Friday, July 4, 2014


What a week. A neighbour was devastated when her sister died last weekend. I comforted her, baked biscuits and corn cases and fed the cat while they were away to go to the funeral. Another neighbour has just found out that there is no more work for him with his old firm. It has been a very hard time for people here as just when you think things are getting better something else comes along. I guess we are all noticing it as we all have so many issues still from the earthquakes which were 3 and a half years ago. It must be something in the water.

George has been confused all week - he is compliant which is a relief - and needs to be told exactly what to do - almost like giving commands sometimes. He does try to please but - the caregiver one morning told him to go the toilet and wipe his bottom. He did and went into the bathroom with the soiled toilet paper for the caregiver.

Something I find extremely hard to deal with and I know a lot of other caregivers also do is the isolation we often feel. Those who are not in the same situation are pretty good at telling you what you should do but the reality is really quite different. You tend to find that most of the day is tied up with doing things with or for the person you are caring for. When no other family members are here there is no one to celebrate your birthday with or Christmas. We try to make the people we are caring for feel special at these times but there is no one to make you feel special. As someone said to me you have to do it yourself. When you are just on your own it rather takes any fun out of it. Some caregivers do have family around who will come and stay with the person they care for, for example I know of someone who went with her girlfriends on a cruise while family members cared for her husband. I rely on the respite care I am given from the government which I need to use carefully. I have been told it is like looking after a small child but that actually is not true. Many mothers have grandparents or friends who can look after their children for a time this is generally not true with elderly dementia patients.

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