Mo the cat sits on mum, on the sofa, in the living room

Mo the Cat: Therapeutic Value of Pets for People with Dementia

One morning recently, I overheard mum saying to the carer, “I should be able to get washed and dressed myself,” before bursting into tears. The carer was sensitive and supportive, and mum was soon dressed and ready for the day. But, sitting in the living room, she was still feeling fragile and despondent. Fortunately, Mo … Continue reading Mo the Cat: Therapeutic Value of Pets for People with Dementia

Responding Mindfully to Emotional Turmoil

Now I have adequate time off and enough sleep, the biggest issue I face is how to support mum through times of emotional turmoil. The turmoil is not only felt by her. When mum dips into despair or becomes greatly agitated, I experience a surprising range of emotions. Empathy, compassion and concern for mum are … Continue reading Responding Mindfully to Emotional Turmoil

June Powell photos teenage years

Helping Mum Remember Who She Is

I was surprised at the amount of attention one of my recent tweets received. It was about the positive impact of a reminiscence activity on my mum. Memory Fluctuates Since mum has been home I have been painfully struck by the impact of vascular dementia on her memory. I thought I was prepared for the … Continue reading Helping Mum Remember Who She Is

Decision Time: Does Mum Stay Home?

Mum has been back at her former care home since last Friday. This has enabled me to attend a mindfulness teacher training course in Oxford and take holiday with my husband, Jack. After six weeks looking after mum, I felt physically and emotionally drained when I dropped her off. As I drove away I felt … Continue reading Decision Time: Does Mum Stay Home?

Unmade bed

Sleep Deprivation Marks Mum’s Fourth Week at Home

Mum got up 16 times the night before last. Yesterday, with just over two hours sleep, I felt like death warmed up. It may explain why both mum and I were unusually weepy watching the last two episodes of British period drama, Cranford! Over the last week, I have had four sleep-deprived nights. I guess … Continue reading Sleep Deprivation Marks Mum’s Fourth Week at Home

Dementia-Friendly Door and Drawer Signs

As mum was coming home, I needed to signpost key rooms and the contents of wardrobes and drawers. You can get such signs so that the person living with dementia can find their way around the home independently, and can find personal belongings more easily. I looked into buying signs from specialist suppliers, but decided … Continue reading Dementia-Friendly Door and Drawer Signs

Maintaining Routines: Nights, Mornings and Social Services

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

Bringing Mum Home: Emotions and Preparations

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