It is really difficult to describe adequately how enervating it is to live with someone who spends the majority of the day on a 90 second loop. I regularly have people say to me that it must be like living with a toddler again. Well, no actually, for the majority of the time it isn't. Toddlers will sit and play for stretches of time, go for a nap and are generally cute and entertaining. Dementia patients are often unsettled and in a state of mild distress for long periods of time.
Mealtimes and tantrums are the most toddler-like behaviours I suppose. If you try and feed something that isn't liked it will be reappear rapidly and end up on the table/plate/chair or spat out. A lot of food is eaten with the fingers and you quickly learn not to give sandwiches with sloppy fillings, I had to resort to the emergency egg mayonnaise sandwich today and I've been regretting it ever since. Simple things like knowing how to pick up a sandwich the right way are lost and I paid dearly for a moment of inattention this lunchtime. Goodness me but it goes a long way...
Attempting to stop her from trying to sit down on the chair arm because I could see that she would miss by a mile and fall resulted in a ringing slap to my head and a bite on my boob. Sigh. The bite didn't really hurt, dentures make it difficult to get any real force behind it, but it wasn't nice to be bitten regardless of where it was and I hope this violent phase will pass quickly.
The 90 second loop goes something like this:
(10 seconds pass)
Walks across the room, touches several things.
(10 seconds pass)
Walks to the front door, tries to open it several times.
Comes back into the room.
I promise you that it feels a bit like water torture after a while. Nothing seems to stop it happening - she absolutely will not be distracted from doing it. Even as you are saying 'Mum, come and help me with this' she will reply 'Yes yes ok' but resolutely heads for the door. I thought at first that she wanted to go outside but when I open the front door she will peer out but doesn't want to go over the threshold.
Then there's the continual moving things around habit. It used to be just the cushions but now it is anything and everything. Having nipped to the loo after doing a lot of ironing for our upcoming holiday/respite visit, I wasn't best pleased to find all the underwear sitting in the washing up bowl. With the washing up.
Four sleeps until Friday and really looking forward to it, I'm ready for a proper break.