Friday, 31 October 2014

Over Managing

Guilty of over managing. Again.
Hair salon appointment this time.

Okaasan looks like a horror movie extra, and long overdue for a hair cut and perm. One of the things of dementia? She never really ever brushes her hair. Sometimes she doesn't really even wash it. So always straggly and unkempt.

Among the million of things I have to do this week, I went into the nice salon downtown and made an appointment for her. Made sure that there will be female staff this time. 4 months ago when Okaasan last went there she complained after about the young men stylists and said it was hard to talk to them.
Then she found a just open salon near our home, which had a discount price. And...another male stylist. She's been there twice...or 3 times.

But I booked her in with the salon downtown.
Because? Her reason for quitting was odd - specially as she changed to a place with only a male stylist. And one of my students recommended this place. And she went there happily for two years etc.

But then DS found Okaasan with a discount coupon for the local salon: "I have to go here by tomorrow for the discount!" she demanded. The salon advertises in the newspaper, so the information was there in her hands.

Of course, HE then gets on at me about why I am ignoring her wishes about which salon to go to.....saying that if she's been to this one two or three times, she must be satisfied etc.

It's true. Why am I trying to force MY way of doing it on her? Over managing.

So. Cancelled the place downtown. Went in and booked the local place for Monday. Told Okaasan. Wrote it on the calender for her. Will make sure she gets there next week.

As I've said before, this balancing act of helping and managing and giving her independence is one of the harder aspects of our relationship.
She does need someone to step in and make the appointment and get her out of the house on the right day and time, and give her enough money for the salon. Left alone she wouldn't do it. She has the salon number. She has a telephone. She has no schedule every day. But she wouldn't make an appointment.
So we have to do it for her. But trying to remember to follow her wishes.
I'm bad at that.

* Falling down in sympathy.
I fell down last night in the car park outside work. I stepped off a small step onto a small, raised manhole cover. In the dark. In heels. Trying to judge my Halloween window decorations.
Crashed face first. Badly grazed my knee, hands. Swollen lip. Luckily didn't break my glasses. Got home and feel tender today.
I'm 53 and feel tender today - Okaasan falls like this a few times a year. She is in her 80s. I have sympathy for how she must feel.


  1. Bad luck you re: the fall. Hope your body is back to rights soon.

    Wondered if you saw the program last night about the 'gomidoru', people who live in messy houses. It showed one girl's apartment where all the furniture was either on the floor or very low. The expert said this furniture is likely to make/keep people messy as they use the floor as a receptacle for things. Once the girl's apartment was cleaned and she was given a table with a decent chair and a couch with a higher seat she kept the apartment including the floor very clean. Thought that if you did something similar for Okaasan it might help. I think she'd love a Lazy Boy type chair.

  2. Hi - thankyou for your kind thoughts. I am still feeling a bit tender today, I am going for a gentle walk in the autumn sunshine ;-)
    I didn't see the program - but I know the kind of places you are talking about!!!!
    Okaasan has a low Japanese table and a kotatsu heater blanket, and usually sits on the carpet with her back against the sofa. In front of the TV. So yes - EVERYTHING in her world is there on the table in front of her. I remove stuff every day or two, to keep the level down. Things around the room - I don't think she notices. I think her generation are used to having stuff on the floor!! The best thing is that we live in the same house and I can get into the room and clean sometimes.

  3. I'm so sorry for your fall - take good care of yourself. I can empathize - took a fall in June, tender for a few weeks, fast forward to today, making the rounds of chiropractor and orthopedic surgeon - Labral tear :(

    And you are a very good oyomesan! :)

  4. I think that DS would cut you some slack here. You are doing an exceptional job. There are not many Significant Others that would do what you do for HIS mother.

  5. I am sorry, but unless I am missing something in the order of events I don´t see why you are guilt of anything here. From what I understand it was only after having arranged everything for her that she said she wanted to go to the local one.

    I don´t get it. You are the only one who seems to have a real concern about her general well being. You know, making sure that she has the little things that are really important to improve the general quality of her daily life. You were the one who noticed she is not really taking care of her hair, you were the one who went out of your way on a busy week to make an appointment in a salon you know she liked to go. That was sweet and kind.

    Why are you always getting a lot of flak from him? Over managing? Oh please! I wonder what would happen to her if she would be living alone with him. I don´t see him making sure she doesn´t get unnecessarily stressed out having to find her keys/metro card in one of the 176 bags she is collecting, I don't see him going to her room to clean and remove rotten food and dirty knickers from their hiding places, I don´t see him thinking about new ways of give her some mental and physical stimuli during Winter.

    You are always being proactive and there is nothing wrong with that. If he thinks this is you "forcing your way" so be it. At least she has someone who does not want to see her with a rat nest on her head.

    There is nothing wrong with the way you do things. You are doing the best you can and okaasan is very lucky to have you around.