Well, it took a while but I’ve finally got some more help from Social Services.
I have a Carer coming in 4 mornings a week to wash or bath Mum and then help her get dressed. It’s such a great help as Mum is finding getting dressed and undressed increasingly difficult and rarely takes advice or help from me, whereas she will do whatever the Carer asks. I was also becoming concerned about her personal hygiene as she would tell me she’d had a wash when I knew she hadn’t. It has made things much easier.
She is also going to the Day Centre for a third day…….and hasn’t even realised it! That extra day to myself makes such a difference.
And finally I have arranged some Respite Care. I was very anxious about this step but I have today been to visit the Respite Centre appropriate to Mum’s needs and I was so pleasantly surprised. It’s a new purpose built unit that just takes 6 people but there is also a Day Centre so the clients can attend the Centre if they wish. I had a full tour and was absolutely delighted with everything,
I have booked Mum in for 2 weeks next February and now feel alot happier about it. I know it won’t be easy to actually take her and leave her there but I feel quite confident that I’ve done the best I can.
On the medical side, we took Mum for a check-up at the Memory Clinic 6 weeks ago and the doctors increased her anti-psychotic medicine but I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference. We’re going back tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what they try this time.
Mum continues to decline slowly but surely. She has some rather suspect toileting habits but luckily is still continent. She has other odd habits like constantly tidying up the table beside her chair, putting away her belongings in the entirely wrong place like shoes in the bin and the other day I found a side-plate in the toast rack. All fairly normal dementia behaviour, I understand.
The crying continues and an increase in anti-depressants doesn’t seem to have helped this at all.
One of the worst symptoms is her increasing inability to understand what people are saying to her. It’s not that she can’t hear, she just can’t seem to compute. I sometimes have to resort to simple miming actions to make her understand.
On the good side, she’s currently sleeping soundly at night but I expect the disturbed nights to return at any time. They seem to happen in cycles.
Also on the good side, we don’t take her out too often now but I took her on a short run to see the sea yesterday. We got out of the car on the prom and the tide was so high it was splashing over the wall. I’ve not seen her so animated for ages – she’s always loved the sea.