Still on Zoom, still able to meet people in a variety of home situations.
Mental Awareness Week
This year Metal Awareness Week is 10-16 May. The theme is “Connecting with nature”. You can find out more, including Top Tips here.
We had a smaller group than normal at this meeting, but they had plenty to discus. As usual, there is a summary below.
A carer says his wife is now stable. Part of being ‘stable’ is that she is awake at night a lot and is also unpredictable. This continues to affect his well-being. Fortunately, her carers are coming back after a break during Covid. They will come 2 days a week for 4 hours. After a prolonged period of isolation with his wife, our carer is now hoping to get down to Cornwall to visit family.
Our carer who had covid, and now appears to have “Long Covid”, says he still tired. He was being monitored, but not any more. He may have to go back to the doctor, to discuss his ongoing problems. Once he has come downstairs, he prefers not to go back because he knows he will need to lie down to recover. He was building a shed but now hasn’t the energy to complete it.
His sister (who he cares for) came for lunch yesterday. She had a good meal. He thinks she doesn’t cook for herself. When she visited she had fruit, which she cut into very small pieces, she did the same with vegetables. He doesn’t think she cooks any carbohydrates.
She has a urine infection. Janet said that her thirst receptors may not be working, so he should watch her fluids. She doesn’t have a support package. When he goes to look in on her, he could say “Shall I make us a cup of tea?”. This would give him the opportunity to have a look in the cupboards to see what is in them.
The sister said she started to cook something on the stove, but when she came back an hour later it was burnt. She is loosing her hair – we speculated she might be due to her not be getting enough protein. She has dementia medication and has meds for loss of balance. It’s difficult finding the right mix of drugs to help and better quality of life/ side effects/ positives and negatives.
The brother said she gets a bee in her bonnet – example: watching Ian Wright she said their Dad was violent and he had to say that their dad wasn’t like that. He said COVID has helped him to become more patient. The sister has problems with paranoia and persecution complex. Her medication may need to be reviewed. Another carer said that his wife also had paranoia. It is distressing for her and the people around her. This couple had had zoom calls with her consultant. As a result of that discussion, this carer recommended keeping a diary of observations, so that you can see a pattern and any changes.
The first carer is going to find out about nutrition for his sister. He may try to get someone in to do breakfast and an evening meal. The sister is very suspicious and makes him feel on tenterhooks all the time. She is uncertain about her world. He agreed they need help from the memory clinic.
Tatiana said to monitor Aileen and liaise with social services. Try to gradually build up trust. For example – “we can have lunch at your place. We can cook together. Tell us what we can make.” He can then discover where she’s at with the cooking. He needs to find ways to access her cupboards and fridge. He should consider this as a way to solve the problem.
Another carer told us her dad is calmer. He has had a change of medication. He has an appointment at the Memory Clinic chis week. He is suspicious all the time. He got some mail and wouldn’t put it down, then hid it for 2 weeks. On a positive note, they have received a pack of activities from cognitive therapy – over 100 things to help and prompts to stimulate him.
Janet revived a previously popular session and invited us to enter “a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions.” [Wikipedia] As usual, this was popular.
A special thanks to Gyda, who has being taking the notes for these meetings and the Friendship Group meetings. She is a star.