Sunday, August 24, 2014

Even on a bad day he makes us smile ❤

I'm a couple days late posting this. When I was in to see Dad last
Thursday he wasn't having a good day. He was agitated and worrying about things that were real only in his mind. It's hard to help when you don't know what it is you're fighting.

Our good friend, Mary, was there visiting Dad when I arrived so she sat on one side of him and I sat on the other. At one point, another resident's daughter came by and asked Dad how he was doing. "And look at you, Harold," she said, "You're surrounded by good looking women."

"I know," Dad  said, grinning for the first time all day. "I think I won the lottery."

Dad and family friend, Mary

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Thoughts from a Tired Daughter

We're tired. Fourteen years of dealing with parental dementia, the constant worrying and the daily grieving. There is no let-up.

So, yes. We're tired. Like thousands of other family members who have loved ones that are suffering from some form of dementia, we are tired.

If you have a caregiver in your family, don't forget them. They are walking a path that you can't possibly understand unless you've been through it, too. Take it from me: it's by far the most difficult thing I've ever done, or ever expect to do.

There are days when a kind word of support is all we have to get us through. But you know what? It's enough. So, yeah, if you have a caregiver in the family, don't forget them. Call. Stop by. Send a card. Send a prayer. You have no idea how much you will be helping them.

Update on Dad:

Dad's downward progression this year has been faster than in previous ones. He's much more withdrawn, moody, having difficulty eating. It's really hit-or-miss now whether he will recognize us or not when we visit. He has frequent hallucinations (i.e. talking or arguing with people who only exist in his mind). And he makes less and less sense when he talks.

There's no way to sugarcoat this, nor do I want to. This is an ugly disease. Please consider donating to the Alzheimer's Association to help find a cure.

Before it happens to someone *you* love.