On a clear day ......

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Yup - that song keeps going thru my mind … today was not a clear day for mum -in fact the mistiest I have ever seen … this afternoon I have gone into ‘panic - need 24-hour care’ mode (mum won’t even have a once-a-day mode other than me) …… this evening she is as lucid and capable as in years …. ‘What are you worrying about?’

Oh, minor details like you are so sleepy sometimes you are oblivious to anyone entering the house because you choose to leave the door unlocked……. developing an OCD …. for boiling potatoes, it seems (she has started to go to the corner shop for a bag of potatoes (along with a bottle of whisky I gather:( ) and systematically boils them (the potatoes not the whisky:eek: ) then throws away the ones she doesn’t want - I wouldn’t mind but I supply all meals … have tried everything to divert her from ever having to turn the cooker on - do I now switch off at the mains switch and deny her yet another task she is currently proud of being able to manage?)

How do others cope with such ‘variability’ - especially when you are responsible for looking after someone living on their own?

On a clear day, I feel I have all things covered - and mum is happy with her independence ….. (as far as she can turn on the TV, the heating and the microwave - although we keep a careful eye on her skills at each) ……

This afternoon, every vulnerability when she is ‘home alone’ screamed out at me ….. but she is NOT vulnerable ALL the time …and sometimes she is far stronger and more able than me!!!!

Any thoughts?

Soz, bad, bad day,

Love Karen, x

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
Co. Durham
Karen, honey,

You sound just like my mum. She has days where everything is hunky dory, Gran was co-operative, although talking gibberish, and she felt calm.

Next day we get the call that Gran's been on the wander. Seems we hadn't thought of something to stop her getting out of the house at night.

We finally get her to understand how to use the microwave to heat her meals so that she doesn't set fire to her food under the grill or in the oven (yes, we've had that dilemma just as you have) and then we discover that she's not remembering to plate the food first, she's putting it in the microwave in the foil tray.

We set the heating so that it's on all day so that she doesn't have to have the fire on anymore (we had to isolate the fire cos she wasn't turning it off properly) then when we come back, the fairies have been twiddling with it, and its only heating the water. She hasn't touched it of course, why will we not believe her?

Gran has now lost more control of her continence, and as a result we go in to find she has taken off wet underwear and has put it on the radiator to dry instead of in the washing basket, so the room stinks of urine.

One of my dad's favourite mottos was "These things are sent to try us."

Never was a truer word spoken.

Tomorrow is another day, hun, put this one behind you.

You're entitled to a bad day.



Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Karen

Yes I have experienced all you say.

I cook all meals for Mum and Dad, have removed cooker, toaster, put in a microwave which Mum can't work, but we can. Still Mum tries to FEED Dad.

There have been many concoctions, mainly with teabags sprinkled on anything, with bread. I find teabags in bedside drawers, jacket pockets, on bread, anywhere.

I have also found bread with lavender soap, bath fizzlers etc.
I have also found flowers on bread, which Mum for lack of anything else, has tried to feed Dad.

It appears that old habits die hard. Mum has to give Dad DIINER :eek:



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Karen, sorry you have had a "panic moment" re your mum's 'care'

You do such a good job in letting mum have her independence. I do hope it is just a blip, and that things get back on a more even keel.

(Just trying to imagine what potatoes would taste like cooked in whiskey)

Take care, love


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hiya Karen

Soz honey, run out of words of wisdom yonks ago, just wanted to say though you are doing a fantastic job with mum. Its impossible to second guess what will happen next, but you come dam near close.

You are a star.

Cate xxxx

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thanks all of you ... I guess what I'm scared of is ... well you know .... one day there is gonna be some awful accident / incident .... and I haven't done enough to prevent it ....

(Connie, think I need some potatoes in whisky for supper myself - promise to swap recipes if it works out!!!! - perhaps mum's on the right track!!!! :) )

Hugs, all, Karen, x


Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
Dear Karen,
you described the last year of my mum living at home to a "T".
We lost several microwaves due to putting cans of food and foil trays in them,countless blackened pots and pans.Always popping to the shop for a little something....but not whisky thank heavens! Mum was obsessional about electric sockets, turning them on an off, and often during the winter she would be sitting freezing cos shed turned the heater off.
The variablity is an hour by hour thing, she would get so cross with me, as yet a little more independance slipped away, but it all comes down to personal safety in the end.
Like you Karen, I kept mum at home , and with as much independance that was safe to give for as long as possible. Guilt is a major factor for us carers throughout AD,but remember without your support and fantastic judgement your mum wouldnt still be at home enjoying her life....and with frequent tots of whisky ,it sounds like she is enjoying it. Good on her, and good on you Karen, youve still got your sense of humour, and as long as youre smiling your coping! :)
Lots of love
Ally xx


Registered User
Mar 12, 2007
I too am living in with someone living on their own, because her need level varies. On a good day, she'll get all indignant that I follow her to the toilet to help her, yet other days she needs to wear incontinence pads...

Some days she's happy to sit in the lounge listening to her music, other days (like today) she's following me everywhere around the house not letting me out of her sight.

Its an odd middle ground where you are at, I just had to let you know Im experiencing similar things with you.... you're not alone... its frustrating and scarey for us too.

About the falling over thing, it'll happen whether or not you are there...so dont let it eat you up...

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Well the song has changed ....

Today it's: 'What a difference a day makes':)

Mum great, animated (to the point of being cheeky!) ..... great news on her scan front (the cancer scare), and I got her to the bathroom scales and have renamed her 'Fatty!' - 8st 1lb!!!!! Yippee!!!!!:) :) :) (Must be the potatoes and whisky doing it!!! ;) )

You're stars all of you - yesterday was such a 'black moment' - thanks for being there ......

Love, Karen, x :)


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
You're stars all of you - yesterday was such a 'black moment' - thanks for being there .........[
Sometimes Karen that's all we can do.......is be there. Glad today was brighter. Love,