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

Monday, 3 October 2011


Do you remember a post I did a few weeks ago about 'sundowning'? I rather think we are suffering from 'sunrising' at the moment. It is now 10:25, we've been on the go since 06:30 and Ma is just coming out of a terrible mood. Pretty much identical behaviour to yesterday.

It started in the usual way with her calling for me. When I got downstairs the overhead light was on in the bedroom and she was lying in bed, the duvet clasped under chin and dry-sobbing. She refused a cup of tea mainly by ignoring anything I said. As I had to take the dog to the vet for dental surgery this morning and there was no way in hell I was going to get her up and into the car in time, I left a cup of tea by the bed and locked the front door behind me. Luckily it only takes half an hour to drop off the dog and get back by which time the cup of tea was still warm (and full). However, the sobbing had stopped and she decided she needed the loo. I'll gloss over that bit but I fear that supervision is going to be required from now on and I've removed the waste bin to avoid further confusion about things. (worships at the altar of the latex glove god).

Getting dressed is becoming a long process. It's been clear for a while that she needs help and monitoring but as she is currently going through this grumpy independent phase, I have to do a delicate balancing act to help her get her clothes on in the right order/right-sides-out/right way round. This morning she couldn't process the instruction to take off her pyjama trousers after I realised she'd done the now usual thing and put her normal trousers over the top. I got her to take off the normal ones:

Now take off the pyjamas

Yes ok *picks up other trousers*

No, take off the pjs first

Yes ok *attempts to put on other trousers*

Take off the pink ones first Mum

Yes ok *looks at other trousers, tries to put them on*


She also seems far more confused in the mornings at the moment. She needed the loo so I put the bathroon light on for her. The bathroom is directly opposite the bedroom but she couldn't find it. When I said I'd put the light on for her she walked to the answerphone and pressed the flashing light.

She's now happily sitting in front of Homes Under the Hammer with a coffee and a biscuit. Any minute now she will start asking me who is coming to visit etc. She's asked me several times already where Peter is.


More later no doubt.


So it would seem that having 'funding approved' for respite care actually means 'we will send you a letter afterwards asking for photocopied proofs of income, capital and expenditure of your Mother's financial affairs and then I will calculate how much you need to pay towards the cost of her stay. If you don't do this within two weeks you will be charged the full cost of your stay. Currently £475.00 per week.

If I'd known this, would I have gone away? No. Do I have all the relevant paperwork. That would be a no. How stressed and distressed do I feel right now. Well have a guess.


The dog is back from the vet with a Hollywood smile, 5 teeth fewer, but the dragon breath has gone. Not sure how we'll strip paint from now on but that's a minor inconvenience next to being able to breath normally instead of panting and hanging out of windows.

I took Ma with me but left her in the car. This meant going back out every couple of minutes to reassure her I was still around because she gets panicky if she's left for any length of time. Even this relatively short journey (4 miles) is enough to confuse her. Roads she once whizzed about on she no longer recognises.

Naturally the dog now has anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, two types of special food and a toothbrush. She's just had half a tin of Hills special something or other and has fallen asleep in the middle of the floor.


Things that irritate... I do try, really I do, but some things just set my teeth on edge and I have to be really careful not to bite her head off.

I know she's just trying to appear in control of her surroundings and also make sense of them but asking me if I'm ok every single time I press a switch , lift a cup, cross a leg, change gear, scratch, yawn, clear my throat, stand up, sit down, look out of the window, close my eyes... is one of them.


  1. Firstly, I love you and the way you write. You are the voice in my head. Secondly, I applaud your patience. I know what I was/am like when the kids are in that mood and I'm never that tolerant (maybe you aren't all the time either). Thirdly, I think this blog is fantastic for someone like me with no experience of age related deterioration (except for Mother and her "computer" related melt-downs). I hope it helps you to get it all down in black and white and maybe read over it from time to time. Hugs to you and Ma xxx

  2. You have such patience. Know that you are not alone and there are people praying for you and your mother. God Bless! {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

  3. God no! My tolerance level is very low actually (I can hear family members snorting at the thought) I really have to work at it - and obviously I only post selected highlights on here...

    It's interesting that you read it despite not having any connection with dementia though. I assume that everyone who reads it does in one way or another.

    Thank you for such a lovely comment though, it is always nice to get feedback xxx

  4. I take my hat off to you Beezer, you do a wonderful job in very trying circumstances.

  5. I have no connection with dementia - my connection is concern for you and how you're coping. However, your blog is a fascinating, horrifying but compulsive read so I keep coming back. Your touches of humour - which I assume are in an attempt to defuse the situation in your own mind - are inspirational.

  6. Ahhh, see. Chris Ann reads because she is fascinated. The humour is inspirational, does defuse but doesn't gloss over. Fabulous way of sharing info with people, many of whom, sadly, may have to cope with similar situation. I, for one, think you're doing a sterling job!

    Re the... shhhh ...loo prob. My mum wouldn't go because she swore there were men in there. Mind boggles. :) x

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