Getting the Picture

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun is shining; the birds are singing; Not Cat tried to kill a Daddy Longlegs but it escaped him; I’ve had breakfast; washed out the fridge; folded the clean laundry that I left to dry last night; topped up the engine oil; and now I’m just waiting for tonight’s agency to call me. Then I’m going to take my cup of coffee, the laptop, and maybe Mother’s new trousers which I am hemming, and join Not Cat in the garden for a while.

Mother has had her morning meds and gone straight back to sleep. The carer didn’t want to wake her, but I insisted she needed them especially the pain killer so that it would have time to take effect before anyone comes back to help her wash and dress.

I also asked that when mother has a cold drink it’s in a glass. Some of the carers use the china mugs for both hot and cold drinks. By using mugs for hot drinks and glasses for cold, Mother gets a clear signal about the temperature of what she’s being offered. It’s not rocket science, but it does make a significant difference.

Nora, last night’s carer, was friendly and professional from the word go. The questions she asked about Mother revealed a good working understanding of dementia. It turned out she had wanted to nurse, but had been put off by working for a year on the very same ward where Mother had such disastrous care. We need people going into nursing because they want to do a good job; who care and have a vocation. That this young woman left because she felt disturbed and frustrated by the attitudes and standards of care she witnessed is a terrible indictment of the hospital, and a scary prospect for the rest of us when we are in-patients, especially when we are old and infirm.

Not Cat had just come back inside when Nora arrived.He growled when I opened the front door, but held his ground. Since going into the garden he’s been getting bolder with some strangers and I am beginning to wonder if the two things are related.

Anyway, after this unpromising start, Not Cat decided Nora was going to be his friend. He trotted behind her; purred into her face, and generally behaved in a shamelessly flirtatious manner. I think maybe I should have left him with her for the night. He certainly wasn’t impressed by my straight-to-bed plan when we got upstairs.

I trusted Nora enough not to come down again before she left this morning. Reading her notes, it seems Mother does have a pattern of waking in the night, but settling back to sleep quite quickly. Also, both mornings she has needed the loo at six thirty, so that looks like a time we need to cover.

I want to talk to the manager about assistive technology; an alarm that will sound if Mother gets out of bed in the night. I know I can set one up, but it’s no use unless someone hears it and responds. There is only one member of staff on duty at night.

So I need to make some notes of things to ask the manager, the carers should be back to get Mother washed and dressed soon. but at some point, I’ll download the photographs I took of Not Cat last night.

13 thoughts on “Getting the Picture

  1. I’m really pleased you had Nora last night. Do you expect to have to have a carer every night or are you just assessing what her routine and needs are?

    Not Cat sounds like he’s going to be another with a fan club 😀

    • The latter. We couldn’t afford to keep this up for long.
      I’m longing for tonight’s care to arrive. I am shattered.
      Not Cat is loving the garden. I’ve come out to find a signal and post, but I’m sitting on the path and it’s not very comfortable! I was going to look at emails etc, but that can wait.
      Sweet dreams.

  2. Very glad you do have assistance there at night. You sound pretty exhausted. Too much for one person, Isobel. Take care of yourself too.

    • I am. I was in bed at half past nine last night, and apart from an hour or so awake and worrying about Mother, slept until eight this morning.
      It’s just relentless.

  3. Spending time at home will let you recharge your batteries, and you need to look after yourself as much as possible. It is relentless. If your Mother is OK, you’re worrying about what will happen next; if she’s not, you’re worrying about when or whether she will be well again. Really hard for you.

  4. Hi Pseu. She had the heel protectors in hospital, but not at home as we are worried that they might affect her mobility getting in and out of bed.
    She does have a pressure relieving mattress, although she says it’s like sleeping on a ploughed field!

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