Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Accepting Defeat.Ungraciously.


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.


  1. I think your reaction is as expected. I would feel the same way as you do. Besides the care and activity she got, she also got a bath and shampoo which helped. She is definitely stubborn. All you can do is the best you can for her and that is what you have done. So just get on with your life! I still support not doing the room cleaning.

    Glad to see Kitty feeling better.

    M in Seattle

    1. Yes - she has a much better life than if she was living alone in her old home. We feed her healthy food, we do the shopping, we pay the bills, we tell her to have a bath (although recently I think she has stopped washing her own hair at home baths), she can go out alone for walks. It isn't a bad life at all. We could make it better and keep her brain more active for longer. But sometimes you just have to accept you can't make a situation perfect and just accept what it is. Meanwhile I am taking a break from cleaning and helping. :-)) Kitty sends love to a fan.

  2. Wow.. thinking that it is very hard time for you. I think that she is stubborn and proud and probably not a real joiner in her earlier life. Also, isn't surprising that she is remembering details so well at the center, so they must have made a deep impression on her. But the good thing is that DS has been though it with you and knows what has happened and what to do when the need arises again. I hope you enjoy your spring! Thinking of you, Nancy in Tokyo

  3. wow, i didn't realize you'd had the home help for two years. that's amazing! so sorry she's not cooperating. *sigh* i hope everything works out ok!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I follow your blog regularly. I live in Japan, my parents are in Canada. My mother has dementia, and my father did his best to clean and care for her, but the breaking point eventually arrived. Much to her chagrin, and with a lot of tears, foot-stomping and name calling, the day did come where we had to place her in long-term care. You may reach the point where no matter how much of a fuss she puts up, you won't be able to delay the inevitable. This is your life, too.

    As for the dirty bedroom, will your boyfriend take the initiative to clean it up, or is the responsibility left to you? If that's the case, I think you're doing the right thing leaving it go for a while. Maybe he'll offer to take turns cleaning his mother's room at some point?

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

    SJ in Japan