonance on this page from now on.


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