Haven’t update for a while. Just been putting the finishing touches to everything and plodding through my to do list. Also walking. A lot of walking. Which probably explains the 8lb weight loss this week (If this carries on I will not be leaving Somerset ever).
So an update on our mental health now we are a week into the move. Nan *seems* happy (I once worked in a nursery, and when writing observations on the children we had to write that they seemed whatever they felt, because we couldn’t know how they felt. And I suppose that is applicable here too). She says she’s happy she’s moved, that she’s quite happy here. And it is a change that myself, my mum and sister have noticed. Nan is like a different person, enjoying life, the laughs that I enjoyed with nan maybe once a week in Kent are happening more than once a day. Nan’s 3 favourite things about living here; people are friendly, she likes being able to go out for the walks together and (after a bit of prompting, including my glorious rendition of “a sailor went to sea”) seeing the sea “no doubt”.
Don’t get me wrong, nan’s not cured. Life isn’t miraculously perfect. I still have moments where I want to scream and shout and lock myself (or nan) in the cupboard. I’ve had to put signs on the doors, cupboards and drawers so that nan can read where she needs to put things or go. I’ve found her lost a couple of times sort of spinning in circles trying to get her bearings. And of course nan is still refusing to ask for help. So if she is lost or can’t find something or is confused she won’t ask me what she needs. So I am perfecting the skill of prompting.
I feel like in a way this is allowing me to start the caring experience from scratch. I’ve been able to encourage nan’s independence in finding her footing in the new house, while I’ve been finding mine. And we are both getting to stretch our boundaries. Nan feels more comfortable walking around so she’s been for a couple of half hour walks round the block (nan is yet to tackle the massive hill that I do once a day, but to be fair the drive is more than enough of an incline for nan). I feel more comfortable leaving nan in a neighbourhood where all the neighbours have been round to say hello, and where there is nothing for her to trip over (and currently no oven for her to leave on) so I have been out exploring every day.
I already feel like we’ve been here months, not a week. It’s so easy to settle in, but some of the “quirks” of those lovely people of Somerset are hard for a towny like myself to grasp. They never get straight to the point of what they want to say, and will spend 20 minutes giving you a life story, which is nice. But difficult when you just want to get on. Although we all know how much I love to talk so I should imagine it won’t take me too long to fall into this habit.
One interesting development has been nan’s tastebuds. I know these usually deteriorate with dementia (if you can use the term usually with dementia) and can lead to your loved one not wanting to eat. But for now at least nan is eating. It’s just what she’s eating that is making me giggle. Of course I won’t question her as I am concerned she will take it as a criticism and then refuse to eat. So yesterday I made nan some sausage casserole for lunch and raisins for after. I’m sure you can see where this is going. The raisins ended up in the casserole. And nan stated that it was delicious. OK, I can kind of see the logic, we add raisins to curry so why not casserole? Today though. Today nan had scrambled eggs on toast. With raisins on top. Which she told me she wasn’t sure about but is very nice. Okaaaaaay. Now, do I leave the raisins until after nan has finished dinner? Or shall I let nan keep inventing bizarre food creations (please bear in mind I ate Marmite fudge today).
Thanks for reading 🙂