Respite at last!

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog but some things have happened in that time.

The meeting with my mum’s doctor took place, as previously arranged. My mum was quite emotional during the meeting as she heard things about her behaviour which she didn’t like. We didn’t want to leave her out of the meeting as we felt it was important she heard all we had to say and that she had a say in what was agreed. Having said that, my mum just wants to stay in her house. She doesn’t like people coming in to look after her and she doesn’t want to go into a care home. However, during the course of discussions, she did evetually come round to the fact that my dad needed some “me” time in order to continue being able to look after her at home.

One of the things we wanted from the meeting was an update on what stage my mother’s dementia was at. No one has every told us this, despite the fact that she has been assessed on several occasions. We were advised that currently she is “moderate”, which I think is somewhere in the middle of the stages of dementia. My mum has never taken an interest in reading about her illness, preferring the “stick your head in the sand” approach and hoping it will go away. However, we were given lots of booklets and one of them was for people living with dementia. To my surprise my mum actually read it. This is the first time that she has ever acknowledged the fact she actually has dementia and was a bit of a breakthrough.

I have to say the Doctor and nurses who were present at the meeting were all very nice and couldn’t have been more helpful. We didn’t feel rushed, they answered all our questions and were only too happy to provide us with useful phone numbers and contacts.

The outcome of the meeting is that my mum now goes to a day centre, which is actually just round the corner from where she lives, twice a week. Monday’s and Friday’s are the days, which means my dad is never more than 3 days without respite. She goes in around 9.30 am and comes home around 3.30 pm. It is a brand new building, only open a few years and looks like a four star hotel inside! She has been a couple of times now and they seem to be well organised. She even managed to have her hair cut which takes the stress of having to go to the hairdressers away from her.

I was quite happy that she had settled well and my dad was now having some time to himself. However, I dropped her off last Friday because my dad had an appointment to attend. I picked her up from the house, drove her to the day centre, saw her settled in, promptly turned to leave and burst into tears! I still can’t believe we are at the stage where my mum requires to go into a day centre.


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