When your loved one has dementia.


Mother and Daughter holding hands


You look, but you cannot see. You listen, but you cannot hear. You follow, but you do not understand. 
You do not know me, but I know you. I will remember for both of us. I will sit with you, I will hold your hand. I do not judge, I only love.
I am your daughter, you are my mum


As a family we knew mum's memory was failing her many years before her diagnosis. For a while we laughed it off, next we buried our heads in the sand, then we became frustrated with trying to convince her to seek a diagnosis. None of wanted to face it. She was becoming very forgetful. Mixing us up with other family members. Wandering from the house because she didn’t know where she was. Frightened of the strange man in her house (dad). Going from the bedroom to the bathroom and getting ‘lost’. Random items being put away in completely the wrong place. Putting the washing machine on with nothing in or non washable items. Switching the cooker or stove on and walking away. Heating empty pans.


It was almost impossible to get her to see a doctor as she was adamant there was nothing wrong with her and in fact we were all trying to have her ‘commitied’. By the time dad did get her to see a doctor she was at a moderate to severe level when she received her diagnosis, so although she started on medication the decline was and has continued to be very rapid and in the space of a year she was placed into a care home, can no long speak beyond mutters or write and walking is becoming more challenging every day.


There was very little support post diagnosis. Although the Alzheimers society had been excellent via the phone, there are no services in the rural area that my parents lived. We were however able to secure the volunteer services of a befriender that lived locally that provided 2 hours a week care to give dad a break.
One bonus to rural village life, friends and neighbours help care and support you. There is much more a sense of community in rural areas, there are little or no services. No support groups. You have to travel a long way to access GP and other medical appointments.

Mum has now been in her care home for just over a year. She has so far received amazing care and it helps us to know she is well looked after and safe. It is a cruel and heartbreaking disease, more so on the family that has to grieve at losing their loved one when they are still very much alive. No two families deal with it the same way. There is no right way, only what ever works for your family to get through the darkest of days.
The Alzheimer's society has some very interesting videos, explaining what dementia is. Please do get in contact if you need any further advice or guidance on this topic. 

Comments

  1. I honestly believe that nobody can really understand unless they have experienced it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. It is like many situations in life and nor would we wish anyone else to have to go through them. I hope by raising awareness though others can appreciate and try to understand.

      Delete
  2. You are all copying so well. You have a strong, supportive family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is so important to have a strong support network of family and friends. Mum is well cared for.

      Delete

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