Having had my mother diagnosed with dementia – you wonder what comes next…..she seems almost fine and as I’ve said before sounds almost the same and dresses almost the same – but clearly the key is in the word ‘almost’. I found that it was probably me that was in more denial that she might have been. I expected her I think to carry on in the same way and just made excuses for her if something wasn’t quite normal. However it was only when I got a call from our local hospital that I realised that things would never be the same.
My mother had fallen down in the high street and an ambulance had been called and she had been taken into hospital. She had hurt her collar bone and broken her wrist. The first time I think she has ever broken anything – not bad for an 89 year old at that point. Every day my mother went down to the high street for a small shop and a cup of coffee, the only difference I had really noticed was that she used to struggle with the quarter of a mile walk back to her small home she had moved into – which was up a short incline. From being amazingly fit – it was noticeable that she mentioned the walk. My mother couldn’t remember what had happened and was sure she had tripped – I now believe it was perhaps another of her small ‘fits’ which was the vascular dementia giving her a short black out. To start with in the hospital she was fine, but become rapidly disorientated and was particularly rude to a chap being loudly & violently ill next to her in the emergency room. I managed to persuade the nurses to keep her in for 24 hours to just check she was okay and then she was discharged the next day. She was sent home with express instructions to do nothing for the next few days by both the hospital and myself. Within 5 hours I had received a call from the hospital again to say she had just been omitted in again as she had fallen down whilst trying to help her neighbour with some daily chores. When visiting her – she had completely forgotten that she had only been discharged a few hours earlier and that was when I realised that we would really need to seriously think about her long term care moving forward and it wasn’t a decision necessary for her to have the final say….
To read more of Catriona’s dementia blogs www.talkhealthpartnership.com/blog/category/inhouse-blog/catrionas-blog/