Since I got back from holiday mum has been more grumpy than usual. Sometimes she feels she has been wronged, withdraws, gives monosyllabic responses and behaves a bit like a sulky teenager. Not just with me, but with special carers that she normally gets on with.
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
The last six weeks have been very difficult for mum and I. As mum wasn't well she needed more active care and psychological support. To cope I needed more time off and good sleep, but the opposite happened. I felt the strain at times.
2018 was quite a year for me and my mum. After over two years I brought mum back to her own home. As I look back, I am extremely grateful to all those who have supported us, particularly one doctor...
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 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?
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