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Monday, 16 November 2015

Mum, Dad...? Dementia sucks, okay...



There is something I learned this week, something very important and that is dementia is 24 hour care and it sucks. Full Stop! Luckily in this world my mother had a lifeline and when she fell it came in great use...they rang for an ambulance, they rang myself and that is when the realization sank in...my dad would need 24 hour care.

Sorry dad.

I know deeply you miss mum for she gave you and met your needs. She gave you care. She gave routine. She gave you love. She gave stability. She gave you your breakfast. She gave you your dinner and she gave you your tea. She gave you company. She gave you your meds. She gave her time to dress you and undress you...Make you look smart and clean. She arranged for a carer to come and wash you.

But now dad mum has fallen and hurt herself. You looked pleased to see her, though in a hospital bed. You kissed her like old days. You cried when you left as you have cried all day on and off.
Like when you cared for us it is now time for us to care for you...It may cause a drop of dignity and family order you find confusing.

Dad there are things you can no longer do and we or others must do them for you. Trust us dad and there is no need to be sorry when you shout at us because we understand.
Mum will soon be home and we will be around a little bit more. New routine but still family love.

Your loving son,

 M

Mum was taken to hospital with my good wife in company, a midnight journey, while I stayed with dad...and when he had no desire to retire back to bed I sort of knew this would be a difficult and challenging night..."mum you said dad sleeps like a rock"...clearly only with you mum, only with you!

My dad has dementia, his carer is my mum, so stepping into this caring role, while my mum is laid up in hospital with a broken hip, proves to be a big change and a most confusing change for dad and for me as well...oh yes, for I suffer anxiety, so after the first night I knew that this "game" from my dad will be my biggest challenge.

Yes it is a game, like helping to dress from his PJ's into day clothes...pants up and down like a bloody yoyo...and going out to visit mum the coat zip fastener travels further then us in the car to the hospital. There are small snippets of "my normal" dad and at the hospital bedside of my mum there are classic displays of a husband from long ago...that tickling finger under my mum's chin, a loving kiss of a peck on the lips as visiting time ends but in reality its the tears and the scared look and a frown and of  that whimpering plead of an "I'll miss you, I miss you".

So I have to learn and normalise my dad's routine and in turn will have to change mine. I am thankful for we have a close family and an ace in my sister and between us we SHALL put together a care plan and together we SHALL rally round each other's needs...for maybe God has done this for a reason? What reason I do not yet know but as they say God moves in mysterious ways!

God bless

Amen.