1. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,358
    south-east London
    I'm mentally exhausted from today's events!

    All started well enough, helped hubby get showered and dressed and had tea and toast with him before heading off to work. My adult son was at home to take charge of things during the day and everything was hunky dory.

    Just after 11.15am I got a voicemail on my mobile phone from a care worker who had come across my husband who'd told her he was lost and couldn't find his way home or remember his address. Could I call her back immediately?

    First I rang home to make sure my husband was indeed out and about (the care worker had referred to him by a similar name, but not his actual name).

    My son confirmed that his dad had indeed taken a walk to the local high street (as he does most days). We agreed that son would go and meet hubby once we knew where he is.

    The mobile signal at work is practically non-existent so I rang from the office phone instead but got a message saying that calls to that number were barred!

    I ran around the building trying to find a good signal. Umpteen attempts only met with a constantly engaged signal. Eventually the carer called back but the call kept cutting out. I couldn't hear her directions. I ran back to the office and phoned the care company's head office and they set about trying to contact the carer for me.

    Meanwhile my mobile phone goes off again. This time it is a kind member of the public who has come across my husband. After several calls cut short by the poor signal the chap managed to get my address and said he would take my husband back home and I thanked him profusely, confirming that someone was at home to look after hubby.

    About 15 mins later son texted to say his dad was back home. The kind member of the public was very understanding and said he understood because his own father had dementia.

    I felt so frustrated. It's only in the past 2-3 weeks that I have purchased a tracker for my husband - not because he was getting lost but because his behaviour was becoming more confused and I felt I needed to have something in place just in case. I always try my best to stay at least one step ahead.

    Of course it was Murphy's Law that the charger developed a fault a few days ago and I had to return it. The replacement was due to arrive today - and it did come, but only once all the fun was over!

    It's my husband's second visit to his day centre tomorrow. Last week, on his first day, I had to tell them he needed help with his clothing when visiting the loo (embarrassingly within a few days of telling them he was perfectly fine on his own - such are the sudden changes in this disease!)

    I also assured them he was fine to walk there and back on his own as he made the journey alone most days anyway. Of course, after today, I will have to change those instructions too. I am sure they understand, they know how quickly things change, but I still feel like I am coming across as someone who has no clue what his needs are.

    I knew it was coming, just not when!

    Unfortunately, it does all seem to support the recent Memory Clinic assessment which arrived a couple of days ago, placing my husband into the moderate/severe category.

    Both the Memory Clinic and myself had thought it possible that his downward spiral was the result not being his best on the day, but now it seems it is a true reading of the situation.

    Amazing when you think that this time last year he was only just thought to be entering the moderate stage - now he is at the other end of the scale :(
     
  2. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    All's well that ends well, perhaps?

    Try to hang on to the belief that tomorrow will be a better day ...

    At least while there were plenty of alarms there were no crises.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,552
    Female
    Scotland
    This is very much the pattern of my husband's behaviour. Once wandering begins it will happen again and again. I use a tracker too but mostly I just don't let him out of my sight. You might consider getting a bracelet printed with his name, address, telephone no etc. I have a laminated card in John's wallet which he often studies but of course has never referred to when lost. Something visible like a bracelet might work.

    Good wishes.
     
  4. pony-mad

    pony-mad Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    1,073
    Mid-Wales
    Hi Marian and Lynne,
    Your posts have a familiar ring to them! My husband is very fit- a runner for the last 60 years or so! Last week he went out with my daughter and 4 year old grandson. He set off down a very rural lane. Got lost; we still don't know how, a car stopped and as he couldn't make any sense they assumed he had had a stroke so was whisked off in an ambulance to A and E 30 miles away.
    I have decided that the only option is not to let him out of my sight. I thought about a card in his pocket- he wouldn't think to show anybody! Maybe a bracelet would work better!
    Supposed to be going to day centre for the first time tomorrow!!! Not happy with that but I NEED HIM TO GO!!!!
    Good luck


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  5. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,358
    south-east London
    Yes AlsoConfused it was definitely a blessing that there was no crisis. We are lucky that he came across the right people to help him :)

    Marion, unfortunately my husband would never wear a bracelet or any kind of pendant either for that matter. It's not a man thing with him :)

    Pony-mad, that must have been such a shock for everyone - especially as he ended up so far from home due to well-intentioned folk.

    My husband does have an Alzheimer's card in his wallet with his name, my contact details and his doctor's contact info. I also had my contact number engraved on a dog tag which I added to his keyring a couple of years ago.

    I can only assume he remembered about them because both the carer and member of the public phoned me at work using the contact info. Had the police been called I am pretty sure they would have found the info on him too - and been able to get his address from the doctor's surgery.

    Admittedly he doesn't have any reference to his address on him, I've always avoided that, worried that if he was honed in on by someone who noticed he was an easy target, they might persuade him to let them accompany him home and then get into the house etc.

    However, although my reasoning was valid at one time, I have to admit that it is no longer the case as of this year because he is never on his own at home now anyway. So, as he has now forgotten his address for the first time it makes sense that I adjust my strategy again and put something in his wallet with his address on because he'll probably need something to remind him again as this has happened once now :(

    I am not ready to try and stop him going out and about in his own yet. He loves his walks to the shops and he likes his own company at times, as we all do - and heaven knows the time might come soon enough when he can no longer walk, so I don't want to clip his wings too soon.

    It's so hard isn't it - trying to keep them safe without taking every sense of independence away too soon :confused:

    I was out walking with him earlier and he knew exactly where he was going this time and showed excellent road sense without any input from me.

    I hope, for now at least, that the card info and tracker (now up and running again) will help us monitor the situation adequately without being too intrusive.
     
  6. pony-mad

    pony-mad Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    1,073
    Mid-Wales
    Always trying to stay one step ahead, protecting without taking any remaining vestige of independence. It's a fine line.
    Sometimes I am fed up of this disease dominating my life.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     

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