When your children are small and by your side every day you don't notice how quickly they're growing and changing.  Then they go on a school trip or to stay with grandparents and when they come home you can't believe the difference in them.  Living with someone who is living with dementia is a little like that.  You're by their side on a daily basis so, often, you don't notice any decline, it all just creeps up on you so gradually that it's almost not even there.  Today I did notice something which I think shows the progression of Ash's dementia although I'm not entirely sure if that's the right word here as to me progression should mean steps forward whereas I think we've moved in a backwards direction even if it is only slightly.  I've said before that in the past Ash did all the grocery shopping.  He drew up the list, went out and bought everything, put it away in the cupboard and then used what he'd bought to cook our meals.  Over the last couple of years this routine has changed beginning when he couldn't cope with shopping on his own so he drew up the list, we went together and he put it all through the scanner; then he drew up some of the list and I finished it off but we still went together and he still put it all through the scanner.  Next we reached the point where I drew up the list completely, we went together and he put it all through the scanner.  Now though it wasn't a given that he would put it all away and I definitely did/do all the cooking.   Today was the beginning of a new phase I think (although I'll be monitoring events carefully).  We moved round the supermarket as usual but when we got to the checkout he couldn't decide what to take out of the trolley and in what order.  Stupidly I was so busy people watching that I didn't even notice, instead I stood looking around in a day dream until I realised that we'd been there a while but very few things had made it to the bag on the other side.  He was looking at it all in the trolley, taking something out , looking at it in his hand and then putting it back before repeating it all with something else.  I still didn't realise what was happening but, just to hurry things along, took something out of the trolley and gave it to him.  He scanned it perfectly and put it in the bag so I handed him something else and off we went until the trolley was empty and the bags were full.  I never thought I would find food shopping useful in any way other than keeping meals on the table but actually it's the regular activities in our lives that show me what's happening to us and how Ash is changing and that, I've realised, is very useful indeed.

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Lesley said…
Tough to see him struggling with things like this. Well done for, as always, just gently facilitating an easy way forward - no drama, no upset - you are an absolute star xxx
Jane said…
I wish I was but the truth is that the only reason I started sorting it out was because I was irritated that he was taking so long. Once I worked out what had happened I felt differently of course and in future I'll know what to do and how to do it but to start with I was anything but a star!