1. karen_white

    karen_white Registered User

    Apr 21, 2004
    72
    Berkshire
    Just wanted to say thank you to those who responded to my post that I sent re my Dad, who had stopped eating on his own. He is still very agreesive and won't allow himself to be fed, which we were worried was going to be a probelm.

    We were all advised that with AD, the patient's personality can develop into the complete opposite to who they were before, but only now are we actually coming to terms with Dad's new persona.

    We hadn't really thought about how Dad's likes and dislikes could change with this horrible illness. It was hard to get used to the sudden agression / violence and complete frustration - Dad was such a calm person. Also the swearing has been so choice at times I can't believe it's actually Dad saying these words. But we have learned to laugh, when we can, share in Dad's world as much as possible.

    Was so pleased that I can now deal with Dad changing yet again...

    Following your encouraging replies, we have been going in with lots of different foods to see what Dad is now in to. What we hadn't realised is Dad was forgetting what to do with food when it's put in front of him!!!! I put a plate of cherry bakewells in front him in the other day asking him if he would like one, and his frowned expression was like he was saying "well, what the hell do you want me to do with that!". I, in turn, picked one up slowly and he watched what I did with it. It was like a light bulb went off in his head and he realised what he needed to do - he polished off 3 of them. Naughty I know, but I was just so relieved. We are experimenting with lots of different foods, and Dad's home have been brilliant when was asked if a few of the family could come in and take Dad to his room for a bit of a 'tea party', so that we could all eat together. And we are now looking forward to the warmer weather when we can take him out in his wheelchair to the park and eat together.

    It's given us a lot of positive visits with Dad and made us all feel so much more part of Dad's life than before, now we can help understand what he likes.

    Sorry to go on, but was so encouraging to have all those replies and advice. I just wish I'd logged on sooner than this.

    We're also looking into soft toys for him to see how he reacts to that - can't hurt.

    Thanks again,
    Karen
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    This is all so good to hear! Congratulations - I know it is a hard transition to make, acceptance of the person you knew as a new version of that person. I often think of this in my mind as a return to teenage years for the patient, hopefully without the acne.

    I agree - never assume that anything is known now, so just demonstrate by example, and watch out for signs of uncertainty.

    You may also find that physical contact helps. It may - or may not - help to gently press or pat his shoulder, or smooth his hair during the course of a visit. If he doesn't like it, he will soon let you know.

    The bad language thing really is strange, but is common.

    I too am looking forward to the warmer weather so I can take Jan into home's garden in the sun. Watch out in case your Dad has forgotten that he shouldn't look at the sun - I have to protect Jan from that nowadays.
     
  3. karen_white

    karen_white Registered User

    Apr 21, 2004
    72
    Berkshire
    Thanks for the heads up on being in the sun. Luckily he allowed us to put a hat on him last year - hope we can continue as he's going quite bald now! Will watch out for looking at the sun.

    I must say that Dad finds touch very important, although not with all of his children. There is 20 years between myself (youngest) and the eldest and when my older sisters were young Dad found it hard to be affectionate (it just wasn't done in 'those days'). He was much more affectionate with me and he still finds it hard when my eldest sister comes in to greet him with a kiss and a hug as he is very receptive to me and my nearest sister in age. It can be very upsetting for her.
    Has anyone else found this the case with their family at all? Would like to know how people deal with it?

    When Dad gets ratty or frustrated I do stroke his hair and 9 times out of 10 he calms down straight away. He also likes just a hand left on his arm or leg - even when he's sleeping. I think he misses human contact a lot. He wakes up immediately when I take it away.

    Most of the patients I've come in contact with appreciate touch as well. Some of the others in Dad's home get no contact from family or friends and since we visit Dad regularly we do get a hoard of them coming towards us when we arrive, wanting a hug, holding our hands...some even try to sit on me! :) Some even think we're their family!

    I do feel blessed to have shared time with these people and wish I could have met them before to see what they were really like.

    Thanks Bruce.
    Karen
     

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