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Wandering

kat5177

Registered User
Jul 30, 2013
2
0
My Mum is a very physically fit 81 year old. She is currently in 2 weeks respite care. The main reason that she is in respite care is because she gets confused with the time. Her normal week when she is at home (she lives alone) is Monday Wednesday and Thursday with me at work. She used to help out in the office but increasingly is struggling. Tuesday and Sunday with friends at their house, Fridays at the Day Centre and Saturdays out with me. If her friends are doing something else she then spends the time with me. She no longer cooks and does not eat unless it is put in front of her. She can navigate around her local area by bus and walking. The big problem that we have is despite having a dementia clock telling her the time of day, clocks that tell her the time and notices around the house telling her if she is unsure of the time to telephone either me or a friend she just goes out of the house at strange times to either go to friends, the day centre or to work to me. These episodes are becoming more frequent and we now have a personal tracker so that we can find her. She is collected to go to the day centre but will not wait for the mini bus so arrives at the day centre sometimes in the evening, sometimes at 6am in the morning. She arrives at my place of work 10 miles away at 9 pm. When I found that she was missing from home 3 weeks ago and tracked her by the time I had reached her waiting in the bus stop she had been offered a lift by a man she did not know and he had taken her home. The police later rang me (they had my telephone number from when she went missing last winter at 11pm) because the man had telephoned the because she was so confused.

Since she has been in respite care the social worker has been trying to find sheltered accommodation with no success because of the wandering. There is only one place in the area that will take her and they have no vacancies. I have a meeting on Thursday with the social worker and care home. She has improved a lot while in the care home and she is now eating three meals a day and biscuits in between. How they have managed it I don't know she has always eaten next to nothing. She seems to be a lot more with it and has started doing the crosswords with me again and playing cards. When she went into the home I was told that she was far too well for this to be a place for her permanently. Last night when I visited she told me she was going home at the weekend she didn't like the people, only liked the staff (they let her clear tables, sweep up and fold laundry. Work is very important to her) and had had enough of being in there.

I have no idea what we will do, she clearly does not want to stay there, the staff and social worker say she is far too able for a care home but if she goes home she will only eat when I put it in front of her, she will not entertain outside agencies bringing meals in. Her neighbours tell me her wandering is getting worse and that she has sometimes put herself in danger crossing the road. I was pinning my hopes on the sheltered accommodation a mile away from me but they won't take her because they operate an open door policy. In many ways she is very able but she no longer seems able to keep her self safe and thwarts the safeguards we put into place to help her. She has a diary to tell her what she is doing each day but will not use it, we had a system in place that she waited for me to ring her each morning at about 6.30 but now she will not wait in the house until then. She is very strong willed. I am sorry this is such a ramble but I don't know what to do. I agonised about sheltered accommodation because of taking her out of her familiar environment but she is not managing on her own at home. I dread Thursday's meeting because there does not seem to be a solution that will keep her safe and happy.

Kathy
 

trickytrace

Registered User
Jul 30, 2013
1
0
Hi Kathy
I have only just found this site today. My mum has been suffering from dementia for a couple of years. I can understand your dilemma. You want to do what your mum wants and because your mum is physically fit, it is difficult to make decisions about her care needs just solely based on her mental capacity to understand time. It also seems that her capacity to understand the danger associated with walking/travelling alone and who is trustworthy and these are the real issues, as time is not really that important (it's a man made thing!!!). I think if people with dementia are able to live in their own world for as long as possible (as long as its a safe world) that seems to be the best for their happiness. Unfortunately it seems that even if you solved the time problem the other issues would manifest in another way.
My mum has a sensor on her front and back door that calls a "care on call" service when mum opens the door and the telephone operator shouts out to see if mum is ok. This is only activated at 9pm at night as mum hasnt wandered out during the day yet.
Tracy
 

kat5177

Registered User
Jul 30, 2013
2
0
Thank You for the information Tracey. So as soon as your mum opens the doors between certain hours her telephone rings to tell her not to go out. Is that how it works? My social worker has talked about sensors on the doors but did not seem to think that they would work for her but I think I should talk to him again.

Kathy