Comes a time in every dementia story when recognizing loved ones becomes a problem: the vague feeling that the smiling face is connected...but not sure who...
Okaasan's take on this was a winner.
"Who am I?" asked Dear Son recently.
"You are Japanese!" countered Okaasan.
Mainly she still know us, actually...a few times she thinks Dear Son is her brother...so all is pretty ok still.
I've been away from the family for almost 2 weeks. Had a wonderful holiday in south central Japan - driving around in a camping car to explore the beaches, forests and tiny villages. Met friends to do two days hiking on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails...oh...it was wonderful.
Living in Japan...but I don't explore it enough. Domestic travel used to be very expensive, and with family in the UK my holidays were locked in to the Return to Uk mode for years.
But now, thanks to LCC air tickets...and Dear Son staying home with the cats - I could get away and have a real holiday in the country that has been home forever.
It was a great holiday. The Kumano Kodo trails in particular, now World Heritage, so there is lots of online free info to help plan. I managed two days of NINE mountain miles each day...which with my knee history was great.
Back home in Sapporo....changes are happening in Okaasan's care home..
The whole two-care-companies-in-one-home thing finally imploded and droves of families appear to have left...presumably moving their elderly to a care home run by the old staff?
Okaasan's floor has 30 rooms. At the last count there are only 12 residents, and the old care staff - who were not allowed behind the nurse station and operated out of an office down the street - they are nowhere to be seen.
So, that is the result, inevitably, of all those angry meetings last year when the hospital/care home dropped the bombshell that they'd switched owners...and switched care companies...without telling any of the customers.
We decided to switch to the new care company...because it seemed to be the way the thing was going anyway...but many families didn't. We also didn't want to move Okaasan...she is settled there now and knows the environment and staff.
I guess she is having GREAT service now. Only 12 residents!