Tuesday, October 8, 2013

International Fleet Review, Sydney Harbour, 2013

I had to get up early to pick up Mum from the nursing home, drive to town, park the car and get onto the train. The staff had dressed her really nicely for the day, by 7 a.m. and she was waiting by the lift.

It wasn't too hard to take her out on the train. We watched the ships from the Opera House viewing point and then because Mum was tired of walking we took a ferry to Balmain and back. It was perfect weather and a nice trip.

We ate at a cafe. These days I have to choose finger food for her because she just doesn't manage a knife and fork very well. She had chicken nuggets and chips.

She also doesn't handle hamburgers or sandwiches well, wanting to pull them apart.

I was exhausted and snappy by 6.30 p.m. when I finally got her back into her room, gave her a shower and put her into her pyjamas.

It's nice that she's till managing to have fun, even if she doesn't remember the fun for long afterwards.

With her grand daughter and son in law

Mum and me

On the ferry

Me and Mum on the ferry

Sydney Harbour and a ferry

It's dark in my brain today

Sometimes Mum has amazing insight into her condition. The other day when I picked her up to take her out, she just couldn't put the seatbelt on. "The seatbelt Mum, not the seat! No!" I said. And she replied:

"I just can't do it. It's dark in my brain today."

That is just so descriptive of what she's going through. It gave me insight into how her brain feels. It sometimes feels like night has descended.

On the positive side we've had lots of nice outings and she's still able to enjoy them.

These photos are from a trip to the little seaside town of Huskisson on the South Coast of N.S.W. where her parents had a holiday house from 1931 to 1986.

She wasn't sure where she was so I had to keep reminding her. She went for a very long walk around the beach and the town.

She enjoyed listening to some music, too.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

June 2013

Mum hasn't changed much in recent months. I've been able to take her for two nights away in the country to see her cousin.

I still pick her up every Saturday and take her to my house for the day. Sometimes we go shopping, sometimes to the beach. I know that this will come to an end as she gets more difficult to manage. But so far I'm managing, though by the end of the day I'm exhausted from constantly watching her and doing everything for her.

On the positive side, the anti-psychotic medication seems to have got rid of the imaginary people and voices. (By the way readers, it is not caused by a UTI. Mum is under the care of a specialist and the psychosis is caused by the disease. Some people develop psychosis similar to schizophrenia and some don't).

Here she is at my place eating a baked dinner. She ate most of it, too. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feeding the Ducks

One of the things Mum really likes to do is to feed the ducks and geese at the creek. She never forgets the ducks are there and always wants to give them bread. Bread isn't really good for ducks, but the occasional bit won't hurt. 

When I take her out of the nursing home for the day we often stop and feed these ducks. She loves it. 

I'm dreading when the day comes that she's too badly behaved to take out for the day, yet I know that day is probably coming. On the way back to the nursing home at day's end, she's generally quite obnoxious, though not as bad as before she started on risperidone. 

Alzheimers: sorting out the TV Remote and other mysterious electronic devices

I couldn't resist this. It's funny and it's not funny, because when Mum was living at her own house and at my house I used to do things like this! I also tried:

*Putting cellotape over switches I didn't want turned on or off. This worked - the transparent tape was too hard to find to rip off.
*Chaining the cat food bowl to anything nearby so she couldn't keep moving it and putting it somewhere weird, like the cupboard or the fridge. But she was smart enough to go and get another dish and tip the cat food into it.
*Putting chains around gates
*Chaining gates open that I didn't want shut
*Locking kitchen cupboard doors with chains, but she just ripped the doors right off their hinges in her desperation to get in there - who knows why.
*Having a doorstopper screwed into the floor near the bedroom door so she couldn't keep locking cats in there.
*Having the back windows screwed shut so she couldn't open them in the middle of the night and go "Puss puss puss!" while trying to let cats in via the windows.
*Turning off the water so she couldn't flood the place while I was gone, and only leaving enough water in the jug for her to drink.
*Pulling out the fuse that worked the kitchen stove
*Taping the mobile phone together to discourage her from pulling it apart and removing the battery. But she can remove tape.

But really, nothing will prevent their extreme agitation and determination to do weird stuff.

Anzac Day, 25th April 2013

Mum is doing pretty well. She's still able to enjoy a day out. On Anzac Day, we must have walked three miles to get to the march and three miles back. She wasn't even out of breath. Here she is wearing her brother-in-law's medals. She had a very happy day. After the march she came to my place and sat on the lounge with one of the dogs, watching the Dawn Services from Anzac Cove and France. Back at the nursing home, I showered and dressed her for bed to save the staff a bit of work, being a public holiday.