I was lucky enough to come across Rosemary from Carer Watch on Twitter yesterday. She emailed me several links to support forums for carers including one for the Alzheimer's Society's Talking Point forum. On there I found a thread discussing something called Sundowning. It sounds very much as though this explains the tearful, accusatory, unreasonable behaviour that Ma goes through each day during the afternoon or early evening. Today was particularly bad and as I was having a bit of a sob in the kitchen she had moved on rapidly and was laughing at Open All Hours. We did have another hiccough a little bit later when I was accused of neglecting her because I've had the temerity to sit at the dining table today doing some writing on my laptop rather than sit in an armchair. Being in the same room is no longer good enough apparently, but she's been calm and reasonably happy since then (now 18:45).
Here's a link to a page on Sundowning: http://www.caring.com/articles/sundowners-syndrome-causes-symptoms-suggestions
Having a label does change things. I can't honestly say that it made things easier today but given time I'm sure I will be able to separate myself from the feeling that it's all personal.
You would not believe what she's eaten for breakfast over the last few days. The poached egg and potato waffle combo has had it's day and we are now having egg, potato cake, mushroom and a slice of fried Spam. Seriously. If she asks for it again tomorrow I'll photograph it to prove it! Mind you, once she's eaten that she doesn't eat an awful lot else during the day.
I've spoken to the respite care people and they've asked that all her clothes are labelled. Yeah right, that's going to happen in the next 24 hours. I will use a permanent marker and put her initials on things but I'm not sending her best clothes so if the odd t shirt or pair of pants goes missing I won't be terribly worried about it.
Saturday seems such a long way away but I know next week will fly by!
Don't look now, but it's 19.10 and she's still up watching Emmerdale. I won't talk about a full night of sleep or anything like that because I don't want to jinx things. But... well, here's hoping etc.