Difference dementia makes to being able to cope with moving house

I’ve moved house many times in my life and some have been on my own with 2 children to support. Each time it’s been an adventure – a very stressful adventure but nevertheless, an adventure.I’d leave packing until a few days before and whizz round the house, no problem. I always seem to choose houses where the garden is a jungle and the house needing a total makeover. However, I use to thrive on the challenge and was renowned for doing everything at lightening speed – on my own – without help. It was simply down to finances; I didn’t have the money to get help so I use to have the house decorated and the garden sorted within a month of having moved in.

When I look back now I don’t know how I did it, especially with 2 young children and being on my own. But that’s how things were – you just got on with it. I remember giving my 2 young  daughters toothbrushes and getting them to help by cleaning the paintwork around painted windows before double glazing became the norm – the thought makes us chuckle now, but a toothbrush was just the right size for their little hands and it use to keep them occupied for hours……..well half an hour anyway.
I moved into my current house only 3 years ago, yet still did all the sorting and packing myself. It was manageable. Nothing phased me…..

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What a difference a year makes. The experience when you have dementia has been totally different…….

The process has been overwhelming at times and I’ve had to ring my daughter to talk things through and have her make me see things differently – in small manageable chunks.
The paperwork and all the ‘words’ that come in one envelope have been too much. I was totally upfront with my solicitor from the start and she has been wonderful. She agreed to me handing over my files and she has found the paperwork she’s needed along the way. Luckily I was always organised and kept paperwork together so this made that proposal possible. She has also been amazingly patient with all my questions and requests for repetition to clarify things. Processes I could make sense of before but which now seem very complex.

The biggest change has been the practicalities. I’ve had to give myself 3 weeks to pack instead of 3 days. I had to write down the instructions on how to pack, given to me by the removal man who delivered the boxes. By the way, you may be asking why I didn’t get them to pack……..well, my logic tells me that if I pack and label, then it will make sense at the other end, whereas I won’t now where anything is if others pack for me and it will seem even more confusing…..

Billy did say he'd help me pack......after he's had a nap.......
Billy did say he’d help me pack……after he’s had a nap…….

My new house needs lots doing to it to make it practical for the future and I would normally have done all the decorating myself. I used to be good at decorating and enjoyed it. However, I’ve found that skill has disappeared. The co-ordination has gone. I tried to wallpaper in my current house about a year ago and it was a disaster. It’s a complex process and I can’t ‘do’ complex anymore.

Having to rely on others and that loss of independence is very hard to accept, but Gemma came up with some wise words that make it easier to stomach…..
I’m giving local tradesman the exposure to dementia that they may not have got (not that they’re aware of the fact yet 😊); I’m giving local tradesman employment; I’m not running round like a headless chicken trying to do it all myself; and finally, I’m getting help because this time ‘I can’ – I don’t ‘have’ to do everything myself this time. I’m trying hard not to panic and I’m sure with the support of my daughters and partners, I’ll come through unscathed…….

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Not sure if my daughters have realised…….but some things don’t change………I never make things easy for myself and it’s turned out that my moving day is on the 6th if my buyers exchange contracts in timeand don’t change their mind – they’re dithering at the moment………and I’m away in Telford on the 3rd, 4th and 5th…………mmmmmm, could have planned that better…….Will just have to have everything done before I leave……..😳

Fingers crossed everyone please that I do actually move and my buyers don’t get cold feet……….

 

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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

10 thoughts on “Difference dementia makes to being able to cope with moving house

  1. I moved from a two bedroomed bungalow with a large garden to a one bedroom Assisted Living apartment five months ago and it was the hardest move I have ever done. Even now most of my time is taken up with looking for things and I get upset when I realise those things have gone. However the plus side is that I have made new friends here and there is help available if I need it, it is independence with a safety net and takes a lot of pressure of my family. I would recommend this option to anyone who feels their present home is getting too much for them.

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  2. Great outline of the challenges you have faced. Glad that your solicitor has supported you so well it’s very heart warming. I am also glad you will get some tradesmen in to help with decorating, it will be good for them to meet you Wendy, you are very inspiring.

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