Dementia: Picking Your Battles

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I have been waging a battle all week to get Maureen out of the Konar Suite ASAP.  It has disappointed me that she remains in an Acute Mental Health Unit a week after her assessment has been completed.  Patience does not come easily to me in circumstances like this.

Maureen will be discharged from hospital on Friday.  I’m confident that the Best Interest Meeting will agree that she can return home.  The only stumbling block could be the time it might take to put an adequate Care Package in place.

It didn’t take the social worker from the Hospital Discharge Team and me to agree upon common ground yesterday: the importance of picking your battles.  Therefore, if Maureen wants to wear a slipper on one foot and a shoe on the other that is her right.  If she wants to wear the same clothes for several days and nights that is fine.  She has the right to make choices and it is our problem if we don’t like them.  As Maureen said to me shortly after my arrival yesterday: ‘if they ask me if I want to have my hair cut again, I’ll ask them if they would like me to cut their head off’.

Maureen thought I was her ex-husband when I was with her yesterday.  She was hostile to me during the whole of my visit.  I was warned this might well happen as her dementia progresses.  The only solution when she is in this mode is to walk away: her early life would have been much happier if her ex-husband had done the same!

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