Tipping point

Someone asked a group yesterday 'what is your tipping point'?  What they meant was what was it that would tip us over the edge into realising we can't cope?  This seems to me to be a negative way of looking at things and I wondered how we could turn it on it's head and make it a positive.  Don't get me wrong, I know there will come a time when I can't cope but I'm hoping that by looking at the positives I can put that day off for a long time to come and we're certainly not anywhere near it just yet.  Even Penny Garner from Contented Dementia Trust, who is the most positive person I know, tells us to be prepared for the one crisis which makes us realise we need professional help but day to day I feel we should be looking for solutions to make life manageable and even, dare I say it, enjoyable.  A friend told me once about the uncle who lived with her.  He had dementia and kept waking her in the night saying that there was someone in his bedroom.  She was at her wits end and feeling bruised from lack of sleep until she noticed that his bath robe was hanging on the back of his bedroom door.  When he woke this was the first thing he saw and, due to changes in his perception, he thought the shape was a person.  The bathrobe was removed and broken nights were a thing of the past.  Another friend was having difficult persuading his wife to have a shower (something that is common with those diagnosed with dementia).   He persuaded her that they were having a spa day, poured them each a glass of prosecco and waltzed her into the shower.  After that wonderful experience she was once again happy to get clean.  There is I think almost always a solution if we look hard enough but we do have to work at this.  None of it comes easily so what we need to ask ourselves is not what brings us to the end of our tether but rather what makes it all worthwhile.  My first tipping point came when I realised that we were laughing with each other just as we used to; the second and final one came when I listened to the message Ash had left on the answerphone about 5 years ago.  It made me remember the real him and filled me with a determination to get that person back and keep him by my side.  The realisation that we had something worth fighting for made all the difference.

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Lesley said…
Wouldn't it be great to compile a list of problems people have come across together with ideas for solutions. I bet there are several different ways people have got round the 'no shower' or 'night-time fright' scenarios and, when you are tired and at your wits end, it would be wonderful to have other people's ideas easily to hand for inspiration.
Jane said…
excellent idea. Any solutions welcome.
Unknown said…
Great suggestion hear are few solutions to some of my own problems that I came across -
Single beds – especially when your partner gets incontinent . A single bed is a lot less trouble to strip than a double. Brollysheets .com made my life a lot easier.
When my Wife struggled with mobility buying a wheel chair has been so useful – it’s a bit like putting a toddler in a push chair – although they can walk it just makes shopping a bit less stressful.
Our bathroom is upstairs and it was a real struggle getting Vicky up and down them. I purchased something called a ‘ Plasters Bath ‘ It’s 2x 4 x1 ft , cost just over thirty pounds and allows me to bath my wife downstairs.
Lesley said…
These are great solutions for more practical, later stage problems. What about the things you can do, say or change to reassure and promote confidence when seemingly unreasonable fears rear their ugly heads? I think I would find that as distressing as anything - can't bear anyone to be frightened.
Jane said…
Think we can do both. There is already a 'hot tips' page but think it needs a revamp. will have a look and then we could show the practical that lots of people won't know and also the reassuring tips will will make life easier along the way.
Lesley said…
That makes sense. :o)