A superb 70s hat

3 Feb

And here we are at Day 5 of 100 of the embroidery project. This is what I reflected on at the time:

I haven’t got much stitching done today… I really haven’t stopped long enough to focus on it all day.

But since we never get just one swallow here is the second one. And I’ve learned so much by doing the first one, so I’m tweaking how I do this one. Well no two birds are exactly alike are they?

As a wee bonus, you get mum and dad dressed up to go to some fancy shmancy do. We’ll never know now what it was, but I hope wherever they were they appreciated that hat. It was sort of autumnal colours, in the way that many things were in the 70s. Or was that just in our house?

One of the first really obvious symptom of mum’s dementia was that she never knew what time of day it was, even if she had checked a few minutes before (and she did check with us frequently). At most meals she thought it must be breakfast time – I guess if you lose your short term memory, and have no recollection of the rest of the day you probably think there has been no day yet, so if it’s a mealtime, it must be breakfast!

We bought her a dementia clock, which helped a bit, except that she was determined to position it on a bookshelf in the passage way between her bedroom and the rest of the house, a place she only walked through either when she was going for a pee in the night, or when she got up in the morning. So, for the rest of the day she still didn’t know what day of the week it was, or whether it was morning, noon or night. We bought a second clock, and she used it a bit more. She was definitely aware of this being an issue, and later, when she had an appointment with the doctor and she knew they were going to ask her some memory questions, she deliberately checked the clock just before he called, so she would know the day of the week.

But the thing that initially helped the most, was a simple pencil and paper solution. We wrote the day of the week, and the mealtime on pieces of paper and positioned them at her place at the dining room table. She would sit down at her chair, which had always been her chair, with her back to the Rayburn and she would read the label, usually with some delight. She still has not lost her appetite and has always enjoyed good food.

I say initially.

The final picture in this series (below) wasn’t needed at first. Mum would go to bed (generally at about 8pm), and then wouldn’t get up again till breakfast time, or if she did, it was only for a pee and then back to bed. But in the late Spring, she started waking at night, and believing it was day time. She always seemed her most vulnerable during these nocturnal moments. Somehow it felt as though she didn’t have the energy or the capacity to pretend that she was ok, and she was often tearful and upset, realising that something was wrong, usually believing that she was a stupid old woman. I had hoped that on these occasions the ‘This is Bedtime’ message might convince her that it was still the middle of the night (that and the fact that it was pitch dark outside and I was in my pyjamas)… but she suspected that someone (possibly the pixies) had come in and changed the labels just to confuse her. I so wish I had never joked about the pixies putting them out so they were always right!

Thank you to all who have already donated to Alzheimer Scotland, you rock my world! And if you want to donate again, or for the first time, then today is a good day to do just that. Thank you all, I REALLY appreciate your support.

One Response to “A superb 70s hat”

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  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - February 28, 2022

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