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  1. #1
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    Mother and the washing up

    Made us a cup of tea this afternoon - got 2 dirty saucers and a dirty sideplate out of the cupboard. Screamed and shouted and swore at Mother for the umpteenth time about her habit of looking at a saucer, thinking it looks clean, and putting it away in the cupboard to save the trouble of washing it up. I have asked, ranted, raved, stuck notices on cupboard doors, and I recognise that this is all completely pointless because she has no short term memory, but I still shout and scream about it over and over.

    I get much more upset about this than I do about the occasional rabbit-dropping-type incontinence accidents (still can't work out quite how she does it... dropping a couple of small balls of poo on lounge carpet while fully dressed, possibly she gets in a muddle while on toilet and they end up outside 2 pairs of pants but inside trousers and roll down her leg... Mysterious). I suppose because the poo is obviously involuntary, but it feels as if she ought to be able to get the message about the saucers. Though I know she can't get the message.

    Even after my latest ranting and shouting, and her saying "How could I have put dirty saucers in the cupboard?", she finished her cup of tea, went into the kitchen, and put the saucer in the cupboard.

    So much for Compassionate Communication. I'm failing miserably. But fortunately she doesn't seem to remember the shouting and swearing either.

    Feeling fed up and disgruntled anyway having washed 6 jumpers for her, the ones which she's been "going to hand-wash", and then is always "out for the count, couldn't possibly wash them today" whenever I suggest it in response to her "Oh what should I be doing today". They've been from bathroom laundry box to plastic laundry basket in kitchen, to being stashed away in the spin dryer in the kitchen (not a nice place to put dirty laundry), and back round the same cycle so often that I lost patience and just did them. (Washed the spilled meals off the fronts, and then threw them in the machine on wool cycle, though I have a nasty feeling one of them will never be the same again and will have to disappear).

    Am I de-skilling her by doing her bloody laundry? We already don't let her do the washing up because she does it so badly (though encourage her to do the drying up, which does result in stuff getting put away in odd cupboards rather often). She doesn't do a lot except sometimes peel potatoes, lay table eccentrically, and potter round the garden "dead-heading".

    I think she's declining a bit over the two years we've been living here caring for her - it's much more difficult to get her to go out eg to WI or village societies which she always used to go to. We had today the usual weekly sequence: Friday night "Whose coffee morning is it tomorrow, oh I'm looking forward to going", Saturday morning "Oh I'm feeling dreadful I can't possibly go to the coffee morning" (there's one in the village hall every week!), Saturday afternoon "Why didn't I go to the coffee morning, I was looking forward to it?".

    But she is so happy when I can persuade her to come out for lunch in the car - we take plated up sandwiches and a thermos down to a car park overlooking the sea where the lunchtime sun streams in through the passenger window and she keeps saying "It's so lovely down here, why didn't [late husband] and I come here more often, such a waste." And she finds a lot of pleasure in the views and the garden of this bungalow, and so hates the idea of leaving it and all her stuff, so we can't think of moving her into a home as yet ... though husband is increasingly miserable at this rural idyll and wants to live in our own house 62 miles away with the cinema round the corner and restaurants galore within 10 minutes or a bus ride, and big reference library just down the road in town. Aaaaaargh. Don't know what to do long-term. (Mother is only 94, we've been camped out in her back bedroom 2 yrs since Father dropped dead, and my grandmother made it to 102!).

    So we carry on, just muddling through. Good news that Lancashire are still sending their 28 multivouchers for respite care, as non-means-tested benefit for carer, whch arrived in post today. Bad news that they're going to start to charge this year for transport to day centre, though haven't told us yet how much. And last year's cap on increase for day centre fees is now finished, so the 2 days which cost 10/week last year and 40 this year will be 60.50 from April. I know, she's lucky in that she can afford it.

    Thank goodness we still feel we can leave her on her own a few hours, so went out for a curry in village Indian restaurant last night and are off to a Ceilidh in aid of my choir tonight. (Except that husband doesn't really enjoy dancing and I've got a sore foot!).

    Sorry about lengthy rant. Just needed to let off steam. (Could now just hit "cancel", but might as well share it with you!).
     

  2. #2
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    Keep calm - Easier said than done but you know but the ranting only gets one of you in a twist and it is not your mother!!

    However I would say my mother does exactly the same thing although these days she does not put anything away which helps.

    Have you had your mothers eyesight tested recently? My mother does not see the dirty things due to Macular Degeneration (and the AD does not help) - It is a very common eye complaint in the elderly.

    Hope you feel better for a rant - I do know where you are coming from



    Quote Originally Posted by PamD View Post
    Made us a cup of tea this afternoon - got 2 dirty saucers and a dirty sideplate out of the cupboard. Screamed and shouted and swore at Mother for the umpteenth time about her habit of looking at a saucer, thinking it looks clean, and putting it away in the cupboard to save the trouble of washing it up. I have asked, ranted, raved, stuck notices on cupboard doors, and I recognise that this is all completely pointless because she has no short term memory, but I still shout and scream about it over and over.

    I get much more upset about this than I do about the occasional rabbit-dropping-type incontinence accidents (still can't work out quite how she does it... dropping a couple of small balls of poo on lounge carpet while fully dressed, possibly she gets in a muddle while on toilet and they end up outside 2 pairs of pants but inside trousers and roll down her leg... Mysterious). I suppose because the poo is obviously involuntary, but it feels as if she ought to be able to get the message about the saucers. Though I know she can't get the message.

    Even after my latest ranting and shouting, and her saying "How could I have put dirty saucers in the cupboard?", she finished her cup of tea, went into the kitchen, and put the saucer in the cupboard.

    So much for Compassionate Communication. I'm failing miserably. But fortunately she doesn't seem to remember the shouting and swearing either.

    Feeling fed up and disgruntled anyway having washed 6 jumpers for her, the ones which she's been "going to hand-wash", and then is always "out for the count, couldn't possibly wash them today" whenever I suggest it in response to her "Oh what should I be doing today". They've been from bathroom laundry box to plastic laundry basket in kitchen, to being stashed away in the spin dryer in the kitchen (not a nice place to put dirty laundry), and back round the same cycle so often that I lost patience and just did them. (Washed the spilled meals off the fronts, and then threw them in the machine on wool cycle, though I have a nasty feeling one of them will never be the same again and will have to disappear).

    Am I de-skilling her by doing her bloody laundry? We already don't let her do the washing up because she does it so badly (though encourage her to do the drying up, which does result in stuff getting put away in odd cupboards rather often). She doesn't do a lot except sometimes peel potatoes, lay table eccentrically, and potter round the garden "dead-heading".

    I think she's declining a bit over the two years we've been living here caring for her - it's much more difficult to get her to go out eg to WI or village societies which she always used to go to. We had today the usual weekly sequence: Friday night "Whose coffee morning is it tomorrow, oh I'm looking forward to going", Saturday morning "Oh I'm feeling dreadful I can't possibly go to the coffee morning" (there's one in the village hall every week!), Saturday afternoon "Why didn't I go to the coffee morning, I was looking forward to it?".

    But she is so happy when I can persuade her to come out for lunch in the car - we take plated up sandwiches and a thermos down to a car park overlooking the sea where the lunchtime sun streams in through the passenger window and she keeps saying "It's so lovely down here, why didn't [late husband] and I come here more often, such a waste." And she finds a lot of pleasure in the views and the garden of this bungalow, and so hates the idea of leaving it and all her stuff, so we can't think of moving her into a home as yet ... though husband is increasingly miserable at this rural idyll and wants to live in our own house 62 miles away with the cinema round the corner and restaurants galore within 10 minutes or a bus ride, and big reference library just down the road in town. Aaaaaargh. Don't know what to do long-term. (Mother is only 94, we've been camped out in her back bedroom 2 yrs since Father dropped dead, and my grandmother made it to 102!).

    So we carry on, just muddling through. Good news that Lancashire are still sending their 28 multivouchers for respite care, as non-means-tested benefit for carer, whch arrived in post today. Bad news that they're going to start to charge this year for transport to day centre, though haven't told us yet how much. And last year's cap on increase for day centre fees is now finished, so the 2 days which cost 10/week last year and 40 this year will be 60.50 from April. I know, she's lucky in that she can afford it.

    Thank goodness we still feel we can leave her on her own a few hours, so went out for a curry in village Indian restaurant last night and are off to a Ceilidh in aid of my choir tonight. (Except that husband doesn't really enjoy dancing and I've got a sore foot!).

    Sorry about lengthy rant. Just needed to let off steam. (Could now just hit "cancel", but might as well share it with you!).
     

  3. #3
    Oooo that was better out than in

    Oh I know that feeling so well. I get cross with myself for getting cross, but could never help it.

    I dont think you are de-skilling her - dementia is doing that without any assistance from you. TBH once I accepted mum couldnt/wouldnt do things and just did them myself we were actually all a lot better off.

    I think posts like these are so helpful for all the other carers out there who are frightened to admit they are less than perfect (not implying you arent of course ).

    You are doing brilliantly and your mum is very lucky to have you looking after her.
     

  4. #4
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    Well put Sussexsue - Saints we are not

    Quote Originally Posted by sussexsue View Post
    Oooo that was better out than in

    Oh I know that feeling so well. I get cross with myself for getting cross, but could never help it.

    I dont think you are de-skilling her - dementia is doing that without any assistance from you. TBH once I accepted mum couldnt/wouldnt do things and just did them myself we were actually all a lot better off.

    I think posts like these are so helpful for all the other carers out there who are frightened to admit they are less than perfect (not implying you arent of course ).

    You are doing brilliantly and your mum is very lucky to have you looking after her.
     

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamD View Post
    we can't think of moving her into a home as yet ... though husband is increasingly miserable at this rural idyll and wants to live in our own house 62 miles away with the cinema round the corner and restaurants galore within 10 minutes or a bus ride, and big reference library just down the road in town. Aaaaaargh. Don't know what to do long-term.
    What do you think your husband would say about this situation if he came on TP and knew you weren't going to read it? I'm curious why you seem to be prepared to put your mother's needs before his. No offence intended, by the way, that's just the way it seems to an outsider looking in.
     

  6. #6
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    In my own humble opinion we'd have to be super-human to follow the compassionate communication to the letter. I know I can't, and I'm not a full-time carer. In fact, the compassionate communication ethos makes me feel a bit of a failure to be honest, because I know I'll never measure up to that ideal. I ignore it and just do my best to be patient - not always successfully!
     

  7. #7
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    oh I so agree .... son has been reminding me (though I don't need reminding but I like the support) that husband is not safe on the road, that he's had a letter telling him that he is obliged to inform DVLA of his recent diagnosis, that as he has not written the car insurance may not cover him .... I have been on the phone to DVLA and car insurance telling tales on my husband .... I am plotting how to divest him of the car .... he could easily kill someone .... and I am FURIOUS with him for putting me through all this grief .... which is so unfair because he is not responsible for his decline ... how do people manage to go on being pleasant to their lost partners when they have all these problems simmering away in their heads which by definition they can no longer share ....
     

 

 

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