Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Left hand - right hand

I try and avoid certain family matters getting mentioned, but I do need to vent/release some tension so here we go. My grandmother is suffering from a minor case of dementia which is getting worse. She's not forgetting to get dressed or anything, but short-term memory has all but vanished and long-term is fading. This has been going up for 5-6 months at least. My mother is being driven slowly insane by the phone-calls which have been getting more frequent.

"I'm bored I haven't seen anyone all week!"
"I was there this morning, [my aunt] was there yesterday and you went to [nursing home] the day before that."
"I don't remember any of that, anyway I've got nothing to do"
"What about that jigsaw"
"What jigsaw?"
"The one we were doing this morning"
"Were you here this morning?"

Followed 10 minutes later by exactly the same conversation. My mother popped out for a couple of hours and came back to 10 missed calls.

Well you get the drift. The other calls are about wanting to go home, made from the house she's lived in for the past 25+ years.

Well my mother had been getting all this before Christmas, now my aunt is getting the same level of calls and it's driving her to distraction too, especially as her husband works shifts.

Often she'll call my mother, then 5 minutes later call my aunt, then call my mother with no recollection of any calls she's just made.

So we've been trying to get her into a nursing home. Started the work in January as to how it was going to be financed. Talked to the relevant departments and waited... and waited. Turns out the relevant department was waiting for Social Services to sort things out, but nobody had bothered to tell them. Many phone calls later we finally discover this at the end of February. Middle of March and we're getting a social worker... beginning of this month we get a social worker assigned who is now off on holiday for a couple of weeks.

So all this might have been sorted out two months ago.

Events preceding this with my other, now deceased, grandmother haven't helped; the term frayed nerves fits quite well.