Monthly Archives: September 2020

Don at his new care home

I know many of you lovely friends and readers wonder how things are going since, about 3 weeks ago, we, Don and me, moved to a new care home, one which has shown an interest in dementia care.

Moving a dementia victim is so very iffy, and leaving longtime dear friends behind is heart-breaking, but it does appear he is thriving!

Of course I have no real idea, except staff reports, what is actually happening in his life because i am locked out due to Covid. And I am afraid to get too comfy too soon.

BUT there are indicators. Apparently he rarely fights “care” and once apologised because, he said, “I’m sorry, I panicked.” Wow. Just wow.

By staff reports, he has only had one “bed day” in 2 weeks.???? That was yesterday, and i never expected him to be up today for our visit. 

But Yes, the person who answered the phone said, about an hour before that precious 30 minute visit: I saw him dancing with a care aide not long ago.

When i got to the visiting room, he was sitting very comfortably in a new “tilt” wheelchair, ordered for him.

He had a lot to say…

So I asked him, Do you like this place? and he said Oh yes. But once out of 4 over the 4 visits we have had, he said No, and by now he does not know it is a new place or what i was asking.

“I love you,” he said, and over the course of the 30 minutes, amid a whole whack of incomprensible stuff, he had somehow figured out that this was a good place and, authoritatively,  “I will sleep on that side.” On the side of me that he always slept on.

 ummmm just ummm okaaay,  my dearest heart. 

I stroked his cheek, and he snarled like the hound,  a long-standing character from his boyhood in our relationship.  I drew back, and he smiled and said, “I was just funning.” 

Very alert and active. He jerked his lovely new chair, with the brakes on, but no belt because i cannot bear him confined and his spirit broken, away from the table, determined to stand up and explore! 

Fortunately, it was hard to get his legs, the foot rests, and the table legs all disentangled, and i kept encouraging him to sit back. Had to push hard and stroke and cuddle a few times before he sat back, for 2 or 3 minutes before he was struggling to get up again. 

It was against The Rules for either of us to stand up and walk. 

Of course i would much rather walk around with him holding hands and hugging as we used to do, pre-covid. Or even in the other place where, as I was an essential visitor, we were allowed to walk around in a special room. 

But that is against the rules. Words fail, and i will say nothing, because these precious minutes are what we have. 

I think it is on Dr. Henry to figure out that these “health measures” are putting thousands and thousands of seniors through torture. 

But that is a bigger and different issue.

Here and now,  I will put on the record that he has seen, and I have talked to, more specialists, PT, OT, dietitian in the last 3 weeks than in the past 4.5 years.

And if the smoke clears we can go outside for a walk in 2 days, for the next 30 minute visit. 







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The long awaited visit was a bit of a wash.

Almost a week after i moved my so-sick darling to a different care home, and after glowing accounts of how well he was doing, well, the social visit today was … not good.

He had, according to the phone reports, been up on his own for 4 days! extraordinary,  and usually that means he needs to sleep for many many hours, because it is exhausting for him. I would not have been surprised if he slept all day and night. I would have been very disappointed to not see him, but not surprised.

But the rec people said they saw him at lunch so he was up.

After some wait,  a very unemotive efficient young guy delivered him to the visiting room. He was in a wheelchair, as all the visited were, legs sticking out and diaper (i copped a feel) kind of weird.

Mostly asleep,  head hanging out of the back of the wheelchair badly, and then raving, …. gently…,  out of it. Even for him who is to be honest, actually always out of it. There are degrees of out of it.

At one point threw back his head and sang, gloriously. Had a lot to say, between naps, but so disoriented.

Without being able to hold and hug him, caress him, i could not reassure him and slowly ground him.

Not to judge this place, because i have not been able to do this crucial body language mostly for months now, due to the Covid imprisonment of elders.

We always knew care homes had big problems, but who ever imagined society would happily make them into prisons, pretending it was for the elders’ good.

He knows me, or knew me 2 weeks ago, with body language and a full body hug. And then he had that glorious smile.

Not allowed in this new situation. Not allowed to stand up and walk around, and then when it is right, hug properly.

That is how we communicate in his particular dementia, walk around a bit until he centres (well, as he can), hold hands, and then hug, touch, love for few minute or two, until it all passes out of his memory again. Or does it?

And the, even more worrying, 3 messages on the ward answering machine, unanswered. Very frightening.

I think he likes this new place, answered Yes! loudly when i asked, but whether he understood is a conundrum.

Tonight, fearful, i wonder, What kind of mistake did i make? Or did i? Is there any good place for dementia?



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