My daughter, Daisy, has been to visit for the weekend. She has spent alot of time with her Gran, trying to talk to her and make her laugh. It’s wonderful how much patience someone has with Mum when they only see her every few weeks. Daisy remarked on the change in Mum since she last saw her which was only about a month ago – frightening! We know this is true but find it hard to acknowledge.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
Went to the doctor’s this morning and he has increased Mum’s anti-depressant dose although he says that the crying could just be an inherent part of her condition – I suspect that is likely due to the reasons that start her off.
He also reduced her blood pressure medication. The hospital found her blood pressure a bit low and this could be a contributory factor in her falls.
As her tablets come ready packed in blister packs, I had to go to the pharmacy to get the blister packs all changed. Nothing’s ever straightforward.
When we came home, surprise surprise – I got a call from a Social Worker who has been allocated mum’s case. She offered me respite care when I go away but I know that Mum would refuse this at this stage. However she also offered me another regular day at the Day Centre and also said Mum could go there for some extra days while I am away. Success! I am also eligible for a ‘Direct Carer’s Payment’ which I get in the form of vouchers to cover addition care as and when. I can apply to a private agency for this and pay with my vouchers. I’m not sure how much it is yet but anything is a step forward.
All I have to do now is tell Mum she’s going to the Orchards for a second day!
We decided not to trick Mum about the Day Centre this week and told her she was going. To my amazement she slept fine. Just can’t understand what has changed. She didn’t even seem overly stressed about getting ready this time.
I rang Social Services yet again today and still get the feeling that Mum’s file keeps going back to the bottom of the pile. I also rang a private Care Agency to see about their ‘sitting service’. A Care Manager is calling to see us tomorrow.
We are going to the GP tomorrow in response to a letter from the hospital following her fall. I need to ask him if there is anything we can do about her depression. She is already on a low-dose anti-depressant but I am wondering if we could increase this. She is bursting into tears at the drop of a hat lately, usually due to frustration because she can’t remember what she wants to say or because she just can’t get her words out.
When Mum came home from the Day Centre, the Carer told me she had fallen on the minibus. Don’t know how it happened but if she’s not safe with the Carers, there’s no hope really. She has a huge bruise on her knee which she is very proud of.
Okay – so the ploy to trick Mum that worked so well last week, backfired this time.
She asked last night if she was going to the Day Centre today and I told her no, it was the following day. Jean also backed me up on this again when she called round in the evening.
The night was fine but this morning it got to 8 am and she still hadn’t woken up so I thought I’d better wake her. I told her she was going to the Centre but she argued with me and reminded me that ‘two people’ had told her she wasn’t going. How come she can remember things when you don’t want her to? Damn it!
She caught me on the hop and I couldn’t think of another lie quick enough so I told her what we’d done. She was absolutely furious – How could we possibly have been so cruel as to trick her when we know how important it is for her to know when she’s going so that she can be ready on time? I tried to explain that this is the precise reason we told a ‘little white lie’ because she seems to think she has to start getting ready in the middle of the night. She wasn’t satisfied by this so eventually I told her I was exhausted because she woke me up in the night so often that I just had to do it for my own sanity but I think this fell on deaf ears – well more deaf than usual!
After she’d stopped being furious, she became upset and then stressed because she thought she was late. I helped her get her clothes ready and made her breakfast and she was ready well before the bus came for her. Not sure how this is going to pan out but I’ve got a bad feeling about it.
Mum is getting worse at following instructions. “Brush your teeth, then put your shoes on” can lead to total confusion, whereas “brush your teeth” can work! I have realised that I have to unlearn the normal way of passing on information. Most people can take on board several pieces of information one after the other and it seems natural to talk this way…….but not to people with dementia. Keep it simple and straightforward and there’s an outside chance she’ll understand.
Blurring real life with TV life is also getting worse. We had a long conversation during Emmerdale this evening about the fact that the people in the village couldn’t see us and were just acting in front of cameras. She looked puzzled for a while and then said “But I just can’t see why anyone would want to do that.” Good point!
We had several similar conversations during the next hour and in the end she said “I hear what you’re saying but I just can’t accept it. How do you know you’re right?” Another good point! As my daughter has said to me many times, she thinks Gran may have insider information and actually be totally on the ball. It’s the rest of us who are deluded. Hmmmmm……….
Mum is becoming more and more anxious when I go out at night. Every time I mention going out you can see her visibly stress out. Last night she asked me why I feel I have to go out. My brother, Mark, was there and he answered Mum, “Because she has a life, Mum.” At that she started crying. It’s involuntary emotional blackmail.
It’s not as though I go out very often in the evening, and Jean has always popped in to make sure Mum’s okay but lately, if I’m out, Mum expects Jean to stay until I get in. I’ve already found myself being set a curfew of 10 pm which she has been all right with up until now. I can live with that and on the odd occasion I do have to stay out later, Jean will stay until I get home or sometimes she will stay for the night.
I have introduced the idea of finding a private Care Agency who will supply a ‘sitter’ while I’m out but Mum says she’d rather put up with it than have a stranger there. I will have to investigate and have to try to find someone Mum likes.
Affter Mum went walkabouts last week, I telephoned Social Services to ask for more help and advice. We had already been re-referred to them after Mum’s fall, without any response other than a call to say that they had the referral and would be in touch. I spoke to someone in the Access Team who just takes a message but she said she’d marked it as Urgent. That was 10 days ago.
I telephoned again this morning and was put through to the Team in our local area. Again I was told that a member of the Duty Team would call me back. I will keep calling! I am going to suggest perhaps another day at the Day Centre. Also it was mentioned a while ago by someone from the Carers’ Association who came to see me, that I would be eligible for vouchers for Respite and for occasional visits by Carers when I’m out. This could be very helpful