I’ve finally got to the bottom of why Mum is distressed after the hairdresser has been. We think that she believes she has actually gone to a hairdressing salon and she is sitting waiting for me to collect her. She is getting agitated when Denise has left and a long time passes before I get home. I have decided I need to be here from now on when she has her hair done.
We stayed in most of the Jubilee Holiday watching events on the TV which Mum did seem to enjoy to a certain extent. However whilst watching the flotilla on the Thames, she got rather agitated and she seemed to think she was actually on the Queen’s barge. Said she was very cold and wanted to get off!
A couple of funny anecdotes:
-Mum suddenly told me the other day that I could easily pass for 32. (I am 63!) I pointed out that my daughter is 33 but that didn’t seem to have any significance!
-My son, Ben, came over for the day recently and we were sitting ‘chatting’ to Mum when she suddenly gave a big sigh and said “Oh – c’est une voyage!” quite clearly.
I have known for some time that she doesn’t really follow TV programmes any longer, even ones she used to love such as Coronation St. Indeed, the main problem as I have previously mentioned is that she thinks the programmes are actually part of her life and talks to the characters on the screen then wonders why they don’t reply. However the other day the ad break came on and Mum was really confused. When I tried to explain that it was the adverts, she really didn’t understand what they were!
If only we could see the world through the eyes of a dementia sufferer. I told her this morning that she’d left her toast in the kitchen to which she replied, “I haven’t, it’s here” and patted the arm of the chair to point it out. Then later when I brought her a cup of coffee she lifted an imaginary cup of coffee to her mouth. She’s done that before but it’s very spooky. Why can she see things that aren’t there and not see things that are there?
The sundowners continue to get worse. I feel I can never really have a relaxed evening any longer as Mum is constantly fidgeting or wandering around the flat with no purpose. Then she continually asks me questions that don’t make any sense. Sometimes, if she disappears, I have to check what she’s up to as one of her latest obsessions is changing her clothes. She’s just done it now, while I’m writing this, and she came back in the room with her trousers inside out!
But the worst part of the sundowners is the crying. It’s distressing for her and also for me. I have taken her to the GP about this and he increased her anti-depressant dose but it made no difference. He thinks it’s an inherent part of her illness – great! When I ask her why she’s crying she usually doesn’t know but sometimes says she’s frightened but doesn’t know what of.
She continues to not enjoy the Day Centre. She came in yesterday and burst into tears. When I asked her what what was wrong she said “If you’d had a day like I’ve had, you’d cry!” She started to tell me some convoluted tale about the second world war and Belsen concentration camp, and how frightened she was. Someone stroked her hand but she knew that was the secret signal!
I was so worried I actually rang the Day Centre. I spoke to the Officer in Charge who couldn’t understand where it had come from. She said they’d had a quiz in the afternoon as they often do and Mum had seemed fine, in fact she actually had a laugh with her whilst Mum was waiting for the bus. She told me the problem is that Mum probably won’t tell them when she’s frightened but she will keep an eye on her as she has noticed that she is deteriorating.