Friday, 14 January 2011

Talk is good.

Pat myself on the back?
Yes, why not!

Okaasan seems  fine: chatty and laughing and relaxed. Not morose and confused.

And I am sure it is MY chat style with her.

I may have mentioned this before - almost certainly have - that when Yujiro is here at mealtimes he talks...we listen and add comments etc.
When I am here with Okaasan I don't have enough Japanese-ability or energy to go on and on and on chatting. I ask a few questions or make a few comments on her favorite "memory trigger" topics and away she goes....and seems a whole lot better for it.

I write this for anyone else who is handling a dementia sufferer - getting them to chat and tell their favorite stories really appears to make them clearer and connected. Yes, the stories are often repeated. Endlessly, but it's easy when you know what topics to head into.

Last night we sat down to hotpot (easy food after a day of work and errands and shopping) and I mentioned that Yujiro was teaching at Mnt Racy ski area in Yubari.

"Yubari" - quickly Okaasan grabbed the idea and ran with it.

Yubari - coaltown - my husband worked in a coal company in Kyushu - then he went to university - he worked in a coal company after high school - in the office - everyone advised him to go to university - he worked in a coalcompany - but now in Japan coal towns have died because we don't use coal - my husband worked in a coal company before he came to Kawagoe - I was working there before - he didn't know any practical things - he was a university student - my boss came from Kyushu so he gave a Kyushu man a job....and on and on...

She didn't mention my eye at all. She was lost in mental pictures of coal mining and her husband and her old company in Kawagoe.



  1. That's a good way. You learn fast Oyomesan! Probably is a good combination you and Yujiro.

  2. You're quite an inspiration, you know. Your frustration mounts at times, and bloody hell, who wouldn't get irritated, but you keep coming back to that idea that illness doesn't define a person, that they had and have a life... Lovely. And you have two cats; this is not a detail. Cat people are awesome ;-)

  3. thankyou! me inspirational? I think not...muddling along...had a bunch of books about dementia by my bedside last we muddle along...I hear horror tales about having to guide people to the toilet and feed them, and how they fly into rage etc...
    I think my saving thing is that I never really knew Okaasan before any of I don't try to treat her normally...I just try to put into practice what i've read and heard...