Saturday, 14 September 2013

The nightly rescue

Every evening - we are rescuing Okaasan from somewhere round the neighborhood, where she has set out for a walk, gone too far and has no energy to get back home with her painful legs.
I guess it's good that she WANTS to go out for a walk.
But it is also waaaay lucky that we come home around 6 pm and can find her with the GPS Ap. on her cell phone, that she goes to the same old places and that the weather is mainly dry and warm....
She got to MacDonalds and the convenience store. We brought her back by car.
At Macdonalds she was actually standing outside and looking hopefully at the road - and said to me when I pulled up: "Oh, I wondered if someone was coming for me!". She is lucky my class finished at 6 pm and that road is on my way home...and I spotted her.

Today she refused to go out with us in the car to go winter coat shopping. Legs too painful. So we escaped and had couple time with a curry lunch and a film festival. Left her lunch in flasks on the kitchen table.
But after we got home, around 4 pm Okaasan announced she WAS ok to go for a walk and off she went. 
About an hour later we used the GPS to check on her location - and found to our surprise that she was apparently only 2 streets away.
Dear Son went to walk her home...and found her two streets away, trying to GO. Still trying to walk away from the house, with a neighbor all concerned about her.
She's gone 100 meters in an hour. And been sitting on a wall talking to the neighbor....

We held her up between us and walked her home. Where she didn't want any dinner.....

And so it goes.
This leg problem is just ongoing. Mixed in with her emotional response to it and the non-eating, when she remembers the pain and feels "it's better not to eat".

I have a sense that this is going to take the whole situation onto a different level - and not a better one. SHE must be in pain and getting frustrated about it. We must get her a stick and hope that she doesn't fall.
On weekends we can take her for a walk, but during the week we usually don't get home till after 6 pm and it is hard to stop her heading out for a walk.
Her dementia means that she isn't using good judgement on her own physical ability.

And so it goes.


  1. This is worrying, isn't it? My FIL is not as far along the dementia road as your Okaasan but he got very sick a couple of weeks ago because he had a headache, felt cold and very tired but though he said he was cold his wife (who is not the sharpest tack in the box any more) merely told him to put a jacket on. He said he was tired and she told him to take a nap. Etc etc until finally four days later someone noticed he had a fever of 42ºC and a severe bladder infection that landed him in hospital. He was incapable of stringing his feelings together and working out that he had a fever. Poor FIL. :( He's fine now but we have to keep a much closer eye on him from now on.

  2. Yup - Okaasan knows she has bad legs....sometimes...then she gets all morose about it and doesn't want to eat. But then she forgets and sets out for a walk...THANKFULLY the weather is okay for now and we can bring her back. i so hope we are not doing this in December...

  3. I know that she is not a go to the hospital type of person, but do you know where her pain is etc. Is it in the both hip joints, or the knees, or is it more muscular? Maybe you could somehow get her to walk outside and when she is thinking about the pain say lets get this checked out etc… just thinking that they may be some kind of medicaion that would help (something for the swelling etc.) or maybe the doctor that is going to the screening could give you some kind of recommendation for her legs also.. but I imagine that it is so hard on you all when she doesn't like to go to the doctor….(just thinking about your trip next year and the need to keep her mobile et.c) thinking of you all,… Nancy in Tokyo

  4. how worrying! Bloody good that you have a GPS and can get to her as I doubt she would ring you would she? I hope you aren't still doing this in December either :( Poor okaasan and poor oyomesan.

  5. It's hard to know WHERE the pain is: because her talk about it changes of course. Today she said it was her shins....before it was here knee, then before it was her ankle...
    Afraid the "lets go and get this checked out" won't work, the anti-hospital thing is so very strong. I dream of a day when the hospital and doctors WILL help Okaasan and then she will be forced to change her tune...
    The mental asessesment doc is a mental health clinic...she can give advise..but I doubt Okaasan will listen...cos she will already be suspicious about why she is there...
    it's hopeless..I fear this will be the crises that forces Okaasan's dementia into another stage...

  6. The situation you and your husband have in your hands is similar to taking care of a child. If she was a real child in such obvious pain you would have already taken her -even if the child was kicking and screaming- to a doctor. She has dementia and her legs are obviously not well. She needs a medical evaluation and proper medication.

    Yes, she is resistant to doctors and will give you two a hard time if forced to see one, but I think that having to deal with a grumpy okaasan for a couple of days is a small price to pay compared to having to deal with her in a wheelchair wearing diapers because of a fall, a severe exacerbation of the inflammation or more loss of muscle tone. Winter is around the corner, your husband will be away, the burden will be on you. Think about it.


  7. Think about it...? I'm sure Oyome-san thinks about it all the time!!!! Slightly patronizing and frankly quite insulting post by anon. Oyome-san, you are dealing with a very difficult situation. Trying to get an adult with dementia to go to medical appointments is very different to taking a child.... for one, you can always carry the child. Good luck with everything xxxx