1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Please don't throw me away, breaking my promise

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by kindred, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    What a day! Talk about day for a daydream. It started off ordinarily enough except that my friend Nick came to see Keith with me and stayed all morning. He works as a porter now he's retired but was an SRN and psychicatric nurs tutor as well, and it's lovely to see him fall into nurse mode when he comes to the home. The carers like him a lot and he comes quite often. Happy atmosphere and Keith downstairs and dressed in pink striped shirt. We sung songs with Keith although he was a bit tired, probably as a result of being so bouncy recently. Suddenly the home was full of families visiting and a lot of energy and laughter. Both the activity nurses were there, which I did not expect on a Bank Holiday (and no, it's not double time). We did a lot of quizzes and songs and THEN it was announced that in the afternoon we would be having ....
    Answers on a postcard guys ---


    A BREAK DANCING DEMONSTRATION

    And this would only be a taster for a full exhibition of this on Friday (which unfortunately I can't go to owing to running my church group). So I stayed until late afternoon for this, and it was to be given by one of our kitchen attendants. I helped clear the lounge of tables etc but the due time came ... and went. So I went into the kitchen and found our break dancer cleaning the bins. I explained that I only had a short time and I had been longing to see this all day, so out he came.

    OMG it was amazing, astounding stuff, we all cheered and laughed and the residents loved it. I have never seen live break dancing before.
    Keith slept through, unfortunately ...
    AND THEN one of the African nurses got up and did her own demonstration of break dancing ... we all cheered and clapped ...
    One of those days, guys, one of those days ...
    Thank you. all my love and best, Geraldinexxxx
     
  2. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Arrive to a seminar on anniseed balls. Followed by one on rock and roll. We can understand the rock bit but where does the roll come in?
    Keith announces that he is drinking his tea backwards, he feels this is a triumph.
    Feathers are passed around and birdsong put on the speakers. This resonates with the astonishing book I have just finished reading: The Feather Thief. This is the first book I have read in gulps for five years.
    Now the sounds of nature are waterfalls and the activity nurse asks us to imagine we are in Wales. Keith comes to life. We spent so many holidays in North Wales.
    Short seminar about why London Bridge was falling down ...No satisfactory explanation put forward.

    Then return to North Wales.
    I stand behind Keith, rub his shoulders and tell him he is my beloved blue eyed boy and he says, ready to break your hearts, guys. I was, but that was a long time ago. I protest that he is now and will be forever and he says that is very likely ...
    There is so much energy in the group this morning, the activity nurse is amazing. When she goes for a break, the energy continues, and the birdsong continues on the speakers. One of the residents says I'M HUNGRY and others join in and I'm feeling naughty so I lead a chorus of WHY ARE WE WAITING? Followed by Lloyd George knew my father ... And when the dinner trolley came in we all gave such a loud cheer.
    I could stay there forever, can't wait to get back tomorrow.
    Thanks guys, all my love. Kindred aka Geraldinexxxx
     
  3. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    387
    Female
    High Peak
    @kindred Geraldine, you never cease to amaze me. I can't wait to get out of mum's care home. I wish I could visit her in the same spirit you visit Keith. But I can't. I just can't :(
     
  4. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Sweetheart, I do understand, really I do. Never imagine I'm not heartbroken, I am, it's like being met with fresh trauma every time I see Keith. Remember his nursing home is very much about families and we are met with cups of tea and welcomed into a kind of family who love us. I do observe that people visiting their mothers often get far more emotional and sad than those visiting their husbands or wives. There is something about a disabled mother that is so so poignant and sad. I know as I had one, as did Keith.
    with love and so good to hear from you. Geraldinexx
     
  5. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,255
    Good to see you getting back on form. Xxx
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    Geraldine I love reading your accounts of visits to see Keith, I can see why you say it is like being in a family. My mother's CH is brilliant but the activities are very tame compared to what you describe! Best wishes to you and Keith, hope he is on good form next time you visit.
     
  7. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    In I go and today's seminar is on how many cups of tea qualifies for the word enough. Quite a philosophical one that, so not surprised when it kind of ends up in everyone who is awake demanding another cup ...
    Keith sleepy but looking so beautiful. Give him his cup of tea but he blows bubbles through the straw instead of sucking. This has been happening for several weeks: he usually rights himself fairly quickly.
    No activity nurses so I do a bit of singing and several residents take it upon themselves to make me giggle. They succeed!
    short seminar on ants, followed by longer seminar on donkeys at the seaside.
    As I leave, Keith calls after me, there's still life left ...
    Fair enough, darling blue eyed, fair enough!
     
  8. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    meant to say thank you for all your wonderfully encouraging posts, helps me no end, believe me.
    all love, Geraldinexxxx
     
  9. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,255
  10. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    OK, a day of mixed fortunes.
    First off, I had to go to work this morning and called a taxi as I work on the top of a VERY HIGH HILL and it is still too much for my hip. Taxi driver a young black guy playing JAZZ on his player. I identified it and said loved it and used to be jazz singer in band once (well few times at Uni). We had amazing conversation about jazz singing and ended up with me singing Summertime jazz version to him singing a kind of jazzy percussion underneath!
    So all good there, but THEN when got to K home, you guessed, THE LIFT HAD BROKEN DOWN. Haul self up to Keith's room to find the nurses had been on the point of bringing him down when the lift menace struck ... engineers called.
    Pigeon sounding off outside K window and I said it sounded a bit like Frankie Howard and K said I like him!
    Then the lift got working again, but five minutes later it broke down and engineer recalled ...
    Seminar on Doris Day in progress, followed by seminar on webbed feet.
    Eventually got K down and told him about the lift. He said we should get a man in ... well yes ...
    Played seated games, including seated basket ball and the home handyman came in and did a fun imitation of basketball and we all applauded. I love it when everyone joins in like this.
    When left, almost turned back to go inside again ... I miss blue eyed boy the minute I leave him.

    Thanks guys, more anon.
    I love your encouraging messages.
    Love Geraldinexxx
     
  11. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,591
    West Midlands
    A day of mixed fortunes indeed :)

    I hear you. xxxx
     
  12. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Oh thank you so very much. Thank you and I love your jays name. Kindredxx
     
  13. Sad Staffs

    Sad Staffs Registered User

    Jun 26, 2018
    676
    Female
    Oh Geraldine, I love your posts. You make me feel part of your life... I feel I know you, and I’m so happy about that.
    A jazz singer, pink sparkly high heels, and I have wondrous thoughts of the fab life you and Keith have had, and still have, even though our lives don’t turn out as anticipated.
    You really should write a book...
    I used to be a proof reader if ever the need arises!!!
    I’m sure the seminar on Doris Day was very interesting. I have always loved her films, and she was so beautiful. I’m hoping they will have a deluge of her films for me to record.
    But, Calamity Jane has to be the best ever.
    Please take care....
    With much love, Bxx
     
  14. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,255
    What a day, you made me smile. X
     
  15. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Thank you with all heart for your beautiful replies, so much appreciated, so much, believe me.
    The faraway look in Keith's eyes continues and I know I am going to lose him one way or the other. That's why I've been a bit quiet lately. Determined to make the very best of our times together. I had a strange magic feeling (not thinking as am not a fantasist) that when I got better from the hip, somehow Keith would be better too.

    So today when I go in there's a sleepy atmosphere but a seminar on paddling pools and whether half a biscuit tastes the same as a whole one.
    Keith looks lovely in blue shirt and I ask him, can you see me and he says good God yes ...
    Inspired by the Dementia choir programme, we are planning our own choir and are choosing the repertoire at the moment, so I led some practice in that. One resident sang I'm forever blowing bubbles loudly with me. And i said listen to that great singing! I'm glad you know the song AND she then said loudly HOW DO YOU KNOW I KNOW THE SONG ....
    Indeed.

    Some practice of nursery rhymes and another resident claims she wrote all of them and knows what they are about, plus some very interesting and original explanations. Blue eyes laughed aloud in the middle of one of them and I rushed to explain he was not laughing at her ... Even though she was saying that she paid the cow that jumped over the moon to do it as a dare ...
    Well guys, why not!!!

    Love and best, Kindred, aka Geraldinexxxxx
     
  16. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,591
    West Midlands
    Ethereal seems like a possible word to use for my understanding of today’s experiences you have had... but I’m not necessarily convinced it’s exactly the right word

    I hear you

    I hear you in the magical way you describe today and it’s many variations of reality that exists and causes smiles..... and yet it is such a different reality

    If you can, keep on joining that reality even tho I’m so sure it’s not easy to do so xxxx
     
  17. anxious annie

    anxious annie Registered User

    Jan 2, 2019
    112
    Hii Geraldine
    Hope things are going well with your choir rehearsals, I'm sure everyone will enjoy the performance. I hope things are improving with your hip too, and Keith is able to enjoy your time together.
    I'm just starting the process about looking into care homes ( mum is ok at home at the moment .... just, but I want to be prepared for the Autumn, as fear mum would struggle with another Winter at home. I have had some good advice from Canary about what to look for, but what id really like is a "Keith & Kindred" home , but feel that they are few and far between xx
     
  18. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Oh sweetheart, so good to hear from you. Just back from K's home and will write the events in a minute. Love and best, Kindred, Geraldinexxxxz
     
  19. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Oh how lovely, thank you, thank you. Gxxxx
     
  20. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    2,146
    Had to work three days this week, so not been to K's and the reception I got from staff and residents was wonderful, cries of where were you, we thought we'd lost you ... (I had told them, of course, but there).
    And while at work on those three days, questions, questions. Implications that Keith hanging on (their expression) was worse than simply dying. Really?? OK, I am a widow with visiting privileges but I can see him, stroke his arm, be with him ...
    Anyway, in I go today in the middle of a seminar on Jammy Dodgers. Followed by one on what can give you a headache and what can cure a headache. One resident shouted CAMELS in the middle of the latter part, an interesting choice of course.
    This was followed by a quiz in which I felt obliged to dance up and down the floor pretending to be an ostrich with a big bum.
    And an interesting discussion of Is the sun a star?
    Blue eyes not saying much but reaching for my hand which is nice.
    Our final seminar was on the wisdom or otherwise of Cinderella wearing glass slippers, and how health and safety which never allow that now ...
    When I leave, blue eyes tells me I am exactly what he would expect.
    Of course, blue eyed one, of course.
     

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