Dementia: Spring Time at The Ranch

By My Dad…

We have had 2 days of reasonable weather now with sunshine (and maybe a shower or two) which has made us a little cheerier and perhaps believing that there is more to come.

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Jane, just a few years ago.

Indeed over the last 3-4 months we have become accustomed to very cool, wet and even snowy conditions. We have to accept what is thrown at us and shrug our shoulders and “get on with life”. We know it will become warmer and this will lift all our spirits.

Unfortunately this will not happen to poor Jane who doesn’t know the seasons nor even what time of day it is. I was up today seeing one of the nurses going through her care plan and she was asking me whether there was any more that they could do to improve her quality of care.

The care ladies and nurses in the care home are so wonderful in looking after Jane and of course all of the other residents. They have to help her with what you and I would think as fairly simple tasks. They talk and socialise with her, look at photographs, listen to music and try to make her life as comfortable as possible. She doesn’t know us now. She is in the right place, although all the family find this very hard.

The nurse explained the rather depressing news (of which I knew perfectly well) that Jane had deteriorated somewhat over the winter period. She needs help in the toilet department, with feeding and drinking and now she seems unable to weight bear terribly well and needs wheelchair assistance quite often.

Spring and summer will not unfortunately appear over the horizon for my poor Jane. She will be oblivious to the passing seasons now. Hard for us all to witness, as she always loved this time of year and would busy herself in the garden, making it so beautiful and colourful. She was so talented and committed and would tend all the plants, tubs and hanging baskets so diligently. I’m pretty good with grass and weed bashing but not much else !

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Our garden

The good news is that she was smiling today. She didn’t really know who was there kneeling in front of her, nor the wee dog sitting on her lap trying to gain her attention, but a smile is better than nothing.

Sometimes I feel she shouldn’t have to go through another winter with cold water lapping around her M&S slippers and the icy blast of incomprehension filtering through her cerebral arteries, causing more and more irreversible damage. Remembering the good old days of old – even now after all these months of heartache – is making my eyes a little watery and perhaps she would not want me or our lovely family to continue to see her slip even further down the spiral of life towards the inevitable, final destination.

In one sense “chronic” rather relentless low grade grief over a long time is often worse than the sudden unexpected thunder and lightning shock that accompanies acute life threatening illnesses. A peaceful goodbye and kisses may be better than this torment we are all experiencing.

Oh dear I am very despondent on this lovely sunny afternoon !  I will come back to “normal” soon, make my tea and take Maggie out. An early bed – as there is nothing on the television these days – but no I am misleading you! I went to the annual Scottish Country Dance in Biggar with Jane’s lovely sister in law Margaret and hubby. I haven’t danced for years since her illness but with the kilt on and a smile I really enjoyed the challenge of those pas-de-basque and skip changes.

We used to have a great time dancing not only ballroom and Latin but the traditional Scottish country dancing. Oh I wish I had a magic wand …….

Love to all x

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2 thoughts on “Dementia: Spring Time at The Ranch

  1. Lovely and so perfect.
    My mother always said, “now I have no one to reminisce with.” She’d tell me stories of things they did way back when, and she’d say, “remember that, Ed?” And of course he didn’t. I feel like it’s hard to not be able to reminisce about things with my dad, but I can’t imagine the difficulty in the case of you, and my late mom. Much love to you and your family from the nonsense capital of the world, aka the U.S. xo

    Like

    1. Oh thank you Melissa. You make me smile. Poor Jane cannot recall those wonderful times we and the family have had over the years nor those friends and pupils whose lives she has enhanced.
      Love to you and your family from brexit crazy u.k.

      Liked by 1 person

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