Got to the care home about 2.30, expecting to find him somewhere in the scheduled concert in the next ward. But the rec staff said they tried but he was sleeping.
I went in to the ward anyway, just kind of hoping to sit with him awhile. Didn’t realize they meant sleeping in the dining room.
To my surprise he was standing, in the semi dark, wavering, wavering, his eyes kind of closed, saying “I don’t know, I don’t know” with his buddy, another guy in the ward, weaving in and out around him.
Seriously an invitation for … a fall for one or both of them.
First step was to get some … cognition? awareness? buy in?
After a few passes, literally, he sort of opened his eyes and saw or felt me and held me in a long close hug, eyes still closed, saying “oh thank god you’re here.”
Then he was off again. Asleep on his feet. Gone away. I tried to entice him to come with me but he no longer knew me and stood stubbornly; I understood him be saying that the chair he was grabbing was what he wanted, “I will be fine here.” His safety.
It took a while and an aweful lot of sweet talk but eventually step by step by negotiated step I got him into his room. And with a slight bit more effort into bed. About 5 minutes later he was snoring and sleeping still 4 hours later as I write this.
The quality of care is mostly excellent, and the casual care staff who helped was totally excellent but this was an accident averted because I was there at the right time.
I can’t always be there. Accidents will always happen, especially with dementia – the journey into the great unknown – but sometimes they can be averted. That is, as I see it, surely the care home’s job.