On Sunday night after I had gone to bed, mum had a fall in the care home. Going to the toilet, groggy with sleep, she tumbled forward and banged her head on the basin as she fell. The care home staff alerted me after they called an ambulance. I pulled on some clothes and drove … Continue reading Maintaining Routines: Nights, Mornings and Social Services
Since we decided to bring mum home I have experienced a wide range of strong emotions. Mostly a feeling of relief that we got the right decision and an eagerness to get started; but also occasionally, fear and foreboding about my world getting smaller and having less freedom to go back to my own home. … Continue reading Bringing Mum Home: Emotions and Preparations
Picture this. You wake up in a strange place. You don’t recognise the room, you don’t know where you are, or even what country you’re in. Gradually you notice familiar objects: your dressing gown, photos of family and ornaments. You wonder how you got here. You try the door to the garden, it is locked. … Continue reading Mum’s Groundhog Day
After three weeks holiday, I visited mum at her care home last Sunday. When I arrived, she was walking up and down a corridor, wearing a winter hat and clutching my wedding album. I already knew from care staff that she was on antibiotics for a chest infection, so I was reassured to see her … Continue reading Responding to Feelings of Low Self-Esteem
Choosing a care home for a family member living with dementia, may be the most important decision you ever make on their behalf. Of course if they have the capacity to make the decision, your role might be to support them. Either way, the more informed you are the better. The choice will have huge … Continue reading Choosing a Care Home
It’s been several weeks since I attended a valuable and engaging programme for carers of people living with dementia. It is a new initiative, and this was the first in a series of pilot courses run by the Dementia Carers Count. Since the three-day programme, that took place in a comfortable hotel in Swindon, I have … Continue reading New Course for Family Carers of People with Dementia
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects people living with dementia. A friend of mine, who works in social care, had mentioned the Act to me in response to some concerns I had about my mother. Feeling overwhelmed by all that I didn’t know about caring for someone with dementia, I didn't look further into it … Continue reading Law Protects People with Dementia
Since mum went into care in October 2015, I have been wondering whether an institutional home is the right place for her. Experts and professionals involved in dementia care have insisted to me that she is better off in a care home. This reassurance has put my mind at rest for weeks, and even months, at a time. However, the question invariably comes back with greater force and more insistence than before.
Recently, I had some success helping mum move from fear and distress to being able to smile again. Deep breathing and mindfulness helped. If you care for someone with dementia who is sometimes fraught, this might work for them too. Feeling fraught When I arrived to visit mum at the care home, she was in … Continue reading Mindfulness and Dementia
Whether you care for a relative with dementia at home, or visit them in a care home, you need to be mindful of the potential toll on your own physical and mental health. Helpful advice that I dismissed. Don’t make the same mistake.