The Dementia Diary

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The Looooooooong Weekend

on June 4, 2012

It’s a long weekend here, to celebrate the Queen’s 60th Jubilee.  So far we have seen F i L Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and today, Monday.  Woohoo!  And that’s on top of last Monday and Wednesday and tomorrow!

We’ve had lots of visits recently from support ‘workers’.  In reality they are not workers, but they give us sensible, practical advice geared directly to F i L’s Alzheimers specific needs.  Most of their suggestions we already have in place.  Those that we don’t are not for the want of trying.  They’re not in place because no amount of reasoning can get F i L to understand why they are needed.

The last such visit was on Wednesday from an Occupational Health worker.  She was assessing his state of mind.  We were hoping to get him straight from that meeting over to his GP as he had an eye infection.  We also needed to find out why he hasn’t yet been prescribed the recommended Alzheimers meds and, as suggested, talk to his doctor about his high level of anxiety.

Despite my best efforts to get his name in the queue because, for various reasons (including the fact that F i L is SO PAINFULLY SLOW), we didn’t get to the doctors office until after 4pm.  Therefore we couldn’t be seen.  We’ve made an appointment for 1.5 weeks later, where husband can go with him to get these things sorted.  If you don’t go with him he’ll just ask for something for the corns on his feet – his usual default request when he can’t remember why he’s there.

No. 1 son has finally admitted that he has not, and will not, be able to get anything done re Power of Attorney so we’re having to do that too.  This was the only thing he had been asked to do.  It’s been 8 months since we asked him to do it, and 20 months since I first suggested that it needed to be done.  F i L is surprised that No. 1 son is not more keen to step up and help with this.  We’re not!  F i L can’t understand why No. 1 Son hasn’t done anything.  We can’t make him see that when they do speak F i L tells him that he’s ok and we’re helping him, which gives No.1 son the perfect ‘out’.  We’re doing everything so he’s not needed.

I’ve been saying for the past week or so, to husband, that I think that by September/October this year we will have seen a step change in F i L’s abilities and we’ll be looking for extra care.  This may be in the form of daily carers or he may need to go into a home.  Over the past few days he’s been unable to make choices and decisions, and his memory has become even worse. His anxiety his high and he’s doing some of the things that are unnecessary and point to him being worried.  One such thing is defrosting the freezer.  It didn’t need doing and when he does this he also manages to defrost all of the food.  This drives us crazy because, if we don’t catch it, eating the re-frozen food leads to a good dose of diarrhoea.  Not pleasant for any of us.

Today he couldn’t remember how to use the grill.  I realise that having someone with Alzheimers able to cook is good going, and occaisionally he forgets how to turn the stove on, but today he really had no clue.  We had to go round to make sure he got something to eat and didn’t burn the house down.  He didn’t know where the grill was.  He didn’t know he needed a pan under the grill.  He couldn’t get the pan to fit under the grill.  He couldn’t turn it on.  He couldn’t put the food on to the pan and put that under the grill.  It was a real step by step instruction session.  He kept saying

“I have to learn!”

We kept saying

“You can’t learn anything new.  Your brain can’t hold the information in anymore”

We ‘helped’ him cook his dinner by telling him what to do step by painful step.  In between I opened up the cat flap in his kitchen door which he has never allowed the cat to use since he moved in 21 months ago, despite using one in his old house.  Because the cat flap in not in use he keeps locking the cat out in the pouring rain, and thinking the cat’s in when he’s out.  I’m worried about the poor cat as well as F i L!  I explained why I had done it and posted a big sign in red pen above it which reads

‘LEAVE THIS OPEN FOR THE CAT’

First stop on the way home?

Somewhere to buy wine.

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One response to “The Looooooooong Weekend

  1. kimjoy24 says:

    I sooo understand about the wine!

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