It's all in the planning

 It really is all in the planning and that planning was so worth the effort.  If you remember, not so long ago I couldn't tell Ash that L was coming until ten minutes before she arrived.  Any earlier and his anxiety would spin out of control meaning the day would begin badly and take a long time to recover.  On Wednesday I took my courage in my hands and told him at 9.30 that Mum wasn't well, that I was leaving at 12 noon and had no idea what time I would be back. I told him there was nothing to worry about because L would be arriving before I left and that she knew exactly what to do about the fish and chips for tea because she'd done it before.  You may not remember this but she really had done it before during the week when I'd organised two ten hour visits as a step towards just this moment.

Also as part of the planning, the week before I'd given L the information folder I'd put together for Jake so that she had a whole seven days in which to read and absorb the contents.  This meant that when she arrived she had an air of confidence about her which instantly put Ash at ease.  Sometimes, I've realised, much of dealing with dementia is smoke and mirrors.  If everyone around Ash is confident then so is he as it doesn't occur to him that he has anything to worry about.

And off I went, saw my mum, picked the seven year old up from his other grandparents, took him home, had a meal with Jake and watched tv in the evening.  All that might sound so run of the mill and ordinary that you will wonder what my excitement was about but at the end of the evening Jake and I realised it was the longest we'd spent together since we went on our Contented Dementia course three years ago.  It was lovely and I realised how much I'd missed him (and the seven year old of course).

At 7.30pm L texted me to say that she'd just told Ash I wouldn't be home until 5pm the next day and he was perfectly happy with that so it looked as though we were home and dry.  I spent a large chunk of the next day in Jake's garden reading then got home at 4pm to a very happy husband.  Apparently he'd woken early in a panic but L calmed him down and we'll learn from that.  Other than that he couldn't wait to join her in telling me what they'd done, where they'd been and who they'd seen and it was lovely to see Ash so happy and confident.

Best of all there's been no fall out from my night away; not that evening, not during the night or at any time since I got back and I'm coming to realise that, although I felt the carer situation was to give me time to myself, it's actually been of the most benefit to Ash himself.  He's happier, more confident, chattier and more relaxed than he's been for years and it's made such a difference to our life together.

I would say then that if you're considering getting carers in but are feeling guilty about it don't.  Everyone will tell you that you should do it just to give you time to relax but, if you do it as part of a bigger plan, then it can be so much more than that.  In fact I would go so far as to say it could transform this whole dementia experience for both of you.

There is of course more to this than one overnight stay so watch this space for the next step in the plan.  I have high hopes.

Don't forget you can sign up to have this delivered straight into your inbox, just remember to click on the validation email (which may be in your junk mail/trash box).  You can share specific posts with others by clicking on the 3 dots at the top right hand corner of the page, you can share the blog by copying and pasting the web address or you can email me at if you have anything you want to say privately.  You can also now follow me on twitter, just search for Memory For Two, and you can find me on facebook


Linda said…
Really glad things are working out so well for you
Can I ask where you found your carers? I think I must have missed that post!
I would like by to put something similar in place for my husband ( and of course for me too๐Ÿ˜‰)
Linda x
Jane said…
Not sure where you are in the country Linda but your local authority should have a care services directory listing all the care agencies in your area. It would be nice to think you'd already have been provided with it but I wasn't until I asked for help which was last Autumn, 3 years after diagnosis. the social worker suggested our particularly agency but almost at the same time they were recommended by a friend who used them for her mum.
Linda said…
Thanks for that
We are in Sheffield, we moved here from the Peak District a year ago to be closer to friends. family and services. We have just started accessing services because like you and Ash, we both need support in different ways. We are only just appearing on the radar of local services and are currently waiting for an appointment with a neurologist. Like you, when we had the diagnosis in Derbyshire we were just sent home to get in with it, but Sheffield seems to have a lot more to offer๐Ÿคž
Keep up the good work with the blog, you are my inspiration ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’•
Jane said…
It's nice to think I'm an inspiration but to be honest this blog helps me as much as it does those who follow it. Just by reading messages like yours I know I'm not on my own and that makes such a difference.
Carol S said…
I’m in Sheffield too and really need to get my act together and see what services are available. My partner was diagnosed at the beginning of the first lockdown so strange times really. Applied for a PIP form but haven’t received one 3 weeks later. Guess that could be because of Covid. But will chase it up. You are an inspiration for me too Jane. Thank you - you deserve that things are falling into place fir you. Cx