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melting but not down

Friday, 27 November 2009


Strange how difficult I find it to update the blog. Things have definitely improved but I still feel unsettled - my knitting addiction is coming a close second to the new drug of choice - Farmville on Facebook - its as though I need to be busy doing something every second of the day or who knows what demons will sneak into my mind. Here's how mum's being in residential care is going:

  • Mum is well thought of by the staff and she seems to get on with them
  • She is eating slightly better and has put on a little bit of weight
  • She is rarely very distressed about being in the home but I think its because she often thinks she's just visiting instead of living there
  • I no longer get palpitations when the phone rings because I know it won't be mum with a new disaster
  • I have more free time because I generally visit only twice a week for no more than an hour at a time
  • Lovely daughter and beloved son do their bit and visit mum as much as possible
  • Its hard knowing how to deal with the 'can you drop me off home' requests at the end of the visit - oddly enough its harder than when mum has a right go at me for 'plotting' to put her into the home (hasn't happened as much lately). Apparently Princess Anne offered her a ride home but she didn't take her up on it.
  • Mum has developed some strange habits - the other day she 'clouted' a woman at the dinner table who she said had hit her first - she told us the story over and over with much glee!
  • She pinched someone's wedding ring when she thought she had lost her own!
  • She has also taken to spitting on the floor - something she would have regarded as absolutely disgusting once upon a time.
  • The finances still aren't sorted out. The home hasn't billed me yet but I'm still waiting for the solicitor to send me the paperwork for the courts.

Ok, that's me done for now. I'll try to post more often.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

back in the saddle

Thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting on my blog, your support is a great comfort. I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while - seems ages but its only just over a week! I couldn't bring myself to put fingers to keys, I don't know why. Anyhoo......

Mum's birthday was a great success. The home made a big fuss of her, they'd put 'Happy 90th Birthday!' banners all round the dining room and provided party food as well as a birthday cake. They turned off the lights and brought the cake in for her to blow out the candles spelling out her name. The flower arrangement I ordered from Interflora arrived during the day and is still cheering up her room - a selection of yellow and orange blooms in a brown wicker basket. Lovely daughter, beloved son and I went over at tea-time and found her sitting with other residents in the lounge in just a thin nightie so we took her back to her room to open her cards and presents and put something warmer on. She ended up in the cardigan I made her ages ago (see also photo on 8th December post) that's been languishing in the wardrobe ever since. Once securely buttoned up, she said "this is the last thing I knitted"!!! and it has been a firm favourite ever since. Ah bless, lol. She loved the Thorntons chocolates and the bouquet and bottle of Tia Maria from BS - she had two glasses and was reluctant to go to bed when we left so we parked her back in the lounge, happy as Larry.

On Sunday, LD and BS visited mum again and I went after work on Monday night. She was already in bed but not asleep and delighted to see me! She thought it was a huge treat to have a cup of tea in bed, not to mention 3 of the birthday chocolates that she'd forgotten she had. She even drank a second cup of tea (about a quarter of a cup really) - I think she'd forgotten the first one. She seemed quite content and has enjoyed going to painting classes in the home (she says her "schoolteacher makes a fuss" of her) but when I reminded her that she had painted one of the pictures on her wall, she also claimed authorship of dad's painting on the other side of the window!

LD and I went again on Thursday night, I took a bunch of bananas as I knew mum would eat them. She was in bed again but in a right strop. She'd had a "terrible time", it was an awful place, etc etc. On the pretence of going to make her a cup of tea, I collared one of the staff for an explanation - apparently an unfamiliar member of staff had taken mum to her Memory Clinic appointment that day and she had refused to answer any of the questions without her solicitor present! When I returned to her room she said "school was awful today, I don't think I'll go tomorrow." Little does she know they're going to have another crack at it next week, with one of the staff she knows well. Good luck for that! Mum cheered up really quickly though and enjoyed her 'surprise' chocolates again. She is eating a little better now and has put on a bit of weight. Her memory is shocking, literally! She still thinks her father and all her siblings are alive (and a lot younger) and although she knows LD's, BS's and my names, I'm not convinced that she knows what our relationship is to her. I wouldn't be surprised if she thinks we're her contemporaries, all young adults together.

I do feel reassured that mum is in the right place. She seems happier than she's been in years and the staff tell me they're very fond of her. After discussing the power of attorney issue with mum's nurse, we agreed that she doesn't have the capacity to understand/give her consent to it so I've bitten the bullet and instructed the solicitor to start the process of applying to the Office of the Public Guardian. It will cost me over £3,000 but the peace of mind will be worth it.

LD is excited. She's going to rent mum's bungalow next year and is already having practise stay-overs and planning decor! It's the perfect solution for all of us, she will have her independence (at special family rates, lol), I will have a good tenant and mum's property will be looked after.

Friday, 6 November 2009


Mum is 90 today. Beloved son is coming up from Nottingham and we're going to meet lovely daughter at the home at tea-time. I hope she has a good day today - when LD and I visited on Monday, the care staff said they'd put on a party for her and I've arranged for a huge bouquet to be delivered. Mum is starting to settle better - she's eating properly!!! and joining the other residents in the lounge, she hasn't spit out her medication or kicked anyone recently lol and takes herself off to her room after meals for a nap. She has stopped blaming me for putting her in the home and seems to think it was her decision, although she still says that she'll go home when 'they' say she can. On Monday night she even asked the carer for help getting ready for bed which suggests she's feeling more comfortable with her new surroundings. She does look frail though and her memory is getting worse and worse. I've decided not to tell her missing relatives have died any more, its too upsetting for her, I'll just feign ignorance and suggest they'll be visiting soon.

Despite the break from daily visiting (twice a week now), getting my weekends back and the comfort of knowing she's never on her own, the whole situation is still stressing me out subconsciously - this week I've woken Mr Lily a few times, shouting out or crying in my sleep - unusual for me, I can't always remember why. I am tired all the time still and will be glad when the power of attorney thing is sorted. Roll on the cruise!