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Showing posts with the label Dementia

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

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

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

Laugh Along With Bebe

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


Time is flying by...  We can't believe that it's nearly 6 months since we left to pick up Bebe & she is for the main part, enjoying life. We do have the odd blip when she is quite low & agitated, when nothing we say makes a difference, but for the most part - she is fine. We have to remember that she can drift in & out of lucidity, one minute she seems so rational & on the ball, then the next she can be lost, insecure & child-like. We have discovered more & more  just how much Bebe can do & are realising that just like others with dementia, she is very good at pretending that she is still capable of doing certain things. It's not easy for her to accept help with her personal hygiene & she's at times desperately trying to cling on to her independence. We encourage her to do as much as possible for herself, but it is very sad to see just how much she has forgotten & equally it can be exciting when out of the blue, Bebe

Bebe's Memory Test

Bebe struggles to retain information due to her dementia, but we find that by repeating things sometimes - it eventually sinks in...  It's quite shocking if you've never met anyone with memory problems, but at the same time it's very fascinating! Kay & Sime xx

Let There Be Love

Bebe loves singing, so Sime dug out an old microphone. Dementia makes it a struggle for her to remember the words as well as she used to, but it doesn't stop her from having fun & of course - we are only too happy to encourage her! She also loves seeing herself on screen & even though the words are a bit jumbled, she's always keen on us sharing the videos & keeps saying "It'll give the world a laugh!" Hope you enjoy it. Kay & Sime xx

What's In A Week?

We seem to be getting into a routine with Bebe & have seen quite a transformation over the last week... Amazing what a hair cut & some new clothes can do! She is settling well & although there are periods when reassurance is needed, she has been able to move away from focusing on things which cause her distress. We have spent many hours talking & helping her to understand why she thinks the way she does. Some of the more mundane topics, Sime has now written about in a laminated letter - which we hand to Bebe when she starts to repeat herself & gradually the answers to these questions are seeping through!  She is loving her time at daycare, which is a great bonus & she is amazingly sleeping well - if we can persuade her to keep off the coffee at night! Bebe's had a go on her old typewriter, though found it a struggle to concentrate...  We'll get it out again at the weekend & keep encouraging her. We've also tried


Bebe is here with us at last... We found out recently that Bebe also suffers from Sundowners Syndrome & witnessed during our journey home yesterday just how quickly her personality changes. We were in the car & as soon as it began getting dark, she no longer knew who we were... She had been happy & relaxed, chatting away - when suddenly, she was filled with fear & agitation! She was angry on her arrival; the house was too cold, her room was too big, but eventually we calmed her down by distracting her with some of her favourite music & very quickly, she was dancing! She was on top form over dinner & had us all in hysterics...  She is having a problem recognising Hugo - it's been a couple of years since she last saw him & of course, he's a young man now. Last night he was Rodney, we have no idea why... She enjoyed the laughter as much as we did! By midnight, we were flagging & had to call time on the fun, again she bec

Three Lanes, Rain & Automobiles

We've travelled over 300 miles today in torrential rain... We set off early to avoid the traffic, but the rain slowed us down. The journey has taken 7 hours & our first port of call was to see Bebe (Sime's Mum). She was diagnosed with vascular dementia last year & so far she has managed with daily visits from a care agency to continue living on her own. Today, we've been quite shocked at how she has deteriorated over the last 3 months & surprised that the care staff haven't contacted us... Her home is neglected, her rubbish has built up, her clothes unwashed & she looks totally bedraggled... We've got our work cut out over the next couple of days & how long do we let her carry on like this? Such difficult decisions... Sime full of concentration... Hugo sleeping in the back... Rain... My favourite car! A 40 year old Morris Minor Traveller. And an old Austin campervan... Brekkie stop... Sime's veggie fry-up... Finally in the hotel...