Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Notes from a visit

Dad, lost in his own world. You can see in
this photo how he leans to the left.
In the final stage of Alzheimer's, which is where my father is, our loved ones lose the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control their movements. We are seeing this more and more in Dad. His world is becoming a much smaller place, both physically and mentally, as he turns inward.

The question I so feared last time I saw Dad ("Will he remember me after not seeing me for almost three weeks?") wasn't really answered. When Sis and I visited him on Friday, Dad was lost in his own world for most of our visit. His responses to our attempts at conversation were one or two words at most. He still smiled, still held my hand, but you could tell he wasn't really engaging.


The lateral supports on Dad's chair have
really made a difference in his comfort level.
He's also lost a good bit of weight, even though he seems to still be eating fairly well. (Friday was pizza day and Dad pronounced it "Delicious!") And his whole body is curling inward, as if to conserve energy and effort. Some weeks ago we ordered lateral supports for his wheelchair because he was leaning excessively to his left side, so much so that his head was always at an uncomfortable angle. The supports have worked well to help keep him upright in his chair, with the added bonus that he has somewhere to rest his head now when he naps in the chair. They've worked out really well.

(Caregivers, take note: we found these lateral supports for Dad's wheelchair on our own. Not one professional in Dad's world mentioned to us that they were available, even though we often discussed the problem of his leaning. The same thing happened with the bolsters he now has on his bed to help keep him from rolling out of bed. Do your own homework, and don't rely solely on the "professionals" to guide you. You must be an advocate for your loved one!)

On a happier note, Sis and I have decided to do another doll house to donate. This one will go to the Memory Care unit to be used for fundraising. I'm looking forward to it. Just wish Dad was well enough to help us with this one.

Pizza is still a favorite!







2 comments:

  1. Cia- I keep you and your family in my prayers- my heart breaks for you as you go through this. If there is anything I could make or help out with your dollhouse build please let me know- I would be very happy to help or to donate for some of your supplies. sending you hugs.

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    1. Kim, you are such a sweetheart. Thank you for your offer. I will see what we need as we go along and let you know. It's a big house, so we will definitely need furnishings, I know that. Thank you, my friend. xoxo

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Thank you for sharing this journey with us.