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The journey - Sept 2008 - April 2012

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I hesitate to start new threads about my uncle because I sometimes feel that his story is not that helpful or relevant here because it is rather unusual in many respects.

I have tried to draw up a chronology of key events in case they might be of interest to someone, one day maybe in the future.

11 Sept 2008
Uncle appeared fit, happy and well when he attended my dad's funeral. No-one suspected he was ill in any way.

26 Nov 2008
His first alert for help. He contacted a friend declaring that he thought his house was evil

5 Dec 2008
He had a traumatic nose bleed, his friend called the emergency services and a paramedic attended him at home

11 Dec 2008
He was sectioned after attempting to end his life by lying in the road - he was admitted to a high security ward and rumour has it he was straight-jacketed to protect himself and others

1 April 2009
He was discharged from unit. Allowed to go home with CPN and social worker involved and carers calling 3 times daily

1 May 2009
He came to stay with us for a holiday. We were shocked by his inability to communicate and put his zombie like state down to being over medicated, but he ate well and enjoyed outings in the country with us.

3 June 2009
He returned home and CPN happy that he looked so well despite being uncommunicative. He did express that he was glad to be home but stopped answering his phone afterwards

29 June 2009
He was sectioned again after someone reported him wandering half naked on the moor. He reacted violently to police intervention and as a consequence spent a whole day in custody waiting for the appropriate "sectioning authorities" to arrive and take him away - back to "the loony bin".

5th Oct 2009
He was discharged to nursing home care. The home was unsuitable and not to his or his family's liking

There then ensued an 18 month wilderness period when he thought he was in prison. He spent day upon day upon day in a catatonic state lying on his bed staring at the ceiling or the blank wall. He lost weight and appeared to be anaemic. The family were excommunicated and knew very little about his mental health and medication. He wouldn't talk to my mum (his beloved sister) on the phone. We visited as often as we could but distance was a major problem. He had become institutionalised. His room was a cell, it was utilitarian, the view from his window was of backstreets and a garden full of rubbish.

16 March 2011
Thanks to the intervention of the Court of Protection he was moved to a new nursing home in a different local authority - he now has a room with a view. A view of the sea - fulfilling a dream he has always had. He agreed to moving to this place - amazingly. Considering he didn't care about anything and didn't want to live. And his psychiatrist said that he would not be able to appreciate his environment ever again. His diagnosis is still unclear but is thought to be frontal temporal lobe dementia and psychotic depression. No mention of vascular dementia despite the fact that he has suffered from high BP and diabetes type 2. I'm convinced he had a stroke around the time of his nosebleed. The depression is complicated - he was conned by a woman who tried to get POA but failed, he did, however, give her a lot of money and his love for 10 years while she played him on a piece of string. He was aware he'd been conned but was too frail and depressed to know how to deal with such sophisticated tactics.

April 2012
He must be a very resilient person as he appears to be mentally stable now. In fact we think he has improved dramatically since moving to the new home. One year later he shows no further decline although his physical health is frail which does make a true assessment difficult.

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Updated 10-04-2012 at 11:20 AM by Jancis (correction of dates)