1. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Norman - I hope you get to keep a memory of todays birthday for the best or reasons though its so easy for everything else to get in the way.

    Bruce - is the sun out today? I hope so.

    Everyone else out there - todays a new day and who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    Its a beautiful day, I managed to ride one of my horses this morning, my dog is curled up at my feet and Mum has got a Sunday roast on the way - what a wonderful smell... But I'm having "melancholy moment"! Why? It feels so wrong when so many of you are in the midst of the dreadful hands-on caring scenario and we have Aunty safely safe in a wonderful Residential Home.

    When I when I visited yesterday I know she was trying to find the words to ask when she would be going home. I took her for a short walk with my dog before lunch. Buts it's as though she was waiting to ask the question when she had me on my own. As we stood looking out across the estuary she looked straight at me and a jumble of words came out including, "how long, whats happening now". My heart hit my boots and I could barely look her back in the eye as I muttered a totally inadequate response and desperately tried to find another subject to move onto. I can't even remember what I said but it was pretty useless. When we got back she seemed fine and dissappeared off to the dining room with barely a backward glance - I can't help thinking that she felt let down.

    To make things worse I then had to spend 2 hours at her house sorting through her personal effects. I've got to make a decision soon on what to do with her house - no thats not right - her home. There's only so much we can look after for her so decisions will have to be made about the rest.

    This is such a different set of difficulties than the one we had when Dad was ill. We hadn't even heard of EPA's and the COP. His decline was so rapid due to his heart condition that we had no time to dwell on anything apart from day to day practicalities.

    I know I have done the right thing for her so far for her physical needs but what about her phsycological needs - I'm not convinced that there isn't more I could/should do. She seems so much stronger in all respects since she's been looked after. I still harbour the thought that maybe she could go home if we could find 24 hour care but then I'm only seeing her at her best these days aren't I.

    Such a muddle of thoughts and questions and no right answers. Ok - melancholy moment over - I will hit "submit" and then walk away from the PC - thats how its supposed to work isn't it? Put in down in writing and clear your brain?

    Kriss
     
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Kriss,

    Two words in the English language need to be vapourised. They are 'should' and 'ought'. And definitely to be ignored when they are attached to finger wagging activities by ourselves - at ourselves or others. They are guilt-motivating and pointless. 'Can' and 'will' are better, if appropriate. [I got a bit of that 'should' business last weekend and went down in a screaming heap for a while, as you know. Didn't listen to my own advice...... silly me!]

    There probably isn't anything more that you could, should or ought to have done or be able to do for your Aunt. So go ride the horses, cuddle the dog, enjoy the sunshine and have a great Sunday lunch. Your Aunt would be appallled if she understood or realised that you were so miserable, wouldn't she???? I bet she'd start a big of finger wagging herself....

    You are doing the very best that you CAN do in a no win situation, which is the depressing thing about AD. All we can say in the end, is that we were there, cared 100% and did our very best.

    Alternatively, we could petition the Altz Society to appoint a hit squad, who could come around and beat us up with wet sticks of rhubarb [in season of course] when we feel like we 'should' be able to do better.

    Your Aunt had a great lunch. You do the same.

    Jude xxx
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    A Place in the Sun

    Hi Kriss

    yes, thanks, things a bit sunnier today!

    Do be grateful that Aunty is in a good home, and try not to worry too much about her being there, and not at her own home, since 'home' is a bit of a moving target for people with dementia. Ultimately recognition will go of a home that has served them for many years. They do know what has not been home, but do, over time, adjust.

    I sometimes think it is worse for us, imagining things that may be totally only in our own minds. Can't help doing that of course, and it seems worse on a lovely weekend.

    Personal effects are a horrible, horrible thing. For two years after Jan had left to live in the care home, I maintained everything as it was when she left. Had she been able to walk back in after those two years, every drawer, every cupboard, every wardrobe would have been just as she left them.

    Recently I have realised that the clothes are just 'skins' that Jan once wore and has now shed forever. So, many have regretfully gone to the charity shop, some to the tip. Some I have kept - yes, in those same wardrobes. Can't bring myself to sever all these clothing ties.

    But the point is - they are not Jan, and keeping them won't help her. The pain is worse of course because she is still with us. When there is a bereavement, there is no doubt that the clothes must largely go. But I say to myself - "do I have the right to remove things that are Jan's, not mine?". Agh, it is all a nightmare.

    For me, the best thing with the clothes is to review them in photographs from the past when Jan was wearing and enjoying them.

    I hope that putting things into words helped you, if only a little.
     
  4. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Kriss
    thank you for your good wishes.
    Everything did get in the way and today was the worst birthday I ever remember.
    But it's only another day and I will get over it.
    Best wishes
    Norman :(
     
  5. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Thanks to you all - sorry to hear your birthday isn't one you'll want to remember Norman.

    Feeling a bit brighter this evening - back on the "things could be much worse" wavelength. Had a long chat to a couple of Aunties friends who continue to visit despite the communication difficulties and how it affects them to see her as she is. I am so grateful that she has such loyal friends. Had another long chat with one of my best friends (who also is dealing with a family member with dementia (Goodness - is anyone untouched by this thing).

    No right answers but there aren't any are there. Just need to offload sometimes. Thanks for lending an ear.

    Kriss

    ps about to put together an album of photographs from the things I gathered yesterday. The photos I've hung on her wall seem to be staying put and the loose ones are standing up well to be carried around the home, though I find them in all manner or places each week. My scanner is working overtime as many of them are really delicate with age.

    pps Jude the mere thought of the wet rhubarb must have done the trick!
     
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    786
    Buckinghamshire
    old photographs

    Dear Kriss,
    Just a thought: could you try and have some of the old photographs (or copies of them) laminated to make them more durable?
    Most schools have laminating machines, and might be prepared to do them for you for a small fee.
    Best wishes, Carmen
     
  7. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Thanks Carmen

    I have been looking in Partners at the laminators - not very expensive and probably worth a go. Might invest later today!

    It was when the home took Aunts photograph to put on the notice board with all the other residents that I first thought of doing an album. She was so proud of her "mug shot" that everyone who visited was taken to see it, and then I discovered they'd given her another copy (laminated) to keep in her room.

    Think I'll probably do both the album and the loose pics and a few more frames to go on the wall. Good job I've got a few days off this week!

    Kriss :cool:
     
  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Yes, homes often welcome the pictures. I've posted before about the A3 sheets of pictures of Jan's life [one of them repeated here] that I put on her walls, plus others. The home takes people in there to show them, and also the staff have said that it helps them see Jan's life in it's totality. That in turn helps her. If it helps her, it helps me.

    ...and it helped me to bring all the happy photos from our time together, scan then and select representative ones. One part of a sort of closure, I guess.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Bruce,

    Photos are such a wonderful way of reminding us of happy days. I often pour over our old photo albums with Mum and Dad. They get so much enjoyment from discussions about the family.

    I'm waiting for my friend to get back from hols, then I hope I can share the Bali photos with you, and a couple of the oldies too.

    Best wishes, Jude
     
  10. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Thanks Bruce

    I hadn't picked up your notes about the A3 sheets before - what a wonderful idea. I will ask my boss if I can print to one of the big printers.

    I'm getting all creative and artistic now - I can see my career moving away from accountancy!

    Kriss:)
     

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