I have just gone to write a blog to help promote my new workshops and am horrified to realise that it was 2015 when I last published a blog! Where did 2016 go? I know I am not the world’s most prolific blogger (understatement) but surely I have had things to share with you all over the last year! I know there have been many times I have thought of something I wanted to share. So what happened ….
Dont worry – I don’t think I am getting Dementia – not yet anyway, but I have been taking a big part in my Mothers care. As her Dementia has got to the point that she has to have 24hr supervision, I have been spending a large part of each month with her. As well as physically draining, as she becomes less able to walk and stand, the emotional demands are huge. I do not want to sound smug – but if I have any sanity left – it is purely down to my Bach Flower Remedies!!
The mental pressure of trying to communicate with the Doctors, Social Services, Carers and hospitals is among the most difficult, We are well past the stage where she would hide her post with hospital appointments in – she wasnt actually hiding them – but putting them somewhere safe !! Like in her underwear drawer. But the insistence of the hospital staff to ‘speak to her’ to change an appointment, when she can’t hear anything on the phone and doesn’t understand that she has an appointment anyway, is typically indicative of their lack of understanding of the challenges of a Dementia diagnosis.
To be fair it is very hard for anyone to know at what point one accepts that an individual is no longer capable of making various decisions, and these points are not a one off cut off. If you ask Mum even now – would you like a cup of tea or a cup of coffee – she will usually say ‘a cup of tea please’. Occasionally she will say – ‘I would like a coffee’ which when you give her coffee – she will usually say – ‘why have I got a coffee – I don’t drink coffee!’ Is it wrong to just give her what you know she prefers or should she be offered a choice? Personally I feel every choice or question asked of her is a stressful process, but this was not the case a year ago.
I had thought I could do a daily diary of looking after her – yes there are difficult times but also some very heart rending and some really fun times, like playing football with her while she was in her wheelchair in the garden last summer. Really I was trying to get her to coordinate her left and right movement as she was beginning to lose the ability to make her legs move where she wanted them to. However somehow it did not seem appropriate to discuss this awful process as it was happening, and although those of you who have been on my workshops know I am an open book about my life and experiences – I am not comfortable parading ones difficult times in public live on the internet!!
Anyway – the long and the short of this is my realisation that as well as therapists needing to look after themselves and be on a continual programme of self development, Carers and all those that work in the Care Sector – but especially those who are unpaid and often feel trapped into their role, desperately need help and support.
One of the greatest causes of Stress is the feeling that you have no control over a situation. By learning tools and techniques to help you release negative emotional states and relax at a cellular level we are taking some control back into our lives. We can manage our reactions – and part of that is having the tools to process the experiences more easily.
This is why I don’t blog too often – once I start I can’t stop!!
Please if you or any one you know would benefit from a day that will help them feel in control!! Please forward them this link
My first pilot of this new CPD workshop is in Salisbury in February. Do please register interest in Beds and Cambs, and Newcastle as the decision of where we go next will depend on interest.
Dementia steals people lives! Not just the lives of those that have it – but those who care for them!! Bringing me back to where did 2016 go……………….?