dementia is not to blame for everything that happens

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by daughter, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Hello Everyone!

    My Dad had Alzheimer's and died in February 2007 yet I still like to pop in to find out how all the TP family are getting on. Recently I have had cause to use TP for another reason.

    My Mum was Dad's Carer and even though in her eighties, she was still as bright as a button and as sharp as a pin! In January this year (2008) Mum contracted pneumonia, then she had a stroke (and also later we found out - a small heart attack) and had to be rushed to hospital. After a week of thinking we would lose her, she started to pull through, the consultant said she is a miracle! Our miracle is now at home, she has lost her speech and much of her vitality but still understands us very well and can sing words to songs much to her own amazement!

    During these last couple of months I have been using TP as a rich source of information with regard to my Mum's situation. I didn't necessarily have to consider some things before because Mum was there to do them for Dad.

    Although Mum does not have dementia, a lot of the things my sister and I have gone through are similar to those experienced with Dad: the frightening feeling of losing a parent, the emotional roller-coaster at each visit, the struggle not to expect ALL the staff to be completely and totally sympathetic, sadness at losing parts of a parent (speech, being mentally less alert and physically less active), the worry of how that parent would be when they came out of hospital, (and how they would be cared for), financial arrangements and so on and on and on.

    I suppose that somehow I thought most of these things were only associated with dementia - well of course logically I know they're not, but perhaps I just wanted to blame dementia for ALL the problems that we went through with Dad, when in fact most of them are things that can happen in other illnesses too. Yet, of course, when you add dementia into the mix of all these concerns it greatly magnifies them. Perhaps I'm just stating the obvious here but I hadn't realised this before!

    Best wishes and a big thank you (again!) to all on TP,

    Hazel.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    Hello Hazel. it`s good to hear from you again, but sad to know your mother is so poorly now.

    No, it isn`t only dementia that causes such pain, it`s the wearing out of the body, whether because of old age or premature illness.

    It`s living with loss.

    Please take care of yourself.

    Love xx
     
  3. rhallacroz

    rhallacroz Registered User

    Sep 24, 2007
    106
    merseyside
    Absolutley it is watching a parent or loved one decline that is awful and there is no easy way to cope with that. We just have to accept that we all can;t live for ever and find the best support we can. Not easy I know. I hope that you are getting the help and love that you need to cope...
    I have stages of acute stress when I feel I can;t do it any more and dad will have to go into care and then things can get better and I cope a bit longer.
    Keep posting we will I am sure all support you.
    Angela xx
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Hazel

    So good to hear from you again, and I'm glad you've stayed with our family.

    I'm sorry to hear about your mum, but I know you'll give her every care possible.

    I'm glad you decided to post, please stay with us, if it will help.

    Love,
     
  5. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,110
    Toronto, Canada
    Hi Hazel,
    It's great to hear from you again. I'm sorry to hear things are going poorly with your mother. Your post was a very thoughtful, incisive and profound one, raising points we all need to keep in mind.
     
  6. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Hazel,

    So sorry about your mum and I do feel for you.

    Having watched both mum and dad with chronic illnesses for the last few years I know exactly where you are coming from Hazel. I fought equally for mum and dad to get good care and even though my mum could stand up for herself, everything seemed like such a battle. They've both have specific needs and I passionately believe that anyone who suffers from any illness needs all the care and attention we can afford them.

    I've seen neglect for both, particulary from the medical profession. Both vunerable because of their age and their chronic conditions. It is rarely just dementia that has caused many of the problems - both are equally challenging in their own way. There are special needs obviously with dementia, but anyone who is elderly and vunerable needs careful attention.

    On a positive note, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness toward both my mum and dad, mainly from the staff that do the day-to-day caring and built up real friendships with both my parents (and me for that matter). I've met a lot of people that have changed my whole outlook on life.

    I hope things improve and you get time to look after yourself.

    Kindest Regards
    Craig
     

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