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

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Weekend again

Yesterday was relatively quiet. Ma spent an hour or so with Mavis yesterday afternoon but other than that is was the usual mix of asking me when people were arriving (Peter, Simon, Jo and Ian, David and Glenys, Jane... ), tears, bad moods and fluffiness.

This morning started just after 5am when the pager went off on the phone. When this happens it means Ma is pressing buttons on the answerphone base trying to phone someone. It also wakes me up pretty quickly. She was trying to ring Mavis and this really should've warned me.

I helped her back into bed and went to toss and turn for an hour or so before giving up, getting up and making a cup of tea and organising Ma's morning tablets (originally put Ma's morning meds but it sounded far too Roald Dahl). She kept her eyes shut and refused to acknowledge me so I left everything on the bedside table and went back upstairs to have a shower and get dressed.

When I came down again Ma was nowhere to be seen. I always keep the doors locked these days and keep the front door key with me so she hadn't gone out that way. She had, however, managed to find the key to the patio door in the kitchen, unlock it and go out into the garden. Then open the side gate and get out. I shot back into the house to grab my car keys and phone and was just unlocking the door when the bell went. It was Seth from next door with Ma in pjs, a coat, one sock and one shoe. Soaked wet through from the drizzle. As soon as she saw me she started sobbing to Seth that I had been shouting at her all night etc.

I popped her in the shower to warm her up ignoring the suicide threats and she is now warm and dry, dressed, under her heated throw in the living room eating strawberries and cream porridge and watching the Emmerdale omnibus.

And my heart rate is nearly back to normal.


Simon Hopkinson's breast of lamb with onions today I think. If you haven't tried it I can highly recommend it. We shall have it with plain boiled potatoes, fresh mint, parsley and coriander sauce and probably carrots. Delicious.

(So delicious Ma had a battered fish fillet in a sandwich. Oh well more for me.)


We had a trip to B&Q this afternoon to get a couple of padlocks. I thought a trip in the car and a spot of shopping would provide a bit of a distraction for Ma. Ah well. She refused to get out of the car and go into the shop with me and she hated the trip home because she couldn't work out where she was.

So here's a challenge. Everything you read about coping with dementia says that you should distract not disagree or argue. I would love some suggestions for distracting her. She doesn't like the tv any longer, it's too confusing. She doesn't like listening to music or the radio, looking at old photographs or doing simple jigsaws. Since the other day she hates going anywhere far (ie more than a mile or so) in the car. She isn't artistic and would think I'd lost my marbles if I got out paint and paper!

I thought I might try doing a bit of baking with her. The worst that could happen is we end up throwing away a few pennies worth of ingredients. Muffins are easy, quick and very satisfying to make without needing any skills at all other than the ability to stir. And she might even eat the results!

Anything we do has to be fairly fuss free and not take more than half an hour at the absolute most.

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