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Showing posts with the label Bebe


  At what point in history did we start putting our elderly relatives into care homes? As I write, I have no way of internet to help research and Sime’s still snoozing, well it is only 6:30 and dark - most people are asleep, but I woke with this thought and no doubt I have written something along these lines before. Having cared for both my Grandmother (Nan) and Sime’s Mum (Bebe) and knowing how difficult it was especially with Bebe as her dementia progressed...I was thinking about how families managed before care homes. Certainly in the UK, we have become quite disconnected from our older generation and it seems that their opinions are no longer valued by younger generations. How differently we live today and yet Nan grew up surrounded by family, cousins in the same street or just around the corner. Neighbours were like extended family and everyone helped each other - taking care of the children and keeping an eye on aging grandparents. Lives were entwined. Young and

Season's Greetings

Taken from Amnesty We would like to share with you the sad news that Bebe passed away last week. She was still living in the local care home where she had been singing & dancing up until falling ill. She died peacefully in hospital, after her body gave in to pneumonia. We visited her every day - talked, sang, held her hands & gave her lots of hugs & kisses.. For 2 evenings she was lucid, she sang with us & told us that she loved us & her grandchildren implicitly, with all her heart.  She also told us not to cry & that everything would be ok. We made all the funeral arrangements ourselves - she requested a simple, no fuss send-off. We bought a biodegradable cardboard coffin, which we decorated with the lyrics from 'Fly Me To The Moon' & yesterday picked her up from the hospital in our car & took her to the crematorium in Truro. We spent a few minutes in quiet contemplation, shed a few tears & said our final goodbyes.

Happy Bebe

For the very first time, our visit with Bebe was an absolute joy! It was so nice to be with her & wonderful to see her so positive at long last. Is it thanks to the drugs? Or is she finally settling? Probably drug related, but at least she wasn't tormented by all her anxieties... We took in some family photos & also printed off information explaining why she's there & where we are, etc to help calm her down at night, as the staff were telling us last weekend that they continue to have problems with her in the night. We've also promised Bebe that we'd write down everything about the kids, she likes to know how old they are & what they're all doing & always asks us several times each visit, so we'll get that done for next time. Her new improved mood is hopefully here to stay, she's even been reading a newspaper each day, which is something she found difficult to do before - she didn't have the interest or the ability to sit

Mother's Day With Bebe

We visited Bebe this afternoon with Hugo. She very often talks about being a prisoner in the care home & wanting to get out, but of course - in reality, she wouldn't know where to go or what to do! The staff said she'd been in a good mood earlier, so this was just for our benefit. Kay & Sime xx

Taking Responsibility

We have finally finished emptying Bebe's flat.  The keys have been handed in, the sale is going through - we've met with the estate agent, the solicitor, the new owner & said goodbye. Bebe was never into clutter, her home was always spotless & free of stuff, but when it came to clearing it out - it was still hard work! This is another reason why for us it is increasingly important to free ourselves of our own stuff... The thought of leaving all of it behind for the kidlets to sort out in years to come feels selfish, especially knowing what a nightmare it has been for us. No parent wants to become a burden to their kids, but it happens. We plan on leaving very little in the way of possessions, so when the end comes - the clear out will be a breeze! At least Bebe is still alive...  Many middle aged kids are left with property to clear & not only is it difficult to organise around their own family & work, but they are dealing with their grief too. 

Ups And Downs

We have been busy sorting through all the stuff on our laptop & have found these 2 videos of Bebe taken in November...  A lot of what she's saying in this first video is make believe, but it just shows how she can somehow be totally convincing & is quite a storyteller! This is just a few days later, but you can see how low she would get & how irritated we were feeling too. These are just small examples of what life was like towards the end of her time with us. Her manic high moments would sometimes go on for hours, talking & singing non-stop. Eight hours was the longest stint, which was on her last night here. As her behaviour escalated, so did her voice - she became louder, full of aggression & threats, in the end we called for a doctor. She finally quietened down at around 1:00am with sedation, but had been on the go since before 5:00pm.  During her restless periods she was like a tired out toddler getting her second wind. Sometimes she w

Settling In

Apart from telling us that she's feeling like a prisoner...  Bebe is actually settling into the routine of life in care. We know she is safe & on the whole quite happy. One of the good things for us is being able to walk away if she starts getting agitated during our visits - knowing we can leave & let someone else deal with her difficult behaviour is liberating! The staff are doing a great job, although Bebe is probably one of their most difficult clients...  Hard to believe when you see her so happy, but when the camera comes out - she loves to put on a show! She has been in care for a month now & we are still appreciating every moment we have to ourselves. Being able to do everyday stuff like going for walks, cooking, watching a film, visiting friends, turning up for work on time & sleeping is all just wonderful... And one of our favourite pastimes has to be crawling out of bed & walking down to the beach before breakfast.  On Wednesday

Work Break

Us chatting about work, family, etc & a glimpse of the view we have to put up with!!! We've looked after this house for over 7 years, one of the first jobs we took on when we started up our business.  It's now a very successful holiday let, attracting groups of people from all over the world & we spend most of our Fridays there... Which is nice! Kay & Sime xx

Sunshine and Moonlight

Sun setting over Carne Beach on the Roseland today... Weird sun halo... Last rays of the day... Moon at the end of the lane... Moonlight at high tide in Portmellon...  Our usual waffle & talking about getting over our exhaustion since Bebe has been in care. Kay & Sime xx

Out Of Hibernation

Happy New Year to you all! We've had quite a difficult time with Bebe... She is not the same person who moved in with us just over a year ago & since starting with a chest infection just before Christmas - she has lost her appetite & a stone in weight! Penicillin has perked her up a little, but we've had lots of sleepless nights which are just exhausting for all of us! Saying this, it hasn't stopped us from having some lovely times with family & friends over the holiday period... While staying in Bishop's Castle we had a meet up with friends, Shelley & Kelli in Wales...  Sime was in Shelley's band - The Hidden Persuaders back in the early 90s & after losing touch, they found each other on facebook a couple of years ago. This time we got to meet her fabulous Wife too & enjoyed a lovely afternoon chat, coffee & cake! A flying visit to Stoke & a lovely evening spent with Gerry & Brenda (AKA Nana Stip-Pep). Bre

The Drugs Don't Work

We experienced a lovely side to Bebe earlier in the week, she seemed fairly happy & content, but over the last few days - she has been back to normal. Dwelling on the past & worrying about the future are her main topics... We go through periods of trying to distract her - treading lightly to keep her happy, though more often than not we get drawn into this incredibly frustrating loop & end up asking her to stop!  We have an appointment this coming week with her GP, there really doesn't seem any need in carrying on with the new drugs, but we'll see what the doc has to say. Poor Bebe - her enjoyment of life is getting less & less & there's nothing we can do.  Kay & Sime xx

Bebe In The Morning

Another day in the Smith household...  This is what happens very early in the morning - Bebe gets up at around 6am (when she does sleep) & she likes to get herself ready for the day! After the video I spent ages looking for her other lilac sock & eventually found that she'd put them both on the same foot - which does happen sometimes!  On other occasions, Bebe can be fully dressed complete with her lace up shoes tied & yet she can't work out how to tie them when I'm in the room! Have a good day! Kay xx

Bebe's Evening Routine

I took this video at the beginning of the month, Bebe's sundowning was getting worse & this was actually the third video that evening - you can also hear my frustration of going through the same things for the umpteenth time in an hour... We have found that when Bebe becomes agitated, she soon calms down once she sees the camera... Since returning from respite yesterday, she has been a happy bunny - they too reported a good weekend with her, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the new tablets are finally doing their job.  We hate the fact she has to take them, but if they stop her from becoming anxious & distressed, then that has to be a good thing - it's lovely to see her calm & content again! Kay xx

This Dementia Business...

"There's something radically wrong...Is it this dementia business?"  Bebe asks several times every day. It's a year ago since Bebe moved in with us & although she now tells everyone that we forced her against her will; she chose to come - ok, we had tried to persuade her for years, but it wasn't until she was removed from her home & placed in a psychiatric unit, that she finally accepted that she could no longer cope on her own. We were asked to look into moving her into a care home, but instead - suggested she at last made the move to Cornwall. For the most part it has been fine, but the occasional blips have increased over the last couple of months & her mood swings have become more extreme. We have had memory service involvement for a few months & the community psychiatric nurse's input has been invaluable. Bebe, as do most people with dementia - thrives on routine, so she has been struggling lately to adjust from attending d

Cupcake Cheeriness

Typical that the day we choose to take some time out from work & Bebe - it pees down, so our ideas of walking go out the window & instead we visit Wildebeest yet again... We enjoyed a feast of spicy bean soup, squash ravioli, lime & coconut cheesecake & couldn't resist sharing this lovely cupcake too - Blueberry, vanilla & almond! As always, it was delicious & after the last few days of difficult times - we felt relaxed & revived! Our meeting regarding Bebe at day care has made us feel better - they are more than happy for her to continue & have even offered her a permanent room when she/we decide it's time to move on. We'll write more about life with Bebe in the near future, as we know it's helpful to others. Time to chill out & plan a little holiday... Kay & Sime xx

Frothy Goodness And Problems At Home

Can you guess what it is? Beetroot, kale, apple & ginger juice! A power boost for a busy day... And another job with a stunning view... We're very tired tonight, a few days of cleaning & problems with Bebe... For a while now, her behaviour has become much more intense - flipping back & forth from severe distress & agitation (mainly about her clothes, wardrobe & her Mother's things - which she doesn't have) to crazy verbal diarrhoea, singing & dancing. The doctor has prescribed a drug to calm her down, but it hasn't worked yet & now her behaviour is spilling over at the home she goes to for day care, she is upsetting  other clients & has been telling relatives of her friends that we kidnapped her & brought her to Cornwall against her will... At this moment & time, we are ready to ship her back to Stoke, especially if she gets kicked out of day care... Let's hope we get a good night's sleep &

Laugh Along With Bebe

More silly times in the Smith household! Kay & Sime xx

Jumbled Snapshot

Can't believe it's been nearly 2 months since our last post... As always, we have been incredibly busy with work & caring for Bebe, so when the opportunity arises to have some fun - we grab it! Here is a mishmash of photies from the last few weeks... Ending a day trip to Exmoor with a ride on the Lynton/Lynmouth funicular cliff lift. Rose's graduation at Plymouth University. We attended Sal & Ryan's there 4 years ago & no doubt we'll be doing it all over again (though probably at a different university) in another 4 years with Hugo... We are so proud of our beautiful buddy.  Not because she now has an art degree, but because of her self motivation - it's not always been an easy journey...  Going to college with strange kids after being home educated was very challenging for our shy girl, but she wanted to do it & we supported her all the way. A few years ago, she completed a foundation degree in graphic design, she fo