Diary – Special Moment

Thursday June 23rd 2022

I often talk about my walks with nature, how it makes me feel.

How dementia has made me appreciate the little things in life.

Gone are the days of wandering around the shops for a bit of retail therapy to make myself feel better.

The thought of spending hours with the hustle and bustle of people, as they jostle beside you to get to an item of clothing, does not entice me whatsoever.

Materialistic, a short fix, leaving you feeling worse when you realise how much you have actually spent!

I really wish that I had found nature sooner…just think of the money I could have saved!

I have been so luck to encounter some very special moments with nature. It is those moments when I just go Wow!

We all have special moments in our lives…Those extra special moments.

The birth of a son or daughter.

Holding your grandchild for the first time.

Woo…heart melts…a magical sparkle…endorphin level rises making you feel on top of the world.

Nature brings a very similar feeling…I know nothing can beat your children coming into the world, or the joy a grandchild can bring.

But when a wild bird lands in your hand and you feel it’s tiny little feet, it is one very special moment.

I have been so lucky to encounter robins feed from my hand and also a fleeting visit from a Blue Tit

My latest encounter was definitely the best. The little Robin came to my hand on several occasions looking straight into my eyes, not just a quick flight in to take food.

This colourful little bird actually wanted to spend time choosing the food he wanted to eat, right in the palm of my hand.

The confidence…The trust…Now that is special ❤️

What I can’t get over, is this special little bird comes to me when I have my dog Toby at my side…Now that is trust!

Little did I know that whilst Mr Robin was toing and froing from my hand, a young couple was watching in amazement.

I was far too caught up in the moment to notice anything or anyone around me…I was totally consumed by nature.

Nothing else was of any importance.

It was like I had been transported to a different place.

A place where there is no mention of dementia.

A place that’s calm,

A place so quiet

Only the sweet sounds of nature ❤️

Diary – The Love of Nature

Wednesday June 22nd 2022

In my earlier years, I never really thought about nature.

Far too busy with other things to stop and notice the beauty that surrounds us.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with dementia that I actually started to take note of the calming effects.

I started to appreciate all the wonderful things we have right on our doorstep.

The views, the sounds …Nature just surrounds us.

Nature has a way of pulling us into experiencing sensory awareness. Your senses will be captivated by the beauty and mystery of natural surroundings.

We live in a world of constant bombardment of computer screens, phone screens, information, technology, and long boring hours inside our concrete walls.

It’s no wonder we sometimes feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and tired out.

Nature is great for helping to clear our mind of all the junk, relive eye strain from computer screens.

Nature just has away of getting everything out of your head and opening up your senses to the beauty that surrounds.

It gives us a chance to step away from our worries and simply come to our senses for a little while.

Thank you Nature!

When you step into nature, you suddenly find a magical world filled with exciting opportunities to have wonderful adventures.

Everywhere you look has new mysteries that pull you deeper into a natural life.

You start to look at trees

Listen to all the birds calling

You see birds nests in buildings

The sparrow hawk that sits high up on a rooftop

We engage with life more, we activate our emotions.

There’s something thrilling about following a distant noise around the nature reserve and then discovering a different species of bird.

Solving little mysteries is like a little adventure, it’s exciting, also teaches something new, makes learning genuinely fun.

When was the last time you stopped to really appreciate this most basic necessity that nature provides?

Have you ever had a close encounter with a wild animal?

Last month I was so close to wild deer, my heart was thumping with excitement.

This week Hubby was driving when an otter ran in front of the car we stopped and watched as it disappear into the hedgerow. Both totally amazed at what we had just seen.

There has been so much building of new houses and roads in our area that our wildlife has been very much disturbed from their natural habitats.

Building Developments should enhance natural environments, not destroy them.

I have realised that nature is a big part of my life now and I hope it stays that way.

It’s easy to think nature will always be with us. But will it ?

I suppose depends on whether we let nature go to the wall or help to restore and maintain it.

Diary – Things that make us comfortable

Tuesday June 21st 2022

Have you thought about all the things that make us comfortable in our our own home

Our daily routines.

The things we use

What we like to eat and drink

Our own personal things that are so important to us.

To a person living with dementia it might be the difference between calm or agitation

Taking away our personal possessions would only make us sad. Could make a person feel like they are being punished in some way.

By taking something away from a person it would most probably have a negative impact.

Sit back and just think of all the things you love to use everyday

Phone

Crossword

Book

iPad

Camera

Pen, paper

Sketch pad

Digital clock / calendar

Alexa

Walking

There are so many things we use in our daily life. These things make us happy keep us content, calm, give us purpose and occupy time.

If i had to go into a care home and my everyday items where taken away from me.

Wow just think of the effect that this could have on my mental health.

For example take away my phone or possibly my camera for a week…How would I cope…Would I understand why they have been taken away?

Try to put yourself in their shoes…How would you feel?

Just imagine going to live in a care home where you can not take all your possessions. Or they might even put your possessions in a cupboard or drawer and you don’t know they are there!

You might not have your favourite chair or drinking cup.

Your cup that you have used for years, has now been changed to a plastic mug.

You have now stopped drinking!

Why?

Because it’s not Your mug! You have no idea that the plastic mug is meant for you.

You might not like the feel of drinking out of plastic!

So you refuse to drink.

Carers and loved ones now think you are being awkward, because you are not drinking.

You are not being awkward, you just want the china cup you have always had your cup of tea in.

Simple really when you assess the situation.

At home or in a care home, it is important to have our familiar items with us or in a place that we can find them easily.

Routine is so important so don’t change it!

A regular routine can help

  • Keep stress levels down
  • Form good daily habits
  • Feel more productive
  • More focused

Routines are the things that regularly happen.

Routines can be comprised of eating breakfast, reading the newspaper or a magazine, getting your hair done, going for a walk every day, setting the table for dinner, drying the dishes.

Routines may also consist of the order in which tasks are completed.

If you’re getting ready for bed, you might have a shower and put your night clothes on, have a hot drink, watch tv. Then you may brush your teeth before getting into bed.

Practicing a routine or activity regularly, mentally or physical may increase the likelihood of that ability remaining.

This allows for some independence.

Daily washing of dishes or a little cleaning can increase self esteem and confidence.

In a nursing home, or care facility, the turn over of staff could be a problem. You may have a different staff member every day caring for you.

How do you build trust and relationships between the staff and the resident?

I know this could be an issue for me as I am not great with people I don’t know.

As time goes on, dementia will progress one thing never to forget, I am still the same person.

I still need a routine.

Perhaps just simplify and adapted to our needs.

Diary – Unorganised Craft Room

Monday June 20th 2022

My craft room has become a bit of a bomb site over the last few weeks. It has become one of those uncontrollable dumping grounds …Which is not like me at all!

Every drawer is overflowing with crafting materials I have collected.

I have got to the stage where I can no longer fit into my room!

Never mind find anything!

It was definitely time to give my craft room a good clear out!

So the beginning of last week it was top of my things to do list

It turned out to be one of those jobs, I really wished I had never started.

Two days later success, I finally had completed organising my craft room…with a welcome sigh of relief

The sorting and organising did lead to me to a bit of crafting.

I found an old peg bag that I had purposely put to one side.

I had kept the old bag to-use as a pattern, unfortunately it got buried in the mayhem of crafting supplies. Which of course led to me completely forgetting it was there.

I decided to deconstruct and cut around the peg bag.

After quite a few moments of confusion, success…Da! Da!

One peg bag all sewn together from left over off cuts of material.

Pretty chuffed with myself! It feels great when you achieve something…no matter how small.

After I had finished the craft room, it was definitely time to unwind with nature.

Just a short walk this morning, listening to the birds and taking a few photos along the way.

Nothing like a walk with nature to calm and restore

Then back into my craft room to start designing some Father’s Day cards.

Feel like I have achieved today.

A very productive day indeed.

Diary – Organ Donation

Thursday 16th June 2022

Have you thought about if you would like to donate your organs.

Do your family know about your wishes

I have completed the form online, only took a few minutes.

There are also other links on the NHS page on how to donate the following:-

Blood

Platelets

Bone marrow

Tissue

Cord blood bank

The link to the NHS page is below

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/

Very informative site once you find your way around.

You can also change your decision at anytime and amend your preference

You could also donate your brain to medical research if you required

It is an admirable choice that is becoming increasingly popular donating your brain to medical research.

We think about donating heart, kidneys, liver to possibly save someone else’s life. Yet, we rarely think about the brain .

When you donate your brain to research, they are helping scientists to better understand.

In the future possibly find a cure, hopefully eradicating neurological diseases.

The brain is the body’s most complex organ – is absolutely crucial to achieving progress in research into Dementia and other neurological diseases.

Home

A short film below gives you some information on Manchester

There are also brain banks located in Newcastle, London, Oxford and Bristol, and also a research centre in Cardiff.

I know this won’t be for everyone and if I’m honest it’s not for me…Then again who knows I might possibly change my mind!

Diary – A very Blustery Walk

Wednesday 15th June 2022

On Saturday which was the 11th June…Wow it is so blustery this morning as I step out of the car to walk the nature reserve.

I hold my camera up to take the first photo of the day, hands shaking with the force of the wind…this is going to be interesting! I wonder how many clear photos I will manage today?

Even though the sun is out, it is quite hazy, I think it’s all the dust in the atmosphere.

The long grasses dance and sway, their seeds being dispersed…no wonder pollen is high.

Me and Toby walk down to the river Wyre to take in the view and spot any wildlife that maybe around. Unfortunately a little too blustery today. Wildlife tucked away safely this morning.

The pathway alongside the river is drying out now, the summer tides are not as high as winter.

The earth has a cracked texture, looks almost desert like. Amazingly there is still life in the mudcracked formation.

We leave the riverbank and head towards the pond, where there is a heron playing hide ‘n’ seek in the reeds.

Is he watching the fish or the baby ducklings! I walk towards him slowly, he spots me and flys to another spot in the reeds

Watching my every move.

I feed all my feathered friends, having to give the swans the hard word as they hiss at Toby. Funny enough I thing they know what I am saying as they always stop!

Once I have fed my friends and they realise…No food left! They all disperse gracefully back to chilling on the pond

My walk is nearly done as I take the pathway back to the car, where a Reed Bunting waiting patiently for me to throw some seed into the hedgerow.

Time to leave my favourite place…Won’t be long until I’m back again!

Diary – Care and Support Plan

Tuesday June 14th 2022

A care plan is an easy, accessible way to describe the needs of the person views, preferences and choices. Hopefully they will then be actioned by their care person/people

I personally have never been offered a care plan. Never even heard of one until I started to look into future care.

So my care plan is information that I have started to gather myself. I think eventually I may have to discuss with my doctor, so all relevant information will be documented on file for health care providers to have access too.

I am drafting a plan which will include:-

Information about myself

Medical conditions

Medication

Any treatment already in place

Personal information like family details, religion

Others that may be involved with care, both professionals and family

Example taken from My Future Care Handbook http://www.Mycarematters.org

Simple things could be included like a preferred name as it may not be your birth name, it may be shortened version or a nick name

Favourite foods and foods that are disliked or have an allergy towards .

What are your favourite drinks, something so simple as how many sugars or not in your hot beverages

Any phobias.

Things that scare me.

For example I cannot be near anyone vomiting, I just go into sheer panic. Also I am not comfortable being in the dark now.

Both of my phobias could be so important if I ever have to have a stay in hospital. My reactions may be misconstrued as being aggressive as I may panic.

Do I need glasses and how is my hearing

Routines for bed, showering

Clothes can be important, the material, the feel. I like to be comfortable and not restricted in anyway…Oh and I absolutely hate my back being cold.

Favourite music and tv programs.

I do have a routine with early evening tv, so this could be important.

Activities

The importance of my dogs

A short insight into my past employment perhaps, so they can build some sort of picture of what my life was like before dementia, you never know we might even have something in common.

Include anything that you feel is important to know.

Some things may seem quite strange or unimportant…To me that small thing like my favourite cup is huge…Its my favourite cup!

If you was to hand me a drink that is not in my favourite cup, I may not drink, simple but true.

When the time comes for care ( if that time ever arrives) It is so important for me to feel comfortable in what I wear, my surroundings and the people that are caring for me.

I do hope by creating a care / health plan that I will still have the respect from others to carry out my wishes if I am unable to communicate in anyway.

Diary – Capacity

Monday 13th June 2022

Over the last week I have written blogs about planning for future care and what I might need to think about.

One thing i need to think about living with dementia, is how long will i have the capacity to make my own decisions.

Understanding information and making my own choices

Communication

We all communicate in more ways than just speaking

I covered non verbal communication at college during studying counselling.

For communication to be effective, we have to have the ability to understand what others are trying to communicate to us, either by language or non verbal

Understanding language

Hearing

Ability to see

Facial expressions

Pointing / Using hands

Writing

Drawing

Text message or computer

Touch

Eye contact

Reading skills

Ability to recognise

Mental Capacity

I’m assuming that it would be a doctor or medical professional that would assess if you have mental capacity.

This does worry me slightly, as the health care professionals don’t know me as well as my hubby and close family. If a health care professional was to assess me on a bad day, my capacity would definitely not be as sharp.

Would that result in a false mental capacity assessment?

The Mental Capacity Act says that a person is unable to make their own decision if they cannot do one or more of the following things:

1. Understand information given to them.

2. Retain that information long enough to be able to make the decision.

3. Weigh up the information available to make the decision.

4. Communicate a decision, which could be blinking, squeezing a hand

At this moment in time, I am still capable of making my own decisions and choices.

So now could be the best time to plan my future care, while I know I have the capacity to do so.

Available below is my recent podcast
Episode 8
Future care – part 1

Diary – Toothache

Friday 10th June 2022

I have a very high pain threshold or used to have.

I wonder if dementia affects the way i cope with pain or is it just the fact, my mouth is Very Painful!

Anyone who knows me well, will know I’m not soft, I hate being poorly, I will try and work through what ever try’s to stand in my way.

The only pain relief I had during child birth was gas and air.

Tooth ache is a different dimension of pain…it seems never ending.

There is no comfortable position from this throbbing constant pain that radiates around my face and ear. It’s excruciating!

I tried my early morning walk, unfortunately that didn’t last long. I thought my camera and nature might have distracted me from the pain…No I simply couldn’t concentrate on beautiful nature, because of the constant throb of pulsating pain in my jaw.

Even the bright sunny morning I have been longing for, just didn’t keep me outside. I just longed to be back at home.

Home it is to sit and watch the clock, because at 9am I am definitely making a phone call!

9am I pick up the phone, a couple of attempts and I’m through to the dentist, literally begging for an appointment.

With success and a sigh of relief I have an appointment…Only another 6 hours of pain as I clutch the side of my face.

3.15pm I have never felt so happy to be sitting in that dentist chair.

My mouth is X-rayed to find out what is going on.

After examining the X-ray my dentist tell me that the only thing she can do is to take the tooth out…Sounds good to me! I think I would have agreed with anything, just want the pain to stop now!

With lots of pulling, pushing, wiggling 30 minutes later my tooth sits on the table next to me, looking the way I have felt for the last 24 hours…Rotten!

I felt like sinking into the chair closing my eyes and going to sleep. Relief at last!

I thank the dentist several times before leaving.

The best visit to the dentist ever!

Well it was until the numbness started to wear off and the pain of the extraction starts to kick in.

The day after the extraction I have a different pain, a dull pain from the pulling and pushing. My jaw aches and I’m feeling weary because of lack of sleep.

I spend all Wednesday chilling out on the sofa, dozing in and out of sleep. You know I’m not well when I actually stop and sit down and especially when I sleep during the day!

I’m hoping I will feel much better tomorrow…fingers crossed!

Diary – A little tired

Thursday 9th June 2022

Jubilee Bank Holiday on the Saturday evening I felt rubbish. My routine has been disrupted by

1. Doing different things

2. Hubby being at home

3. Eating different foods at different times

4. TV programs changed

5. Cloakroom and toilet installation

These things might seem trivial, but to dementia it’s major confusion and upset.

By Sunday morning I am so tired and worn out by it all, I really can’t be bothered with my early morning walk, which is not like me.

I just feel exhausted by everything.

My head is fuzzy and I feel nauseous!

I sit in my comfy chair head tilted slightly back, eyes closed and breath

I think a day of resting is in order

I need to recuperate, I have a busy day Monday.