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!).