What do you do, when reason, logic and common sense can’t be applied to someone due to their own stubbornness and personal choice about when to go to bed. The answer, not a lot. This is further compounded by the lack of memory around recent events to help with the discussion where common sense could be called in to give some justification.
First some back ground to this particular issue. At the weekend, Sonia, Ella and I went to London for two days. The preparations to ensure mum was looked after took some planning. District Nurses coming in Saturday and Sunday morning to administer insulin (8 units and not 22 as prescribed which was one disaster averted) and an extra carer in the evening to help mum into bed.
Now mum has previous for not making it to bed. When we were not living at mum’s we would call round at 9pm to act as a trigger and to provide assistance. Typically mum would be slumped over at an angle, fast asleep on the sofa with the TV on in the background, not that you could hear it for the combined snoring of mum and Sophie (chocolate Labrador). On occasions when we haven’t been able to call in, mum was found by the carers in the morning still on the sofa, or worse on the floor where she had been able to get up again. sitting on the sofa is not good for her back, her swollen legs and a host of other medical conditions, let alone simply not being comfortable.
Now that we have moved in, the stress related to mum not making it to bed should be removed as we can make sure she’s made comfortable every night. The time she goes to bed can also vary depending on how tired she is or what’s on the television. However when we are not there, the risks come back and this weekend, the stress came back.
For whatever reason, mum decided not to go to bed when the carer came to help her up on Sunday night. We arrived home late with an ill Ella, fully expecting mum to be tucked up already and therefore not to have anything to worry about, only to find her sitting on the sofa oblivious to the impact her refusal would create. This is where mum’s stubbornness and personal choice comes in. We can’t force her to go to bed (and we don’t want to) and the carers definitely can’t. We just wanted her to work with us and support the process.
Rightly or wrongly I was annoyed, I was frustrated and I tried to talk to mum to get her to make her see why. Mum didn’t understand why. In her eyes she had done no wrong, its was her choice and if she wants to go to bed later then she can. The fact that her eyesight means she can’t see things as well as she needs to wash and is unstable on her feet to get undressed is forgotten about, let alone the risk of falling sound asleep on the sofa again.
This weekend was the first trial of time away from mum and we fell at the last hurdle. Future nights away will now generate stress for us as we could have a repeat performance. If mum refuses to go to bed what can we do? I have a two week holiday planned for us in August and I want it to be special as its Sonia’s 40th. The last thing I want is Sonia worrying about mum for the weeks leading up to the holiday and during the two weeks we are away.
Two possible solutions, the carers call us, or one of the family when mum refuses to be assisted to bed. We can then remind her about the risk of falling asleep on the sofa and appeal to her common sense with a reminder of previous issues that her memory has misplaced. Alternatively a carer is employed to sleep over and therefore replace us in the house and assist mum up when ever she chooses. Obviously one is more expensive than the other, and I know mum won’t like a stranger sleeping over.
At least there are options and that’s probably the lesson to take away from this. However dark and frustrating things get, take time out to review and try something else as there are always options.