November 5th- Alzheimers

November 5th and Alzheimers

Worth mentioning. I remember the 5th November last year. I was looking after a lady of 87 in London. Her Alzheimers allowed her to have normal conversations about the past, but her day to day, short term memory was very limited. So when she went to bed at 10 p.m I reminded her that it was ‘bonfire night’ and to expect loud bangs. She wouldn’t see the fireworks in her basement bedroom but she would see flashes of light and the noise…

About half an hour later it began. Normally she would call out if she needed anything. I had a monitor/receiver in my room, 3 floors up! I could see the fireworks not to mention hear them but I was worried that there was no sound from downstairs. Could she be asleep already? One thing I have learned after years in this job—trust your instincts. I went downstairs to find the lady, sitting on the edge of her bed, with a blanket wrapped around her, shaking.

“Should we get to the shelter?” she asked in a terrified whisper. This poor lady had been transported back to the war. She was convinced we were being bombed. I put the tv on to show her the news and firework displays around the country. Sadly this only reassured her for a few moments before…”Are you sure we shouldn’t try and get to the shelter…”

So, please, if you are caring for anyone with dementia over the next few days, extra reassurance/hugs will be required. Thank you.