Today I spent this afternoon with my Mum and Dad – Firstly taking Mum to an appointment at the health centre, and then onto the supermarket where we had a coffee (and a bit cake) and then it was shopping time.
Dad came with us as Mum reckoned “he needed some fresh air”, though I think Dad could have done with going home after we had our coffee as he seemed to be really struggling by then.
Anyway, the purpose of my post today was to tell you how difficult it is living with dementia – As some of you will know, my Dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia. We’ve all noticed a huge difference in him since the start of this year…he’s become more and more confused and disoriented, remembers very little and recognised/knows very few people (Mum, hubby and me being about the only people he knows). Even when we went to our local health centre, Dad had no idea where we were or why we where there. While Dad and I waited for Mum, Dad asked me several times where Mum was and why we were there.
Then when we went to the supermarket, Dad was confused about why we were there. Then when we went to have a coffee, Dad having agreed to have coffee and share a bit cake with my Mum, announced he didn’t want any cake. i.e. He was adamant he’d never said he wanted any cake!
Every time I spent a few hours with Dad I must admit I find it hard going, getting the same questions over and over again, and Dad telling me the same things again and again. I find it very wearing, even for that short time, so I can’t imagine how Mum copes with it 24/7 – No wonder she’s struggling!
To those who look after loved ons who suffer from dementia, I would just like to say what a difficult and stressful job you have – Looking after someone who has turned into a completely different person over the space of a few months/years often means they do not even know or understand what’s going on around them anymore.
I do think that unless you know of someone affected by dementia, most people will not fully understand what difficulties it poses both for the sufferer and their loved ones.
If nothing else today, please take a few minutes to read more about dementia, its causes and also please pray for those suffering from dementia as well as those who care from them. Thank you.