I went to the gym at lunchtime and Mum was just having her customary soup and yogurt when I left. When I returned after an hour and a half, she was making herself a ham sandwich for her ‘lunch’. I pointed out that she’d already had lunch but she didn’t seem convinced. A little later I found her eating a little tub of creamed rice – ‘for her pudding’ she explained. No wonder she wasn’t very hungry at tea-time. I often ring her if I’m out at lunchtime as I’m worried she’ll forget to eat. No chance of that I suspect!
Monthly Archives: March 2012
On a lighter note, my son and his girlfriend are attempting to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge on Good Friday (6th April) in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. All donations will be gratefully received.
Here we go again! I was woken at 4.15 by a crash and went flying into Mum’s bedroom to find her lying on the floor by the bed. She was okay, just very shaken. The problem is always getting her back on her feet when she’s fallen. I have to encourage her to get onto her knees and then hold onto something to put herself up. It took about half an hour by which time we were both exhausted. I couldn’t see anything she’d tripped over so I presume she just lost her balance.
She went straight back to bed, as did I, but predictably I didn’t get back to sleep. Frustrating really as I’ve just got my sleep pattern back on track recently as Mum has been sleeping so much better.
She was okay this morning and didn’t even seem to have any bruises. I recalled that when she was kept in hospital after her last fall, we were told she would be referred to the Fall Clinic but there has been no contact so I rang the hospital and contacted the Fall Clinic who have arranged to send someone out to see us next week. (They had tried to contact us but unfortunately had the wrong phone number.) I am curious as to how they will be able to help but anything’s worth a try.
Mum went to the Day Centre as usual today and came home exhausted as usual.
She seems so tired that she goes beyond sleep. She spends all evening chatting away to herself or anyone who will listen, not expecting a reply. Also, she can’t settle at all. She’s up and down out of her chair, forgetting where she was going as soon as she stands up.
She has three pairs of slippers and she was up and down changing her slippers constantly, usually coming back wearing odd ones.
She finally went to bed at 9.15 and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I don’t know about two socks on one foot, today it was two socks on two feet. I noticed that Mum had the same socks on as yesterday and when I pointed it out and asked her to change them, she started to take them off and I noticed she had another clean pair on underneath!
Getting dressed is becoming a slight issue nowadays. Mum seems to get out nearly every item in her wardrobe (including underwear) before she decides what to put on. She doesn’t know when to hang things back up and when to put them to the wash so I now have to keep a close eye on her clothing.
We also have a situation known to the family as “Bra-gate”! She is having difficulty doing up her bra so decided she needed to send for a new one from a catalogue. It didn’t matter how many times I explained that getting a new bra wouldn’t help her with the fastening, she insisted. When the bra arrived, she couldn’t do it up and got into quite a state about it. We have tried to persuade her to order a front fastener but she is adamant she has tried these and doesn’t like them. It must be on her mind so much that the other night, she got undressed and sat in her dressing gown for a while then went to bed. She came back a few minutes later really upset because she couldn’t do her bra up – she was trying to get dressed again!
Mum is also currently obsessed with a medical book she’s had for years – Signs and Symptoms, a guide to early self-diagnosis. I often come in the room to find her leafing through this book, usually looking up ‘dementia’. Good job she doesn’t know how to use the internet!
Jean and I have recently noticed a new problem in that Mum often can’t understand what we are saying. We used to think it was her deafness but we have both admitted to each other that we think it’s more radical than that. This is making it even more difficult to communicate with her. I have to repeat myself so many times, I end up shouting and then she tells me off and says I don’t need to shout. I’ve tried writing things down but although she can still read, she doesn’t seem to take in what she’s reading.
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but we have a white board up on the wall in the lounge which I use to write the day and date then I update it if I go out so she knows where I am and when I’m coming back. I wrote on the board that I would be in at 8 pm tonight after being out for a couple of hours but when I got in she said “At last! You said you’d be back at 7.30.” When I asked her to read the white board she read it perfectly and still didn’t realise her mistake.
I’ve also noticed that she doesn’t put her headphones on any more to listen to the TV unless I prompt her. It’s as though she’s forgotten what they’re for. I’ve started automatically putting the subtitles on if she’s watching but I’m beginning to think she understands very little of TV programmes in general.
On the upside, I’ve had several good nights of unbroken sleep. However, things always start to go a bit pear-shaped on Wednesday (tomorrow), the day before she goes to the Day Centre.
I had a routine visit to the GP this morning and while there, I had a chat with him about the sleeping pill dilemma. I explained that I had been given the pills by his colleague in order to help Mum sleep at night so that I wasn’t disturbed. Then following Mum’s recent fall a nurse at the hospital had suggested that it was unwise to give an elderly lady with dementia sleeping pills. The doctor couldn’t really tell me anything I didn’t know i.e. there’s no easy answer except to use my initiative. Luckily I have had some better nights lately so I will worry about it when I need to!
Mum used to be an avid reader but nowadays finds it difficult to maintain concentration to read a whole book. I tend to buy her magazines which she finds alot easier to just leaf through. However, as it was a lovely sunny day I suggested we walk to the library – a very short distance which she can just manage if she has a sit down in the park on the way through. She enjoyed looking at the books but said she couldn’t remember the names of any of her favourite authors any more. She picked a couple of books that she liked the look of but I doubt she will manage to read them. Whatever she reads one day is forgotten by the next day.