February 14

My wife has been attending a Day Centre for 4 weeks now. Last week she was offered an additional day each week which we accepted. She seems to enjoy the activities very much and has formed a real attachment to the co-ordinator who is very outgoing and gives all the members a kiss as they leave. Last week I visited another Day Centre which specialises in activities for dementia patients. This is a much better facility than the one in the Village my wife currently attends. We are planning that she should start there for one day a week some time in April. Unfortunately this new Day Centre want to do their own assessment of my wife’s condition before deciding to offer her a place.

My wife is becoming more and more disoriented in our own home. Sometimes she needs to be led by the hand  to find our bedroom and bathroom. She requires more assistance with dressing, particularly in getting garments the right way round, the right side out, and making sure she chooses a pair of shoes and not an odd pair, or getting them on the correct foot.

The free time I now have is a novelty to me. On one of the days my wife is at the Day Centre I do the housework, change the bed linen, and any of the other jobs that have been neglected around the home. I have started going to the Village gym for half an hour each day my wife is at the Day Centre. I am already beginning to feel better and stronger as a result of this effort.

I attended a session with the psychologist 2 weeks ago. The time was spent with me answering questions about my wife’s and my background. I haven’t made another appointment yet because I haven’t done the homework set for me. The homework consists of writing a letter to my wife about our life together. We haven’t written letters to each other since 1975 when I went away to WA for a 3 month work contract. Any reader of this blog will soon realise that I am not a natural writer. I don’t use very descriptive langauage, I just state the facts as I see them. My training in engineering might have something to do with that. I find it hard to tell people how I feel unless they are really interested and they ask me outright. The facts are that our relationship is not what it used to be. My wife is slipping away from me and I can’t do anything to stop it. Many is the time that I feel quite helpless with frustration at yet again having to rearrange her clothing from being inside out or back to front or both.

About labtad

Born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. Migrated to Australia in 1968 and now live in an outer South eastern suburb of Melbourne. Married since 1966 to my wife who was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. I am an imperfect follower of the Christian faith who believes that most things in life happen for a reason or purpose. The last 12 years, since my wife showed the first signs of having memory problems, have gradually taught me patience, compassion and some understanding of the situations that arise when a person Is living with dementia.
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