As many people know the key to a better quality of life is having structure and routine. And this is especially the case for those with dementia, or any illness affecting the brain/memory. The routine can help them remember things that would otherwise fall by the wayside, and helps to get them to keep their independence just that little bit longer.
Now this may sound ridiculous but I have found that nan bases her routine around what is on the telly. And this is fair enough as it is pretty constant. Breakfast and meds before Jeremy Kyle, any housework and laundry during This Morning. Tea and biscuits during the antique programmes. Then sit and chill watching the quiz shows e.g. Deal or No Deal, The Chase etc. Then the news, this is when asks about dinner. Because she knows she always has dinner at the start of Emmerdale. So I was not in her good books on Thursday when dinner arrived halfway through Emmerdale because it started at 6.45. Then ran for an hour so finished at 7.45. So nan missed half of Eastenders, which left her more confused about who the characters were, and what they were doing and why than usual. I find it hard enough to follow the soaps as it is, so trying to explain the first half of a programme that you haven’t seen was darn near impossible. Especially to someone who forgets the first thing you explain as soon as you start to explain the second thing.
And then there was the football, not Coronation Street, and not much choice on any other channels, so nan ended up getting fidgety and agitated because the whole night had been thrown out of whack.
Thanks TV schedulers!
Is it really too much to ask for the football to have its own freeview channel? So it stops messing with regular scheduling and the routine that people so desperately need to live a relatively normal life?
Once again I would like to thank all the people that read my blog, and especially those that have been sharing it on their Facebook timelines, retweeting it, liking it etc. It means a lot that this could potentially reach someone who needs to know that other people are in the same boat. And that it is OK to talk about dementia/Alzheimers (not losing their marbles as a character in Eastenders recently described it – after all, that is part of the reason I started this blog, to get a ball rolling on talking about it. One of the many reasons that my nan refused to go to the memory clinic and get diagnosed is because of the stigma that is attached to memory problems. And to accept that it is not just a part of getting old), as well as any other illnesses affecting the mind/personality.
So please do encourage your friends/family/colleagues/cellmates to read this blog and to TALK ABOUT IT!