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.

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!


  1. Regarding the daycare being boring, when she starts again, it would be nice if you could drop in for an impromptu visit. That way you would know if she is interacting or sitting alone.

    For the week you are on holiday, maybe a person to spend the night to insure she gets home and into bed each day would give you a more reassuring holiday?

    It's sort of like having a minor child to care for.

    M in Seattle

    Best wishes for a wonderful trip!

    1. It's a good idea about the impromptu visit - although being a foreign face in Japan, it is hard to be inconspicuous anywhere and I can imagine arriving at the center doors and being the object of a great fuss from staff - and Okaasan feeling I am spying on her?Not sure...
      Re our 1 week in Brazil - yes a day care person will come in at 5 pm every day for an hour and shop and cook dinner, chat to Okaasan etc. BUT - and to me this is a big BUT - Okaasan usually goes out for a walk between 4 and 6...7 pm. Comes home for dinner at 7 pm. So those two things won't match. Okaasan will feel trapped if we tell her she has to wait for the carer to come every day, and usually after lunch she is she won't go out for a walk...or she will go out, forget her GPS telephone and get lost, and the carer won't know where she is. And we will be in Brazil. It could happen.

      Aghh....turning into a blog posting of its own......these are the worries in my head. DS doesn't seem to think any of this is a problem. Hmmm......he is more optimistic/stupid than I am.

  2. You could put an emergency contact phone number in her cell phone or purse. Maybe the daycare worker's phone number? If she gets lost or confused, a local person could resolve the issue.

    Maybe D.S. is right. Things always seem to work out and Japan is a safe place compared to other places. Just enjoy your trip and hope D.S. doesn't get any calls requesting that he come pick up his Mum. Maybe a back-up contact for emergencies would help you worry less about her. She is a lucky woman to have you in her life!

    M in Seattle