Thursday, 17 April 2014

Officially out.

The city office care manager came yesterday and had the official meeting to agree that Okaasan can stop attending day center until winter.
Well, he and DS agreed that. I wonder how much Okaasan agreed to it.
He left DS some brochures for two more places to check out.
And come autumn we'll stir up the whole subject again and hope she is in  a positive mind about it.
Hope.

A part of me feels guilty for putting Okaasan into this.
When she says the place is boring and there is nobody to talk to. I kind of worry that it is maybe true. Is she in a living room of gaga old ladies, who don't have any conversations at all?
The staff reports talked about Okaasan joking around with X-san and enjoying card games and singing - how much was true? Or just writing a nice report for the money paying family?
Okaasan is good and bright with conversation and strangers, when someone leads the way. She isn't gaga yet - although in winter she is starts to decline in conversation ability.
Was it too early to send her twice a week to this kind of facility? The fact that in winter our family becomes on-foreigner-plus-old-lady - did that get us more points in the system? Plus my students' husband's introduction to the mental health clinic and assessment.

Anyway. We'll see how she goes thru the summer.

This morning on TV NHK had a report about people with dementia going missing. Happening more and more. One man went out for his morning walk and vanished. A week later he was found sleeping on a park bench 10 km from his home, hungry and tired.
A doctor said families should look out for the signs of dementia: repeated stories, lack of housework/personal care/cooking; buying the same things repeatedly; wandering; uneven sleep patterns. Yup. Check most of those!
Okaasan is still ok going out and coming home again. Mainly. Or asking for help from a friendly stranger/police officer.

After watching the report on TV I went downstairs to the kitchen. Okaasan was was watching the same program. It is bizarre: I guess she watches it like me, as an outside observer on that issue, with no awareness that SHE has most of those problems? I guess so.
I worry about when we go to Brazil for a week and day care worker will come in and cook and chat. I worry that Okaasan will wander somewhere - just the fact of the longer change in routine will shift her into a different phase. So far we've left her for 2 nights with once a day care.
A week will be very different.

Anyway. Onwards. Spring!


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Accepting Defeat.Ungraciously.

Nadda.
Niet.
Nein.
Non.

All of the above and more.
Okaasan won't go to day care. This summer. Ever?

God help us.

Dear Son tried this morning. He really did.
But Okaasan came back at him with clear-headed logical and debate.
It's summer.  I can go walking for exercise. The people at that place are not intelligent. There is nobody to talk to. I don't like going there. There is nothing wrong with my brain - just normal aging. It can't be helped. Stop fussing.

The day care driver and manager came. DS took them out on the front door step to talk it over. Okaasan peered thru her curtains at the car in the street, I  tried to listen from an open window upstairs. They talked and talked.
They went away. He came inside in tears......"they are good people...". He hugged me and said "thankyou for what you are trying to do....".

And so Okaasan stops day care for now.

We'll try again in autumn. Try to find a different place maybe?
Or, if she won't go - arrange a care worker to come into the house twice a week in winter and take Okaasan out by car or taxi for a walk and a chat.
Something. Anything. As long as she goes somewhere and meets someone apart from me in those long winter months when DS is away.

The rest we'll just accept the defeat for now. She's ok. We'll shop for and feed her. She won't die. Just have less mental stimulation.

I am disappointed. But also losing interest. We try to help this woman. If she doesn't want the help...just let her slip more and more into dementia. It's ok. She is 84 years old. Had a good life. There's only so much helping you can try to do. Just let her be.
I want to focus on my work and life and friends. On my Japanese studies. On my cats and garden. On kayaking. On going to Brazil in July. On going to see Queen and Adam Lambert at a mammoth rock festival in Tokyo in August.
On life.

I feel pissed off at Okaasan. And I don't do defeat graciously.
I can't express that directly.
So I have stopped cleaning, tidying, washing, TV channel changing.
Can't be bothered.
Let her stew in it all.

I know this is a really immature reaction. 
But it's the way of righting my emotions.
After a while the guilt and inbuilt do-goodyness will come out again and I'll be back collecting her underpants for washing, removing rotting food, washing trousers, arranging hair salon appointments and generally helping.

But for now I'm not.

Just let her be. She has almost daily conversation with us at dinner time. We do some family activity outing about once a week. Just let her brain surf thru until the next dementia check in October.
For two years the day care people really helped, and Okaasan mostly enjoyed it.
They were great.

Originally, I wanted Okaasan to go to day care for winter care. I thought once a week. I was surprised when they offered twice a week. 

Just hope she'll go back next winter into something.

Bugger her.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Home weekend

Spring kind of came to Sapporo.

March 29th the garden looked like this....


April 13th it looked like this.

And I found this.

And Popo celebrated almost full, noisy health by doing this.

Spent the weekend close to home doing stuff that needed doing.
Okaasan looked a bit rough and sad this weekend. Ate lunch silently on Saturday. Then was getting ready to go for a walk, but had a toilet accident and PUT the soiled pants down the toilet bowl :-((  Ignored the trash box near the toilet.
By the time she'd had a bath to clean up etc the walking chance had gone. 

Sunday she didn't want to eat lunch with us. Ate about an hour later. She didn't really know why.
Went for a walk locally late afternoon.
Had dinner with us in the evening. But pretty quiet.
I haven't been into her room for almost a week now....

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Plan A.

The spirit of compromise is in the air.
Or, at least, the city office and day care manager aren't going to give up a paying customer without a fight.
Dear Son and they have agreed that:

Okaasan should go to day care on Tuesdays when the noisy woman isn't there.
The kitchen staff won't bring their baby to work.
When dance classes are on a Thursday they will send a car to get Okaasan and take her to the center just for that, so she can enjoy the dancing and avoid the noisy woman. (Did I mention that this woman is also a member of one of the Buddhist sects-bordering-on-cult?).

All sounds excellent to the care people.
To Dear Son.
To me.
To the cats.

Nobody has run this past Okaasan yet.
Until  next Tuesday morning...then we'll see how well Plan A goes.

Meanwhile she has been walking downtown several times. Random shopping etc. DS organising her daily life.

And I have passively-aggressively withdrawn my services.
No not THOSE services.
The room cleaning/laundry washing/TV channel changing services. Not doing them now. Waiting to see how long Okaasan and DS will let the stuff mount up. How long the wet knickers will be in the bowl in the bathroom. How long the hidden, rotting food will rot.

:-) Happy news: the cat is getting better....I was so happy to have him 10 cm from my head at 5 am miaowing loudly.

:-) And....DS and I did a "job" last week.....we appeared on stage with a folk singer, the Mayor of Sapporo and glasses of Sapporo beer - singing a drinking song for a TV program that will be broadcast next month.
It's a hard job. The "pay" was beer and lamb BBQ.
It was rent-a-gaijin-to-make-this-event-look-cool time. I AM a gaijin. DS isn't, but he can pretend.




Mayor and foreign females....and beer.