About 7 years ago, when I was 27 my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a particular form under the Dementia umbrella. It’s the most common one.
Since then, it’s been a journey that’s ripped my family apart and caused me to question everything from who I am to the man I hope to be.
At the time, I didn’t realise what was to come and the two reasons for this site are
For the caregivers : A real human voice on my story with my Dad over 7-8 years. Hopefully which gives you greater insights on what is to come and let you know it is okay to not be okay from someone that has been there and got the t-shirt.
For the friends & family : Advice on how to talk to the caregivers. Go to talk to us
I was the youngest person at the time in a class on dealing with dementia in a workshop I attended with my family and as this disease grows, my hope is to create a resource for others which we didn’t have.
To the only man I will ever love..
There are pages in the menu of everything from dealing with grief to how to ask for help. Feel free to contact me, comment below on a post and share.
I was thinking about what i could give him for Christmas that would give him interest and entertain him. As someone with Alzheimers he would get easily distracted by things and would fiddle with different things so why not give him something purposely built to do that?
It took me a little while to find bits and bobs. From new toys to also using old items that I hoped he would recognise.
Seashells (he loved the sea) in a tin
Beach stones in a tin (smooth and Dementia patients can like the texture of items)
Flags (small) including the Irish one, Brazil, Benfica (football team) as he travelled
Marbles, Dominoes and mini bowling set (to remind him of old school games)
Coins. My Dad was a former accountant and loved real hard cash. So like a child that would play with money, he could stack it and count it.
Pens, pencils, Compass, Magnifier, Shoe horn and old travel bag tags.
Like a box of fun!
It later was filled with family photographs too and when Mum and I would leave the house to go to work, I’d pop it on the table and would check when i return if anything was moved or taken.
I visited my Dad today following a 2 month hiatus.
It’s always odd to see him as for 90% of the time he is zoned out and only occasionally gives me a glimmer of the person I once knew.
Today I had the good fortune to take him out of the aged care residence around the local park in his stroller so he could have some fresh air. He got to see the kids playing, dogs running and few adults playing tennis on the courts. I wheeled him round like a parent would their child in a pram.
Considering his condition he can’t really talk anymore as the Alzheimer’s, Dementia progressively gets worse. So I try and talk but that’s odd as I’m not a big fan of my own voice so I revert to playing the Melbourne cup so he can hear or classical music.
I suppose it’s really just to be there and as I sat on the ground and played music, we looked out together at the people in the public enjoying themselves. Wishing we were both out there. Love you Dad ❤️
Last week, I went with my mum to see Dad that has Alzheimer’s (Dementia) and it was a strange experience.
We had our visit through the window to protect his health as he is high risk.
That said, the big question remains. What’s worse for their age group? The virus or no purpose/company? It’s not an easy question to answer and I’m just grateful that he has a wonderful care giver in his rest home.
What are your thoughts on the current restrictions?
Any caregiver I know that’s going through such intense challenges on a daily basis and yet have to endure unnecessary paper work.
The huge hassle of convincing the govt, the bank and other institutions that the patient can’t fill in that bloody form.
That what we are doing is trying to shelter and protect them from themselves.
Up until recently my dad had a full drivers license. That’s insane! Our immediate family knows just how silly that is. When my dad got diagnosed with his dementia condition, there wasn’t a light switch.
Every thing was a manual request and letters to write. Thankfully we got power of attorney although even that was a process.
Is the government aware of the sheer numbers growing of an aged population?
I remember things like “he will have to come in and get will fully tested”. Are you barking serious? The patient was in denial for a year or two and when he did get assessed it was “oh yes we can confirm..”
What caregivers need, is less barriers and obstruction. More understanding and automated digital systems in place. Getting my dads pension alone was a maze of forms I could barely comprehend and I’ve still all my faculties.
It’s hard enough being present at all times and showing caregiver patience with trying to cut through red tape!
Have you experienced something similar? Please share a comment below 🙂