1. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Beautiful photos, Ann. After our house fire, the one place I found peace was in the woods around Wimpole Hall (we were close by in a holiday rental for the first two weeks) and that took me right back.

    Grace -- like Ann, I would like to give your outlaws a piece of my mind. You do not need this and I'm sure it is adding to your feeling of exhaustion. Why wouldn't you be emotionally exhausted with that lot and their demands? I'm glad you have made the decision to step back from MiL -- if you're moving someone else has got to step up to the plate. Seems SiL no 1 thinks she's already doing it, so that's good! ;)

    Slugsta - oh, I remember that feeling, too. But time and a sense of urgency or desire not to put others out goes out of the window with dementia and it's stressful to try to haul it back in. Take care.
  2. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    Ann, brilliant news that Mil seems happy in her new home, long may it continue.

    Grace, you are doing the right thing, your in-laws will never be able to see your point of view while their eyes are on the money.
  3. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Afternoon all,

    Ann, I'm so glad that MIL is calm and happy. I do hope it continues but, if not, at least she has had some respite from the awful delusions. I'm also glad that you don't have to chase around getting more clothes for her :)

    Grace, it does seem that bowing out from your Outlaws completely is the only way to go. They are never going to see your point of view, they will continue to moan at you if you just step back a little so going the whole hog is the only way you will free yourself of their toxic presence.

    Stunning photos, thanks for posting them! I hope that the time in that lovely location lifted your spirits. Our heath is looking particularly lovely at the moment, dressed in her autumn finery.

    As I said yesterday, it 's hubby's birthday on Monday, son is coming down for the day tomorrow. Hubby has decided that we will eat 'nibbly' things at home rather than going out, we will bring Mum over for a while but I doubt she will stay long. She veers from 'I wish I could stay with you all the time' to 'I've got to get back now' in moments :rolleyes:

    We haven't told her about the house move, don't know whether she will notice the 'sold' sign outside! My dear husband has decided that she won't notice the difference even if we do move. Now, I know Mum is getting less anchored to reality. However, I feel that even she will notice the difference between a 3 bedroom house I mile away from her and a 2 bedroom flat 3 miles 3 miles away! We will cross that bridge when we come to it.
  4. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    Morning all,

    Thank you Laura, and everyone, glad you liked the pics :) Its a gorgeous place, this time of year especially - hard to go worng taking pictures there. And yes, Red - it did me so much good to spend that hour there - I know that we often head off to the zoo or the coast as a family, and I love that - but I'd forgotten just how nice it sometimes is for me to be by myself, just ambling along and concentrating on the photography and what's around me.

    Slugsta, Happy Birthday to your Hubby for tomorrow - getting the birthday wishes in early, as I'm off to South Wales at just after 5.30a.m. in the morning, and doubt I'll get chance to post then! I hope he has a lovely day and enjoys his nibbles at home :)

    I wonder if your Mum will notice the move when it happens? I doubt Mil would - even before she went into hospital, it wasn't unusual for us to bring her home from DC, or even just a trip to the shops, and the house that we have lived in for over 20 years, that she had lived in for nearly 3 years, was completely unfamiliar to her and she would ask 'Where is this place? Why are we stopping here?'. In the hospital, even after she had been there for several months, she would often be certain that she was there for her first day in a new job, that she had never been there before. I can't imagine how disorientating and scary that must have been for her at times :(

    We phoned the home yesterday afternoon and got the all clear to visit. She had been a 'bit tetchy' before lunch, but they told us, she seemed very settled and calm now, so off we went. Found her sitting in the large lounge area, watching the rugby. She was pleased to see us, but no really big reaction - which is always good, actually - if she is at all 'over-emotional', tearful, overly-relieved or overly-happy to see us, then going on how it was at the hospital, we sort of know that she will be edging towrds agitated for the whole visit. OH suggested - as the telly was very loud - that we move over to the dining area so we could chat. Mil informed us that she would have to get someone to 'watch her', gesturing to a lady sat next to her, saying that she 'couldn't just leave her, you know!'. She was quite bossy, ordering a near-by staff to 'keep and eye' - but fair play, straight faced he played along and assured her he would take care of the other lady. Mil seemed to struggle getting out of her seat, and leaned heavily on her frame when walking, but we got her settled at a table in the dining area. I have no idea where she thought she was, or why she thought she was there. The first thing she did was tell us off, asking sternly 'And where did you two vanish to this afternoon?'. OH told her we had to run a few errands, and she seemed content with that. Her conversation was all over the place, lots of confabulation (as per usual) but all quite disjointed and some things she said were quite nonsensical - about how she had had to style her own hair that morning, before she had even woken up, because everyone else was busy. She kept looking towards the telly - she used to religeously watch rugby if Ireland were playing, but I don't think she ever really understood the game, often talking after a match about how many 'goals' Ireland had scored, lol - but she seemed quite fascinated. OH asked her who she was supporting, Austrailia or Wales? Australia, she said, because they had been singing Irish songs and saying Irish prayers before they played - so clearly, watching rugby was still somehow associated with supporting Ireland in her head. She talked about how she had decided to go back to college/school. She told me that she liked the way I had 'back combed' her hair for her earlier, then switched that to what a good job my Mum had done, setting her hair. Lost count of how many times she asked us about 'Ann and S***' - had we seen them? Did we hear what they said earlier? Had we been to their house? Did we know if her Dad was at their house? OH got his phone out and took a selfie of himself and Mil - when he held the phone out, to show her the picture, she looked at it and called him a 'Daft s*d' - that woman looked like May Mullan, not her, she said - and hadn't May gone to look old? She absolutely did not recognise herself. OH asked her how old she was. She very firmly told us she was 16 last birthday.

    She was quite 'detached' with us - we've noticed this several times lately - its as though she still realises she knows us, but not that we are related or close to her, more like we are just aquaintences. In a way, this is better for her - we think it reduces the odds of her getting upset when we leave. But, it is a bit of a sucker punch, to realise that she is losing that sense of us being family.

    While she was chatting to OH, I went to her room - I'd said that I'd like to check her case before it was unpacked, explaining how much of her stuff seemed to be missing from the hospital. The case contained 1 nighty, the bottoms to 1 pair of pj's and the tops to 2 more pairs. Only one dressing gown, only one of her new bra's, 2 bra's that didn't belong to her, 4 tops and just one pair of trousers. Thankfully, Paddy (the leprachaun toy) turned up, wrapped like a mummy in loo paper, in one of her toiletry bags - but the two other teddies she had taken to the hospital were gone, as were about half the new toiletries I'd bought (no way could she have used them all since I'd taken them in). Two really nice cardigans are also missing, approximately 5 pairs of trousers and I think around half a dozen tops. :mad:

    I went back to join OH and Mil, bringing the now empty case - I hoped that it not being there will discourage Mil's 'packing' - and she never even commented on it. In total, we stayed for about an hour, before she started on the 'Are you going to miss your bus?' and we decided to leave. At this point, the anxiety kicked in and she thought she was coming with us. OH gently explained about her being in 'sheltered accomodation' and she sort of accepted it, but she was clearly very confused. We made a quick exit. As we left the lounge, despite the difficulties she seemed to have walking when we arrived, we saw her leap up like a ruddy spring lamb and start after us - minus frame and moving like Zola Budd! The senior very quickly directed another staff to intercept, pointing out that Mil didn't have her frame - and we left. We needed to check that the hospital had sent the 'This is me' document for Mil, as they were supposed to, as I'd been asked about it, so headed for the office. We could hear Mil shouting our eldest daughters name, sounding quite frantic - we also heard a member of staff reassuring her, thankfully.

    The hospital hadn't sent the 'This is Me' stuff, so I said I'd email a copy when I got home. The assistant manageress said that Mil hadn't been too difficult. She had been demanding home before lunch and when she found she couldn't get out, she had been banging on tables and shouting - however when the lunch came out, she had tucked into it - albeit she insisted on eating standing up! After that she had calmed down. Once again, we were quite reassured that she seemed to fully understand just how difficult Mil can be - and is very confident that they can handle it at the home.

    So - all pretty good, I think, so far, in terms of her settling. We are prepared for her to kick off at some stage, when the hostess mode wears off completely - but the home are also prepared for that and their confidence in their ability to cope with that happening is very reassuring.

    Seeing Mil in that setting was difficult for us both. The staff we saw were lovely with the residents, seemed very competent and there has clearly been an effort to make the place cheery and comfy - but there is no getting away from the fact that its a residential home. And thats the last place we ever wanted to see Mil - which I guess is pretty much the case for each and every one of us who have had to accept that residential care is the best and only option for the person we love. We know fully just how 'impaired' (the hospitals rather blunt term) Mil is because of the dementia, but seeing her amongst some 20-odd other people, all similarly affected (or worse) and realising that she doesn't stand out, that she is really that ill now, was somehow another one of those 'kicks' that you think you are prepared for, but aren't really. I guess we have to stop looking at it through our eyes, though, and look at it through Mil's - all the things that we find 'awful', the institutional feel, the obvious impairments around us, the lack of privacy, the enforced routine, the lack of independence - Mil is oblivious to all that, she actually finds 'normal' family home life harder to cope with and her needs are now best met by 'professionals' who won't be as exhausted as we were, trying to care. OH and I just have to make the adjustment and come to terms with all that in our heads.

    I'll probably visit again On Tuesday afternoon - OH is back on a week of nights, and with everything else I have on this week, if I don't get there on Tuesday, it will be either Friday or Sunday before i get a chance to visit again. We have agreed that the aim will be to vist twice a week , 3 times if we can manage it - but iof there are weeks wehn we only get there once, we are not going to beat ourselves up about it (Yeah - right :rolleyes: )

    Hope you all have a good day xxxxx
  5. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    Ann great she is settling. She does remind me so much of mum.
    Especially with the job part. I am glad they are confident of coping with her and any issues.
    BTW it is flipping freezing in London :)
  6. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Evening all,

    Ann, it does sound as if MIL is settling really well, which is very good to hear! I can understand that seeing her there is very difficult for you - as if the knowledge that she no longer realises your relationship to her :(

    I'm glad that Paddy the leprechaun turned up - but still very angry, on your behalf, about the other missing belongings :mad: Let's hope that things are less prone to disappear in the home.

    I really hope you will be able to keep that promise to not beat yourself up if you are not able to visit as much as you would like. It doesn't seem as if MIL would be distressed by your absence - which is both good (for her) and upsetting (for you).

    Many thanks for the birthday withes for hubby. We had a nice time with son, we also had Mum here for a couple of hours and she did very well. I thought we had got away with it but, at the very last minute as we got into the car to take her home, she noticed the 'sold' sign outside and commented. I made a non-committal reply and changed the subject. Knowing Mum, this is something she will remember! :rolleyes: The way she is at the moment, I believe she would notice if we were in a different house - but I know it will not always be that way :(

    Spamar, I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow (((hugs)))
  7. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Ann, thank you for the lovely photos. The fall colours here are hit-or-miss this year, but when they hit, they knock it out of the park. Thank you for reminding me to slow down and look at them.

    I know the care home is not what you and DH wanted, and I understand that. I also know it's distressing, these transitions, no matter how good/okay/necessary they are.

    I do have to say that while I don't know if your MIL can ever be happy (as I'm unsure my mother can be happy, due to the dementia), that the staff at the new care home sound pretty good. Maybe even better than pretty good. I feel that is a positive sign, and will hold out hope that MIL will settle as much as possible. It's GOT to be better than the hospital, in terms of environment. (I always wondered, if the sterile hospital environment contributed to some of MIL's delusions and confabulations, but I suppose it's impossible to know.) And of course we are all anxious to hear how they get on with the washing!

    I was moved to tears by various parts of your story. It really is challenging, on so many levels, and I am so, so sorry.

    Sending birthday wishes to Mister Slugsta!
  8. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I popped in to see Mum this morning, my new routine for Monday mornings. She was happy to let me escort her to the bathroom and readily admitted that she was wet. I don't know how/why she had managed it, but the pad of her pull-ups was in bits, wet gel stuff stuck to her skin and falling all over the floor as she took them off :confused:

    I know that she will try to remove the pad part of the pull-ups as if to change pads so I wonder if that is what happened? I'll never know so won't worry about it unless it becomes a common occurrence.

    It's certainly turned cold here, scarves and gloves needed. I'd rather have it cold and sunny than warm and wet though.
  9. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Can I make a suggestion to all who regularly visit on a certain day.

    Try not to go on a regular day, for instance, a Tuesday, like I did for mum

    May be it's just me, and it works out for others in the end, but I mostly visited on a Tuesday for nearly 4 years. The day was a permanent fixture in my diary.

    I'm kind of dreading next Tuesday. I'm trying to plan something else for that day, so far I can't think of anything else to do....

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  10. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    ((((Hugs)))) 2jays. Thinking of you. I'll be at the dentist! How about that as an option?
  11. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Also sending (((((hugs))))) to you, 2jays. That's so obvious when you point it out, but I wouldn't have thought of it on my own; thank you for mentioning it.

    I will be in line/a queue at the polls today; you could come and keep me company!

    Could you plan: coffee or lunch with a friend, a mini day out for yourself somewhere you enjoy going, a walk somewhere, a shopping expedition, a matinee of a film, a gallery or museum, a mini day out to somewhere you've never been, a trip to the library for a pile of books, go get a massage or a manicure? Visit a pub or restaurant you've never been to? Get on a random bus and see where it goes? Accomplish some errand that's been on your list for a long time? Or maybe you could set a new Tuesday routine, like a regular coffee/lunch date with a friend? Take a class to learn something new, online or otherwise?
  13. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    Thank you for your suggestions Amy

    :D I would have to drive a very long way to find a pub I haven't been too :eek: :D

    I've just fallen and smacked my knee hard on the ground. In temper.....

    Now mum has died, suddenly social services are getting involved with stuff. :rolleyes:

    Phone from snotty, officious person from Social Services who asked for me by mis-pronunciation of my surname.

    Said there is no 2jays Block here, I'm 2jays Blog

    They said, very clearly and snottily, and I quote, "You must have got that wrong, it says 2jays Block here, no it doesn't, you are right, it's 2jays Blog

    [raised hackles from me] I know I'm right, it's my name. what do you wish to talk about?

    I want to speak about mummy 2jays and discuss a legal meeting for you to attend....

    [raging anger from me] if you had done your job properly, and kept up to date with the legal stuff, you would know that my mother died

    Whimpering apologies, of

    Oooooh my god, I sooooo sorry, I'm really sorry....

    I slammed phone down, stomped off to the garden, fell over step and OUCH!

    That will teach me to hold my temper I guess :D

    Good luck at the polls

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  14. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Hope your knee is OK.

    I would have had a good rant at them. Then probably still tripped over.

    Amy - hope your queuing goes well. I've never had to queue when voting - but I do vote on principal (suffragettes died to get us the vote).

    I think it is fairly unavoidable to have a fixed routine over visiting sometimes, eg I don't work on a Thursday so that is the day I visit mum.

    there will always be some trigger, doesn't make it any easier.
  15. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    Sorry to hear about your knee, are you doing RICE?

    Even sorrier to hear about your phone call, that must have been so hard and hurtful. Hugs xx
  16. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    When the lady came selling poppies, I picked one up, and fiddled to get some money. 'Do you only want the one? She said. I replied through gritted teeth, there is only one person living in this house. She just didn't apologise! She only lives up the road, so must have know OH died over a year ago!
    The one I did buy, I lost the first time I wore it. I've now got one that I have clipped to my handbag, very smart! And from a much friendlier cafe!
  17. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Voting accomplished! And only the usual routine, no queue. I timed it for mid-morning as the poll workers tell me that's usually the quietest time of day. They do get waits with the before-and-after work crowd. No silliness or protestors or any of that rubbish that the media so enjoy overstating. Of course, I live in a very average neighborhood in a very average city so that might have something to do with it. I plan to avoid the media/news/stupidity as much as possible today.
  18. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    2jays, sorry about your knee and the stupid person on the phone. I well remember those sorts of calls and letters after my father died and it was always horrid, like a knife in the gut.

    Anytime I have to deal with someone stupid or rude or obstructive, I find myself hoping that when they need help dealing with an ill relative, they encounter only people who are just as (un)helpful, as they have been to me.
  19. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    No wonder you lost your temper 2jays - falling over after it is the kind of thing I would have done too!:rolleyes:
  20. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User


    (((2jays))) It sounds as if hurting your knee was just about the last straw :( Yes, RICE should help if you can.

    Spamar, hope the dentist goes/has gone well.

    Well done for getting the polling done and dusted Amy. I do agree that, as women, we have a duty to exercise our hard won ability to vote. However, I do it by post these days, which makes it so much easier!

    I always swore that I would not visit Mum on the same day each time. Many years ago, Mum and I got into the habit of visiting my grandparents on a Saturday afternoon and it got so that there was an argument if we wanted to do something else that day. However, she goes to DC on a Tuesday and Thursday so that is rather limiting! I could go on Sunday instead of a Monday - but it suits me to pop in on the way back from aquagym on a Monday morning. I expect the routine will change again if we manage to get another day at DC for Mum.

    Did I tell you that Mum had 2 new hearing aids on Tuesday - and had lost one of them by Friday morning? :rolleyes:

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