In Carers Week 2019, I highlight three must-do, top tips for family carers of people living with dementia.
A statistic haunts me as I search for a new care home in preparation for mum’s final move. On average, residents of care homes get only two minutes of social interaction with staff a day. While this statistic is based on a small sample of homes in England, I fear it sums up the quality … Continue reading Desperately Seeking a Good Care Home
When I brought mum back home, I was keen to get her onto a healthy diet. In my efforts to prepare the perfect dish, I tried to keep mum out of the kitchen and out of my way, until I realised this was becoming a problem…
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 a little later, she was still feeling fragile and … Continue reading Mo the Cat: Value of Pets for People with Dementia
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
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 time when she no longer remembered me. What I didn’t expect is that her memories would come and go.
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
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
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