The Dementia Diary

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The Catch Up

on April 19, 2012


It’s been almost a month since I last updated you on F i L’s progress.  That’s not deliberate, but as I have been trying to keep my distance I haven’t needed to vent quite as much.

He is getting used to the carers we have hired.  They pop in two evenings a week to cook him a meal and to do some of the ‘heavier’ housework.  He prefers the ladies that come as they are more ‘efficient’.  I think it’s actually a little bit of residual sexism.  He continually asks me about cooking even though I tell him it’s No. 2 son that does that job in our house.  To his mind, a woman’s job is in the home looking after the man and their children.  The carers visiting, plus the two afternoons he spends at a local old peoples club, mean that on four days a week he is seen by professional care staff and given a proper meal which takes the burden off of us.

No. 1 Son still thinks his dad is ‘fine’.  It now transpires that his own F i L has had to go into a care home a he is now so ‘bad’, so perhaps this is a comparative assessment.  We didn’t know that this was going on although we did know he had had a stroke or similar and was becoming a little unsteady mentally.  I did for a moment feel sorry for No. 1 son until I remembered that a) he wouldn’t have actually done anything to help b) No. 1 son’s F i L has a wife looking after him, a daughter living close by, and another daughter a few miles away who is a ‘Lady that Lunches’ whilst his dad is alone c) It’s not his dad!  He did actually visit for an hour or two a couple of weeks ago.  He didn’t tell anyone he was doing this (not that he needs permission) but while he was there he fixed F i L’s garden strimmer.  There was a reason we hadn’t fixed the strimmer.  It was because F i L strims his shoes, legs and the cable.  We left it so that he couldn’t use it!

He has deteriorated rapidly over this past month.  It was my fear that my not visiting might bring this on, but I can’t make myself responsible.  He is worrying about things, many of them the things I would routinely do for him, which means he doesn’t sleep properly.  By not sleeping properly he gets more confused.  The confusion leads to worry which means he doesn’t sleep properly.  It’s a vicious circle.

Over the past week I have visited a few times.  He phoned me telling me that he couldn’t work out what tablets to take.  Realising that he could easily overdose I went asap and I was right to.  He had emptied his dispensing box and sorted the tablets so that each medicine was in a separate compartment.  On Thursday night he would have taken a weeks worth of Warfarin!  Husband and I have since been back approx 7 times to redo his medicine box as he keeps taking the tablets out and getting confused.

He knows that his memory is bad.  He keeps saying that he is going to see the doctor about it.  He forgets that he has, many times, and that there is sadly nothing that can be done about it.


2 responses to “The Catch Up

  1. frangipani says:

    Mom used to take out her pills from the box and wrap them with tissue paper…. and then she would forget which tissue hold which doses. Now she sometimes gets the days and times wrong. I try not to worry too much about it.
    Deterioration happens in spurts, I’ve noticed. It’s not your fault.

  2. kimjoy24 says:

    Thanks for providing an update on your father-in-law. I’m glad you were finally able to get some help to take the burden off of you and your husband.

    That is scary about him rearranging his meds … glad you were able to catch it before an overdose happened.

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