Hard decisions – dementia

As many of you know, Tony has Power of Attorney for his cousin Alison, who has dementia. In less than two years we have moved her from her home to a serviced apartment, then from the apartment to a rest home room. On Tuesday she is moving to the secure unit because her wandering is at the dangerous stage.

I had PoA for Aunt J and her journey was similar. The secure unit she was in was scruffy, but the staff were fantastic. Both Tony and I were apprehensive about moving Alison because she is used to having nice things, in nice surroundings. We were both pleasantly surprised by how stylish the secure unit at Jane Winstone is. To be honest, I doubt Alison will even notice the difference the change. They have activity people on deck for around 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, which will help keep her occupied too.

Once the staff have shifted her on Tuesday we’ll need to clean out her room because she won’t need much in the way of ornaments etc, as they mean nothing to her now really, and get rid of her furniture. We’ll leave a couple of sets of clothing and bring the rest home – I’ll go through it all and see what she’s got before doing a major shop. I know, from Aunt J’s time, that she needs easy wear easy care, so it’ll be tracksuits etc.

It feels sad she is deteriorating so quickly, but of course she is unaware. As the staff member we spent time with today said, “Alison is happy and will make new friends quickly”.

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Alison’s photos

Tonight I’m back into my fav Dina Wakley art journal, playing with Alison’s old photos. The words I’ve used, “my someone”, relate to her memory loss and the fact she feels no connection to her photos. I suspect dementia is harder on those watching than those fading.

dina wakley art journal 060618

Reach for the stars

I haven’t done a lot of art this weekend, by my standards anyway. I did have a big clean up of my supplies, plus some card making, but just the two journal pages.

The CMP2018 one I kept this simple because I love using my Tim Holtz stars stencil & it seemed to fit the theme. Distress Oxides, Nuvo embellishment paste, while acrylic paint.

The other one is another of Alison’s photos in my fav Dina Wakley journal. The background is Tim Holtz Distress Oxides on kraft. This has been a tough week with Alison, she was very confused when Tony visited, and he had some legal stuff to see to, so it’s good to document the happier times including her childhood.

week 16dina w journal 22042018

cjs18 day 31 Finnabair

I love Finnabair‘s work but it’s not my style, so I took some of her recipe and made it my own, which is a good way to work anyway. I’m still using old photos belonging to Tony’s cousin Alison – she has dementia and no longer remembers the people and places, so using them in my art gives them some new meaning. This is the last day of cjs18; I’ll do a wrap-up post shortly.

day 31 finnabair

cjs day 2 – Tina Walker

Day 2, inspired by Tina Walker. The prompts I used were crayons, sprays, drawing, stencils and splattering. The photo is an old family one that wasn’t needed so I figured repurposing it was better than throwing it out! The page references our journey with Tony’s cousin Alison who has dementia. Some days she’s fairly coherent but other days her long-term memory is poor and her short-term memory almost non-existent.

day 2 tina w

CMP wk 42 & smash journal

I love this week’s CMP quote – I was moved to tears by Australia’s YES vote; my Twitter feed was full of love and gratitude. I used Distress Paints and scrapbooking papers.

The smash journal page uses old scrapbooking supplies. It was inspired by thinking about (loss of) language and memory. Tony’s cousin has dementia and he has PoA. He’s just helped sell her unit and buy a resthome apartment – she moves in a couple of weeks. He (we) need to ensure she changes her phone over and so on, because she has no idea.  Once that’s done we need to tidy up all her paperwork and make sure the rest home is being paid their monthly fee. Then it’ll just be a case of visiting, and making sure her care is ok. I’ve been there, done this with Aunt J – this is less stressful because the relationship is more distant, but it’s never easy.

week 42smash journal 3