Friday, 28 September 2012

Lost the memory of...lost.

If you have short term memory holes - how do you remember when you've lost something?
The losing.
The thing.
The problem.
Vicious cycles. Or is it circles? Vicious anyway.

Last night at dinner I was chatting about the Autumn Food Festa in the city park - it's been running for 3 weeks and I've now been twice and stuffed myself on oysters, beef, cake and wine. I love Sapporo.
Okaasan said she hadn't gone. Typical really. But recently she seems to have been locked into the routine of local walks: Seiyu supermarket and the Macdonald's next door. Maybe a diversion to the convenience store.
So, we kind of knew that she hasn't been downtown recently...kinda...

"To go downtown I need the subway, don't I? I don't have a card for the subway, do I?"
Yes! You do! You have an old people's special card, in that little black wallet in your handbag. You always use it to go downtown!

Cue: family hunt  for the subway card...hunting thru the FIVE little shopping bags Okaasan has scattered within reach; the stuff on the table; the coat pockets; the newspaper pile etc etc etc
Today I went to buy a temporary card and ask at the local station. Nothing. Gave the card to Okaasan - which stopped her hunting desperately round and round her room with piles of stuff mounting up on all sides.
On my way to work I dropped into Macdonald's. Described the little black wallet. The staff hunted under the counter...and then I caught sight of a familiar large brown shopping bag.
Yup - with 3 week old magazines inside, three little wallet things, receipts, tissues, towels...and the subway card.
Took it home and tried to stress to Okaasan that something important belongs IN the handbag, not amid the flotsam of her shopping bag. Tried.

But it really made me think. That was probably lost 3 weeks ago. Okaasan maybe went to the subway station many times since then, looked for her card and not finding it...walked on locally. And then forgot. So, she never looked for it. She never mentioned it. Went to the station the next day, looked for the card...and on and on.
We are at work most days and when we meet Okaasan in the evening she doesn't have the ability to tell us anything much about her we don't ask. Just chat about the weather and general things. No specifics. And she doesn't remember, so we don't know....and...and...

Yesterday I met a friend (and ate a huge oyster and deer curry in the Food Festa), and we chatted about dementia assessments.
Her late father had one. An interview in hospital...he scored 11.....and the doctor said: "It's not because of Alzheimer's, it's because of alcohol abuse..." - she and I chatted about memory and ability etc.
Anyway, the weather is still good - so Dear Son is working and not going to the ward office to get more information. I have to bide my time.....bide...bide...

* I slipped into Okaasan's room last night and left the new black trousers on a hanger among her clothes. I don't think she will think it is strange when she finds trousers are black trousers really...she always did have 2 pairs exactly the same. We bought one pair, very expensively, this spring and then within 2 months she'd fallen over and badly scuffed the knee material. After that she didn't wear them.This latest pair are quite a bit cheaper, but still ok. Hopefully she'll just find them and use them,


  1. As the daughter in law, can you request the assessment for daycare?

  2. I don't think so - and in fact, as we are not married I probably have no official standing in relation with Okaasan and the city office.
    The main things are: Okaasan trusts Yujiro and if HE says the city are interviewing all old people for a city-wide survey she will beleive him, and I want HIM to be fully on board with the application for outside assistence.
    So, while I wish I could just take action myself. I can't. And it isn't best.