Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A to Z Challenge: D is for Dementia

Dementia is a symptom from other diseases yet it can be perhaps one of the most overlooked frustrations of both carers and people who have these symptoms: mostly because people do not want to admit to becoming incapable.

It's a scary thought that you might be starting to lose bits of your memory and undeniably it's a hard thing to come to terms with the fact this may be happening to you. However it's also difficult for loved ones to cope if you as a person refuse to acknowledge the possibility of this.

The sad fact is that dementia cannot be cured but it can be slowed if caught early enough: the even sadder fact is that most people will not accept this could be happening to them and crucial time is wasted.

Personally I worry that my mother sometimes forgets how the door locks or how a remote control that she has used for years works but she is adamant there is nothing wrong except old age and getting slower; as such no help can be forced upon her.

If you are worried about a loved one then I hope that you are able to talk them into getting some help and there is always the National Dementia Helpline if you  feel that you have more questions or to better understand Dementia.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A to Z Challenge - Corny Conversation

This one has been previously pinned up over on Ginni Bites but I feel it was worthy of another outing. This was an actual conversation between my mother and I.

Uncanny Conversation 

Mother: Oh you can stick your cans from Brazil too

Me: Pardon?

Mother:The cans, that come from Brazil, they’re no good It gets stuck, the keys break off and then you have to put a knife around-

Me: You mean the-

Mother:You know, the Corned beef you got me, I don’t want them ones again

Me: But it’s the brand you always have

Mother: The tins are rusted, they are useless, I don’t want them. Now the ones from France, they’re perfect ,nothing wrong with those, but this Brazilian tin , they are no good.

Me: Well you know I can’t choose where its packaged right? You could get the French ones No, I order the ones in the brand you ask for, online 

Mother: Well ask for the French tins

Me: They don’t let you choose which country you want the stuff packaged in. 

Mother: But-

Me: What do you expect, its tinned meat. If they are faulty I can try and complain but-

Mother: No don’t complain

Me: Well then there’s nothing else I can do 

Mother mumbles under her breath

Me: You Ok?

Mother: OK


Mother: Just get the French ones next time

Monday, 3 April 2017

A to Z Challenge - Blooming Bills!


These are a constant source of worry, anxiety and the bane of my life: yet they are not even my own bills. No, the bills I hate are the ones that my mother receives because she won't relinquish the responsibility to me to be able to just pay them yet she wants me to help her sort them out. It begins with the delivery of the bill, first I have to get the panicked phone call to alert me that there has been some post, and then she proceeds to tell me small pockets of information so I have to decipher exactly what the bill is for. It's like some kind of verbal Pictionary, and I hate playing.

For anyone else, it would a case of getting a bill and paying it, that's it. Easy, effective, succinct. Yet with my mother in play it's a constant cat and mouse game which can span over the course of a week of debates. Where do we pay it, why has it come from a different address: she scrutinizes the address on the envelope nowadays and doesn't accept they have different admin offices?
Usually I say I can pay it online, this is the easiest way for me and I can either pay it from my account and have the money returned or pay from her bank account or card when I am with her. However, every time we do this we have to go through the tribulations of security and talk through the fact that it is safe and it's how I pay my own bills. Like a lot of older people she likes to have a physical version of payment, and prefers to pay at the post office and have a stamped receipt, which I understand and will organize a day to take her (because this does encompass the whole day).


However then doubts seep in and she doesn't trust the person down the post office, perhaps he or she doesn't know how to do payments, they might pay the wrong thing or pocket the money, or question her about the bill and cause someone to come around and kick her out of the house etc etc. These days I tend to just leave her to tire herself out now as nothing I can say will stop or soothe her paranoia which she states defiantly isn't paranoia, she's not mad. She tells me this quite consistently in case I call the men in white coats as she supposes. Then once we have gone around in circles for a while, she eventually relents to letting me take the bill to pay it, as long as she gets the bill back and I don't lose it (this has never happened). I also have to make sure the receipt is printed out and it has to be stapled together. Except last week I was told not to since someone might come and steal the bill and then they will have her bank details too.

Seriously, do bills have to be such an effort?

Saturday, 1 April 2017

A to Z Challenge - A is for Anger

Anger is an emotion that both carers and the cared for will, and do feel at many stages in their life together; something that not many people care to own up for because c'mon who wants to admit to getting angry with a little old lady. And it's not just anger at the silly frustrating things they do, its also anger at the way that people treat our loved ones that makes us angry; this is a just anger, if we can channel it in the right direction. After my visit to the PIP assessment with an ailing and unstable mother in tow; then writing out my longest post ever - Here if you want a reading challenge.

 I still actually feel angry about this, and the way that disabled and elderly people are treated every day, by people and especially by our government. However I'm trying to settle my anger levels today so instead I would like to share with you, my intial angry rant from Ginni Bites. I am writing my SOC today in anger, sorry people but this is going to be a rant and for once a fully justified one at the state of how we are progressing as a society and how we now treat people as poorly as some treat animals (and that isn’t just either but that’s for another social warrior day)

What began this outrage was the fact that today I had to shepherd my very frustrating but ailing mother out at the crack of dawn in order to be assessed for a benefit that I was already sure was going to be refused before we even got to the place: because this is what it’s set up to do. >Perhaps you might have heard of it, that thing we now call PIP (personal independence payment), perhaps you might have had or know someone that has had to have dealings with it over the years since its change from DLA (disability living allowance) and know of its utter frustration. From what I can tell all it serves to do it make things as awkward as possible for anyone who actually needs help to claim it yet easier for people who know how to play the system and shout the loudest. Don’t get me wrong I am fully aware that there are scandalous people that have made a living out of claiming benefits for things they shouldn’t really be entitled to, yet it seems to me that instead of calling these people out, we tread lightly around and end up penalising the vulnerable people who most need our help. I try to stay calm, yet I just can’t help but get mad at the injustice of it all.

There are people who are quite clearly disabled and need our help but instead we try to trick them and make them feel shame; they are often the kind of person that doesn’t see themselves as disabled and they want to be able to look after themselves and are embarrassed at asking for help. Yet these are the people that we, as a society, choose to shun or ignore, these are the people that will be refused help and not try again. The people that are the easiest targets to refuse are the ones that we should be looking out for, but we don’t, and time after time we let down the people we should be protecting because the ‘rules’ imposed by higher beings only serve to not give them bad press.

 Why can’t we just stop pussy footing around people – call out the people that clearly are just lazy gits regardless of the fact that they will kick up a fuss and cause embarrassment; then we can put all our efforts into caring for the people that actually need help being able to survive on a daily basis. How do we allow our proud elderly and disabled community to go unnoticed and uncared for because they don’t shout up for help? Surely those who try to just get on with it regardless of difficulty and pain should be the ones that most need our help?

Those that have never had an interest in an honest living but know exactly which words and phrases will tick the boxes, and will shout when they don’t get their own way until they do get it – surely these are the ones we should be shunning as an enlightened society. How have we got to this place as humanity where we look after the strong (or cunning), yet allow the weak to fall by the wayside?

How did we digress from a society that looks after its less fortunate to one that encourages us to penalize people who are trying, every day and struggling yet don’t want to cause anyone a fuss?

 How do we not rise up and shout about how unfair the whole system is, and rally with despair at the people who have taken advantage of it, causing such suspicion?

How can we ignore the needs of our society so much that we treat people who need help as though they were an object to be ashamed of needing help?

 How do we even live with ourselves knowing that just living is the real struggle for so many people, who have nobody to speak up for them?

 How does this all go unnoticed, everyday?