Dementia: Taking My Time Off

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One of my mistakes during 2017 was not taking my time off.  There were many occasions when I chose to stay around during Carer Sits: especially when our Sun Room was being built.  I made a similar mistake on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when I thought it would be better to have the day to ourselves: what a bloomer!

Yesterday carers were here from 10am until 4pm and I took full advantage of their presence.  Maureen has no concept of time and didn’t appear to notice any difference.

When I met our Key Worker yesterday I asked him to build one six-hour sit into our Support Package. This arrangement will be on Mondays from now on – subject to the availability of staff.  A six-hour break will mean that I can have a relaxing time, rather than rushing around to make sure you I’m back to relieve carers.  I have also asked him to put an additional Carer Sit in place on Wednesday evening so I can attend local Buddhist Meditation Classes.

A week on Monday Maureen will go into Alderlea Care Home for two weeks.  Now I have ‘sussed’ the place out I will not visit during that time and take a complete break from my caring role.  I have already arranged a Buddhist Retreat for the first week and will catch up with family and friends later on.

It has taken me quite some time to accept that Carer Sits are my time. and from now on I’m out the door almost as soon as they arrive.  This is my plan on Sunday and I will not be here to see visiting family members until our carer goes at the end of her shift.

I have edited my About page to reflect my mission to share positives on this Blog from now on.  Every day, Maureen amazes me with her intellect and how she attempts to deal with the consequences of severe dementia.  One of our mantras has always been to accentuate the positives.  Why change habits of a lifetime just because dementia is in our lives?

4 thoughts on “Dementia: Taking My Time Off

  1. Best wishes for the new year. Great philosophy and glad to see you are doing what you can to cope with the change and make some more time for yourself. Also glad to hear Maureen is keeping well.

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  2. Hi Paul, I came here after you left your kind comment on my blog post about setting New Year intentions and doing what we can. I am glad you are feeling confident enough to take care of yourself as well as Maureen. It is something I struggle with too. I have longterm health and mobility issues but have recently found myself becoming responsible for my 87 year old mum’s affairs. She lives 2 hours away on her own and her mental state is deteriorating. We are trying to move her near to us but there is a waiting list for the sheltered accommodation she needs and I worry we might not achieve this before things deteriorate too far. I feel guilty every time I leave the house or do something for myself in case she is trying to phone. I am currently in a state of anxiety over planned treament for my own health this week and not being able to respond to her needs while I recover. I know I have to take care of myself before I can help her, but knowing is one thing, accepting and believing that I am doing my best in the face of stubborn resistance is quite another 😊 Wishing you both all the best 💜

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