A long goodbye

It’s Sunday so I went to get Mum from the care home. We’ve missed a couple to allow her to settle. She was ready to go but fast asleep with her fellow residents. I woke her gently and am sure the look on her face was not for me: just a distance in her eyes. I went to put her new laundry basket in her room and when I got back she’d almost reached the front door. On the drive up she asked me if I’d locked her front door – she hasn’t been back since early December. She’s been here an hour and fallen asleep twice. She wanders a lot at night we’re told so days are spent napping. She remembers nothing of her week. In her room was a note I took which says she wants “OUT” and that she hates us all.

I know it’s the dementia but it still hurts.

The little ones are delighted to see their Nana but there’s not a lot of interaction. Tea is at 4:30 so we’ll get her back soon.

Dementia is a long goodbye.


2 thoughts on “A long goodbye

  1. I am so sorry you are going through this. I recognize the story so well unfortunately. My gran had 3 months on a ward in hospital being assessed and being quite ill (flu and pneumonia) before she made it to a care home – by that stage she was in the last fortnight of her life – should never have left hospital IMO – I had long transatlantic conversations with the hospital staff twice daily. They got to know her in her better, lucid moments too.
    When I visited her she was very similar to the way you describe your mum – she too was very agitated at night and slept a lot during the day to catch up. In the end they gave her something to help her sleep at night too. She wandered and was a risk to herself.
    It is interesting you have found notes. My gran asked for a notepad and pen – soon lost interest in it when I took it in. Same with the cards and photos I put near her bed. Her mind was less in reality each day. The only thing she ever wrote in that notebook was one of my kid’s names – the one she remembered most and liked the best. Sort of heartbreaking.
    My only words of encouragement are that you are doing right by her and even though there is perhaps no happy ending, you can look yourself in the mirror and know you did all you could for her and she was safe and well cared for. It is not an easy task.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. we can see the progression you describe. She was assessed again yesterday as not having the ability to care for herself and a DOL (deprivation of liberty) order will be placed on her. This means she cannot bully her way out of the home. She told them shed been there for two years and couldn’t recall her last address. Heartbreaking.


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