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

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Hopefully Christmas is now sorted. The home must come and do an assessment of her needs, which they will do on Dec 7th and then hopefully we'll get the go ahead. I've booked her into a home a few miles further away than the local one, albeit not very much further away just in another health authority. A lovely place, it felt right from the moment I walked in through the front door. I suspect it's a bit like choosing a school in that you get a feel for a place and how it will suit your child/mother.

I know that the day centre have found her behaviour becoming more challenging in recent weeks. Emma took me aside the other day to suggest perhaps organising some support during the car journeys. In fact the morning journeys are usually ok, Ma doesn't tend to rev up until around 11:30, but the return can be a bit fraught. It's definitely easier since I started putting her in the back but I fear for the window winder which she pulls and strains on constantly trying to open the door. Emma is worried that they are being a bit unsupportive by happily waving me off with Ma on my own after the team have had a tricky day with her. It hasn't been a huge issue so far but I dare say it could become one in the future.

Healthwise she's fine at the moment. My biggest problem is an old friend - getting her to eat enough. Because she talks constantly it is quite difficult to get food into her sometimes plus she will not sit down for any length of time. So a lot of the time it's a case of literally trying to get food in as she's passing. Finger foods are now becoming a bit of an issue due to the fact that she'd far rather try and push a sandwich through the door lock or down the side of the sofa than eat it. It's no wonder the dog isn't losing weight despite not eating much of her dog food...

I still find random things in the loo (14 clean flannels this morning, oh joy) and a new behaviour and one which I really dislike is licking her fingers before touching things - the tv, the windows, the cushions anything and everything. It reminds me of that awful thing mother's used to do of spitting on a hankie before wiping your face. I have never forgotten the smell of it *shudders*

The third day at the day centre is definitely a massive help for me. Now we only have four full-on days, two of which are over the weekend which does make a difference for some reason. I do still get massively stressed out by all the things mentioned above but those days certainly help.


Lots of blips to catch up on but due to the new whizzy gadget at the top of the page I no longer need to stick a link in here :)

Monday, 12 November 2012

A disappointment and a major change in my viewpoint

Barry contacted me last week asking if he could come and see Ma. Nothing unusual in that and one that is guaranteed to please her. Despite the grip of dementia she does still remember how to flirt :) I was pleased that he was coming because I had things I wanted to discuss.

He arrived with some fudge because it was my birthday bless him, such a lovely thing to do. Then told me that Spurr House will no longer accept Ma because of her challenging behavior so the respite week I'd booked over Christmas is no longer and I have to try and find another place for her in a home which offers specialist EMI care. There's one home about 10 mins away which does offer the facilities needed so I'm off to have a look at it with Joani on Weds, she's not only a lovely friend but also works in the dementia field and is invaluable when doing this sort of thing.

Barry also stated that he wants Ma to have a Nursing Care assessment which would, should it be successful mean that her care needs would be paid for via the NHS. And the potential for a huge financial burden to be lifted.

I have been advised by family members and friends over and again to request an assessment for continuing healthcare funding via the NHS. Should the assessment be in our favour this would mean that Ma could go into a home with a specialist dementia care facility. I talked to Barry about it on Friday and he is happy to run this alongside the Nursing assessment. I'm not sure that Ma will qualify for it yet despite her challenging behaviour but I am willing to try.

I vowed that I would not put her into care but her behaviour is becoming so difficult to deal with that I am happy to admit that I was naively optimistic. She is violent, not all the time and I hope I haven't given that impression, however her repetitive behaviour really is extremely challenging to anyone's sanity.

Then again we have just done two giggling choruses of 'Goodnight Sweetheart' whilst waltzing to bed, so it's not all bad.

Not at all.