1. Bodoni

    Bodoni Registered User

    Apr 20, 2008
    2
    New York USA
    Hello. I just joined this. My username is my cat, who died a couple of days before Christmas, so I guess I am feeling kind of maudlin.

    I found this site while looking for information about Alzheimer's - what can be expected in the progression of the disease. My father has it, he's had it for a few years & he's getting worse, of course, but slowly.

    I guess my father is somewhere in the middle stages. I am not taking care of him, I live in another state & just visit for a few days about every six weeks. Last summer I stayed for a month because he broke his leg & was in a rehab facility because he couldn't walk at all. Every day he'd wake up mad that he couldn't go home, he'd forget he had a broken leg, I'd tell him the story of how he broke it. Then the next day the same thing all over again, him ranting about how he is going home right now, me explaining that he can't. I know you all know about this kind of thing.

    He is married (my mother died in 1985) to a really nice & loving person who takes great care of him even though she herself is completely stressed out & not in good health. Fortunately they have aides that come in for 12 hours a day & this is all covered by insurance! That part is amazing. No one has insurance like that anymore.

    One sad thing is that there is not much for my father to do. His main interests were reading & playing golf. He can't play golf because he has messed up knees & although he can still read, he doesn't remember the plot when he puts the book down so he has to keep starting over. I suggested he read short stories, & bought him some books of them, but he won't. He doesn't like them. Like everyone else in my family, he's stubborn.

    It is so sad to watch someone slip away. I know you all know. He hates having things done for him but there is a lot he can't do himself, partly because of Alzheimer's & partly because of physical problems. He gets tired easily, he sleeps a lot. I wish he could get interested in watching television, or listening to music, or anything, but he won't. He wanted a dog but my stepmother said no. They can't really take care of it. She bought him this mechanical puppy. It looks like a real one & it has a battery in it so its side moves in & out like it's breathing. It just lies on this little sheepskin pad & breathes, really looking like a sleeping dog. My father actually likes it though. But it's sad. Just sitting in a chair all day reading bits of newspaper, thinking of all his friends who died in the war (he talks about this a lot), occasionally petting a mechanical dog.

    And of course it will all get worse.

    Thanks for listening to me.
     
  2. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Bodoni,

    Welcome to TP!

    I'm sorry to read about your dad..you obviously care very much.
    The insurance system you have there sounds wonderful!

    You ask about things to keep your dad occupied..
    It's a tricky one..my husband was a keen golfer..but even without the physical problems your dad has his golfing dwindled away as he lost concentration and confidence..as a result of AD.
    Lke your dad he can no longer retain written info so reading too is not an option.
    I am finding that apart from TV there isn't much in the way of stimulation that works now.
    I like the sound of the mechanical dog.It may be that childlike things will amuse him. My husband "plays" really well with my 4 year old grandaughter..and is quite happy for her to show him her toys and books..so it's a thought.

    Don't be too despondent about your dad..I know it's really hard watching someone you love slip away from you like this. But he is loved and cared for..and that's a blessing.

    Love gigi xx
     
  3. andrear

    andrear Registered User

    Feb 13, 2008
    402
    Yorkshire
    Welcome Bodoni

    I bought my dad a mechanical dog too with a little square for it to sleep on at Christmas. Dad never had dogs because he worked very long hours, but when we had our dog he used to take her for walks, talk to her and play with her.
    Before Xmas he started to talk much about the times he went out with Holly and on a shopping trip I came across this little golden retreiver in a puppy form.
    He leaves it at the side of the fire, on his bed and I do find him talking to her lots of times.

    My dad too was a golfer and one of my sons has a Wii which he took over just this last week. Dad didn't know what it was but when my son put the golfing game on - dad just took the gadget and started playing golf with him. I have to say mum and I just sat back in amazement cos' he really thought he was on a golfcourse.

    He asked my son went they would be having another round - next week?
    Love Andrea
     

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