Does anyone remember Shirley Valentine?
She was a creation of Willy Russell, based on chats with clients in the hairdressing Salon.
Shirley’s husband was so unresponsive to her chatter that she felt she would do just as well talking to the wall!!
Married to someone who is also unresponsive to any kind of discussion due to the fact that his brain is rapidly shrinking thanks to Dementia, I feel much like Shirley.
One cannot reason with a Dementia sufferer, one has to give instructions in short phrases, one has to tell them to do something in very simple language. one has to revert to the language used with small children.
it is extremely challenging and requires a great deal of patience, especially when it is 0100 hours and they are wondering about the house in the dark, have got up 2 hours previously , decided it was morning and made breakfast. One cannot sleep even though one is dog tired.
another challenging situation is when he has to get dressed, or even later when he decides he needs to change what he is wearing. A whole lot of time is spent getting clothes out and trying them on, then changing them . I really can’t keep up with which tops need to go in the wash and which have only been worn once!!
yesterday it occurred to me that I had better have a key to the back door whilst working in the garden in case he decided to lock the door….he is extremely security conscious!! i was worried I would not be able to get back in the house!!
Dealing with lots of compulsive, obsessive behaviour is extremely hard. he is obsessed with sharpening the Lawn mower but cannot remember how to do it and won’t listen to anything I say as I try to help.
To anyone who works in Dementia Care I say Well done..you must have amazing qualities of patience and understanding.
Unlike Shirley Valentine I cannot escape to sunny peaceful climes.