Nothing can prepare you for when D Day Comes. Here’s my journey with Dementia.
The feeling of love and warmth when you walk in the door to visit your aging parents is second to none.
The giggles from the grandchildren as they are spoilt rotten and being allowed to do all the things you never could
But what happens when D-Day comes and those wonderful people are not who they once were?
D-day for me was the onset of Dementia in my mum. I knew what it was to a certain extent, but I didn’t even know how to spell it.
My journey so far has been one of the pain, guilt, anger and the grieving of what once was and knowing that things will never be the same again.
At the same time, there have been a lot of laughs and relief that Mum was relatively happy in own little world. The only real complaint she has is that she can no longer make a coffee for visitors.
Rather than focus on the actual disease, I’d like to talk about what I’ve learnt so far in the hope of equipping all those out there with some necessary tools to help cope with what could be one of the most heart wrenching experiences of your life and where to get help.
There are 5 main things to be conscious of:
Get help fast!
From the time you start noticing little changes like, repeating conversations, and forgetting what they did the day before, it’s easy to think it’s just old age and hey, let’s face it, we all get like that sometimes. Try not to dismiss it as nothing. Most of all keep calm, have patience and don’t bury your head in the sand as if it will go away.
Keep an eye on it and if you think it’s becoming more prevalent, make an appointment with their GP and visit a Geriatrician to start the process of their care. It isn’t all doom and gloom and they will be in fabulous hands
Reach out to Aged Care services. They are a great resource with a myriad of knowledge and they will help. REACH OUT
GAMES TO PLAY
The brain needs training and constant stimulation. Instead of just having a coffee and a chat, play noughts and crosses, memory games and encourage movement and exercise. Music is wonderful to waken the senses. If they like it, take them dancing.
The things that makes it easier for me is sharing my feelings. You will be amazed at how many people are travelling the same journey. Take some weight off emotionally and most importantly keep physically fit. Counseling is a great help and joining groups of people sharing the same experience. It’s important to let your feelings out and not try to do it all yourself.
Sadly the ones closest to you, who should be your source of support can sometimes be the most resistant. Usually this is because they are struggling with coping with the situation themselves.
They may ridicule every effort you go to, find every excuse not to help with appointments and even talk badly about you.
If this happens, leave them alone and seek support to help you through it. It is near impossible to help them through their journey, and through aged care support they have help for the carers to overcome the emotional stress of the situation.
One day you may have to face the fact that you will be a stranger but love them till their days are over, be patient and most importantly take great care of yourself.
Smile, have patience and try to find a little joy in the process. Focus on the good times and share happy memories.
The journey will be hard but reach out for support and help others along the way . You’ll be amazed at the strength you never knew you had.
Thanks for being a part of my journey, please click here if you’d like to read more of my blogs.
Until Next Time
Look feel Live Your Best and Decide Today To Live For Tomorrow