My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Routines and Obsessions

We've settled into a routine surprisingly quickly.

I get up, take her a cup of tea and dole out the meds. She asks me why it's five tablets today and I tell her it's always five. She says she's sure it's three. The weather is always discussed, as far as Ma is concerned if it isn't wall to wall blue sky and sunshine it's a wasted day. I'm then asked if I've put the immersion heater on so that she can have a shower. I offer to turn the shower on and she refuses. Then comes to tell me it isn't working. I sort the shower. Then check to see that she's actually in it because I know that sometimes she forgets and just gets dressed instead. While she's in the shower I do a quick search and retrieve mission for any laundry which she has currently taken to stashing either under the bed or behind the radiator. Sometimes what she chooses to wear can be interesting. Despite three double wardrobes full of clothes she has taken to wearing the same six or seven things - sometimes all at the same time. I try to gently nudge her but she hates that so sometimes I lose the battle, the other day it was trousers and skirt and long jacket with a sparkly top.

Every morning we disagree about breakfast. I offer, she refuses. I make some anyway and she eats it. Then the TV goes on and stays on until she goes to bed. I'm getting quite au fait with daytime television but have to leave the room during Jeremy Kyle...

For my entire life my mother has been on a diet (let's not go into my own food and weight issues but hmmm...) so lunch and tea bring more skirmishes but I'm learning not to ask her what she wants and just put something in front of her. She retaliates by only ever eating half of anything I give her. However I am wise to this and somewhat sneaky so make sure she gets calorie/nutrient-rich food. No Lite shite in this house any longer.

Trips to the supermarket can be tiresome with Ma wandering off so I try and do as much of that on my own as I can. Although I find it vaguely disturbing/hysterical that we get tears in Aldi because Dad 'loved' going there. From memory he hated shopping but would do absolutely whatever he could to make Ma happy.

As I type this she has gone next door to 'tell them I'm here'. Pointing out that lights on/curtains open and closed/my car in the drive might give them a clue is a waste of time. She has become obsessed with next door and they, dear people that they are, ask her in and ply her with coffee.

Time for a cuppa methinks. And then type up some more recipes.


  1. Just discovered your blog via a link from twitter. I`m in pretty much the same boat, mum 74 vascular dementia, me 47 full time carer,and the first paragraph struck so many chords! I seem to be handling it in pretty much the same way as yourself. Starting a blog, twittering and facebooking seem to help somehow. Anyway, just a quick message, gonna read some more of your blog. Will drop you a line when mine is up and running and we can compare notes :)

  2. Hi hippyjon

    You are one of the reasons I started doing this blog, in the hope that it would reach people in the same place as me. And possibly help them - not sure how that bit would happen to be perfectly honest. Maybe by making them laugh when they recognise a similar situation.

    The other reason is that this is my safety valve. Somewhere to just write it like it is and hope that no one will judge me when I shout about how difficult I find it.

    One thing I know. No matter where you are on the dementia path someone is always happy to tell you that it will get worse. Pfft. I think we know, thanks. So how about offering an afternoon to give those of us dealing with it a bit of a respite?

    Someone should start a help group/charity asking the elderly but mentally astute to connect with those with dementia. Maybe.

    Anyway... off the soapbox.

    Thanks for dropping by Jon. Hope to see you soon :)

    Bee x

  3. Bit new to this blogging lark so only just come across your reply.

    Seems like we are both in this for the same reasons, although I put letting off steam first!

    I have been spouting stuff on twitter and facebook for ages but somehow a blog seems like a much better idea...maybe its because its more permanent, comments on FB and twitter seem to be very disposable knee jerk reactions.

    On a more constructive note, I get 8hrs a week respite care from Age concern, dont know if its available in your area but its an excellent service and free!

    Any hints tips and even criticisms re my blog much appreciated.

    Jon x

  4. I too have a blog: I've been writing it 10 months. I decided to quit boring all my friends by talking about it all the time, so I told them I'd blog if they were interested. Weird but two of the ones who were interested are now in the same boat with dementia parents. Its a growing issue. Wish we could find a cure.