Your story made me quite emotional too Witzend, it's the small things, like your Dad's tennis shoes and the dog sleeping curled up at your Dad's feet.
Ggma, you said the dogs are a great consolation for your Mum. I might have a try and take my neighbours dog, Mum always made a fuss of her, perhaps, of all people, she will recognize Emma the dog.
IMO every CH should have a resident muttley.
Well, nearly every one. Suppose you'd have to keep the odd one for people who don't like muttleys.
having had a short break to recharge, Ive been reading posts to catch up, and this one really hit a nerve.
For the last few weeks every time Ive visited mum her demands to have her passport, go home, go to America etc have done my head in.
Ive tried to change the subject and tried to distract, but 2 weeks ago she really was verbally agressive and I spoke to the home, stating I would now only visit every fortnight. 10 days ago, she made an escape bid and had a fall in the street (which we knew was on the cards).
My brother is cheesed off at me (he who visits twice a year), and says 'just distract or go along with it'. Easy to say.
Well, after a busy week away at a course i went to see her on Saturday and immediately got 'I want my passport etc'...
well, Im afraid to say she got both barrels - I gave her excatly why she was there, exactly how long she had lived with us and why she wasnt there any more, why she couldnt go home or travel.
She looked crushed, and I felt awful, but I still feel that she has some capacity and thought some of it made some sense to her. but, I neednt have worried because literally one minute after I finished talking she asked for her passport to go and see her cousin in America.
The good thing is she will forget everything I said, but that wont make it any easier the next visit. She is so verbally agreesive now my kids refuse to visit, and frankly I hate it. There is no conversation except 'getting out'. And Im fed up trying to distract her.
this may be ridiculous suggestion..but would it help if you gave her a passport?? maybe an out of date one? I don't know how sharp she is but just having it may mean you can move on a bit and tell her "next month etc etc ....at least mix it up a bit for you???
But it makes visiting such an ordeal - I just have to keep on thinking up up excuses, no distraction ever works even for 5 seconds. I used to take her out for a drive in Richmond Park - very close by - but even that doesn't work any more since after a short while she's fretting and wanting to 'get back'.
As a result I don't visit as often as I might - even after 5 years my stomach still goes into knots at the thought. It's horrible to dread visiting your own mother. I feel so sorry for her, she's such a poor, pathetic old thing now, but I do often put off going to see her.
the question i would be asking is... will she remember what you said tomorrow, or next week? if the answer is no, then don't tell her, just tell her that she will need to stay her for a month or so, then she will be going back home.
my grandmother in law still says after years of being in a nursing home that she's going back home (to her home from decades ago) every time. we just agree, and go along with her, ask her when she's going, and who's taking her, how long will she be going for etc. it gives her something to look forward to, that her son will be picking her up and taking her on a lovely road trip back to her place of origin. the pleasure in that conversation is the most pleasure she'll get for the day.
same as when she tells us that she sewed all the dresses and clothes that my daughters are wearing, and what she is wearing (she used to be a seamstress). we tell her she does a lovely job, and everyone is happy in that moment. and that moment, it's all that matters.
Your grandmother reminds me a bit of one old lady in my mother's CH - always seemed contented, unlike my mother! - who would tell me every single time I went that her granny and granddad were coming later, with her parents and all her brothers and sisters, and they were all going to the seaside together.
Maybe that's why she always seemed contented, thinking of some long-ago happy holiday when she was little, making sandcastles and whatnot, bless her.
How I wish my mother could retreat into some similarly happy, long-ago world, and be happy.
Last edited by Witzend; 08-05-2012 at 11:31 AM.
We avoid talking about home like the plague- and I daren't even take her out of the care home for a few hours because at Christmas she tried to run away from me when I took her back. I know it's the illness but it's just torture- for her and me.
The thing that upset me the most when clearing her house was her bag of rollers, I couldn't remove them
So reno, I'd just avoid the subject if I were you but I'm not you so this is only my opinion
I think that having to be less than totally honest with a dementia sufferer is one of the hardest things to do. It is especially hard when it is your Mum or Dad. I went through it with my Mum, and then too with my Mother-in-Law, and ultimately my wife and I found that once the illness reaches a certain stage it is the least upsetting all round.
My M-I-L has now been in permanent residential care for less than a couple of months, although she has suffered from dementia for about 8 years. During this period we have had to slowly adopt what seems to be the devious practice of failing to always tell the truth. To be totally honest with her would lead to her becoming very angry and impossible to deal with. We now find that on most visits she says she is very happy where she is, and only occasionally asks when she will be going home. She readily accepts that she can't go home just yet because there is a problem with the central heating/plumbing/redecoration. It makes you feel guilty, but we've come to it over many years, and find it's the only way for us.
I do agree that white lies are better - and it has taken me a year to get to this point, from originally thinking the truth was the only way.
It's so true that the important thing is how the person with dementia will feel in that moment - for them, there isn't any other moment. Also true that if you tell them something upsetting or worrying, they will forget what you said but may well remember/keep the feeling and its association with you.
I have really changed my opinion on this and now I try and let things go that I would have felt I had to question or correct, I don't always get it right, but I can really see the wisdom of white lies and going along with things now.
Good luck with the house clearance and sale.............only tell her about it if she asks! I would be happy to hear from my sons that they had cleared out all my rubbish and sold the house as long as they had sold it for a profit and they hadnt spent the proceeds on wine, women and song!!!
Mum is on a loop about going home, getting out of this place, why am I stopping her etc - it can go on for hours. I walk away, make a coffee, talk about the garden and as soon as I draw breath 'I am going home soon, I am getting out of here' fills the air again.
When life gives you lemons make lemonade.