Monday, 12 February 2018

Did I have my hair done?

Susan's mother made the move to her new home - the care home. She repeated throughout the arrival how kind everyone was and with the family photos displayed and a familiar painting on the wall the room looked like home. A brand new TV provided the home comforts ready to watch the news programmes.
As she had been a hairdresser a highlight was planning the Monday hair appointments. Week one would just be a shampoo and set to test the perm solution with a perm the following Monday. Repeatedly Carol said how she MUST get her hair done. " It is such a mess". On week 2 Susan arrived and admired the perm. " No" said Carol " I don't think I have had it done yet". Susan reminded her that she had on the previous Monday. The urgency on her arrival had clearly diminished with the passing of time.
Susan asked the staff if they would discuss with her mother what she would like to do each day. They advised her that they would find out about her interests, but they found that with memory loss Carol was unlikely to remember what she had told them in the morning. Or even what she would like to do. Susan giggled. To have the advice from the staff at the home was proving to be a real comfort as well as entertainment.

Susan remains confident in the care for her mother but also appreciates a full night's sleep. A device in the home means the office know when Carol is out of bed and they go and put her back. It means she sleeps less in the day as she has had a full night's sleep.

Carol continues to repeat her praise for the staff and is delighted that a bottle of sherry is stored to enable her to have an early evening glass.
Mid January she did ask Susan to take her back to her home for Christmas. Susan replied - "But we've only just had Christmas."  "Have we?" asked Carol. Confirmation that the passing of time is no longer measured in quite the same way. The 4 weeks Carol said she will be there for looks like being longer without too much trouble.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

You've Got a Friend!

January got off to a flying Caring4Elders start when Susan contacted her two friends for a coffee. They had not met for 6 months since the wedding of Susan's daughter. Since then Susan's 60 something husband has continues with various drug trials for the cancer in his spine. Clare, her 92 year old mother has deteriorated. The dementia diagnosed at the end of 2016 has got worse and then there was a dramatic decline with the bowel in December meaning she spent Christmas in hospital.
So here we are in January and Susan is exhausted! Both her husband and mother in need of constant care. She's not feeling great and riddled with guilt at the prospect that a care home is the next step.
She had visited one, but not sure and Monday was the day to visit the second. When Liz offered to go with her on the visit her face lit up.

4 days later - they visited the care home and with Liz's support Susan felt confident the move is the right thing for Clare. The care home booked to assess her with plans to move her next week.
Liz reflected on how hard it is for Susan ( also in her 60s) to take the decisions that will not only benefit Clare but also Susan and her husband.  With a plan in place Liz and Susan celebrated with a cup of tea and a small glass of leftover Cava. The New Year didn't seem so bad after all...........but how will the move go? Next week..............