So you all know we've moved in with Plumbing Boy's 91 year old Mum. While her health is relatively good for her age, when you reach (an older age) things don't work as well as they used to. We are fairly accustomed to her physical incapacities; it's her psychological changes we are finding challenging.
I've done a fair amount of research on Alzheimers & spoken to friends who work in mental health care about coping strategies; while she is early onset only, it is really really hard not to react to some of the illogical things she says!
We're constantly having to challenge ourselves before responding - the idea is to let things go (keeps ones mouth shut) otherwise you end up with people feeling hurt/misunderstood/angry/invalid etc etc etc.
The best example of this is that last week she was frustrated that she cant walk further than she can. I explained that she may have to try walking the same distance every day for 2 weeks before trying to increase the distance. That it was about building up fitness & muscle tone. Exactly like when I go to the gym or am training for a distance event. She replied with "but I have walked every day this week".
Unfortunately both of us said at the same time no you haven't, you called us at work every day to tell us why you couldn't go for a walk (too hot, to cold, to windy, not feeling well).
Damn it. We both handled that badly. We need to remember it's not the person, it's the illness. In our defence, I guess that was the first time we'd been in that position. The same conversation has been presented to us twice since then & we've responded with "just keep trying & you'll get there eventually - or give it time."
And I guess that's it in a nut shell. 75% of the time she's her previous logical self; 25% of the time, not so logical. We are both having to slow down our though processes & be a little more patient!!!
Despite said slowing down & practising patience I've discovered there will be times when we will be required to go on futile expeditions to allow her to find things out for herself. Like there isn't a lot of choice (nor even stock) of woollen blankets in stores leading up to summer. But that's a story for another day.