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My grandfather has dementia

Effy_

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
7
Hello, I was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions. (I'm new to this and don't really know how this works, so sorry if I'm doing it wrong). I'm 16 years old and my grandfather has dementia. I don't know how far along he is but it's gotten so bad that sometimes he doesn't know who I am and he comes up with scenarios in his head that are completely bizarre. He's currently staying with me and my family (mum dad and 9 year old brother) because my grandmother is finding it difficult to look after him. I'm extremely close to my grandfather, but everytime I talk to him I just want to cry because he doesn't know who I am, or even if he does I can't have normal conversations with him anymore. Sometimes I don't know what to do or say, do I correct him when he says my mother lives in nothern Ireland? Or do I just let him believe that even though she's in the same house as him? What can I do to help? What do I do or say? I feel useless and selfish when he's the one with demntia and I'm sat here healthy and fit. Please help
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,506
Near Southampton
Hello Effy and welcome to Talking Point.
I hope the following thread will help you with communicating with your grandfather.
It's often difficult to know how we should react to the things that someone with dementia will say that we know are untrue. The general advice is to go along with it but at the same time try to reassure them if what they are saying is making them frightened or unhappy.
An example is when my husband used to think that people were trying to attack him as it would obviously not be helpful for me to have agreed with him so I reassure him the he was safe and I would protect him.

Do come back here if you want to know anything else and good luck.

http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?30801-Compassionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired
 

Pumpkin12

Registered User
Oct 16, 2014
69
Hi there welcome to TP :)
Theres lots of support and help on here iv always found, so if you find things hard or want to vent some feelings it's a good place to come. I hope you find some comfort and support here I did :) your only 16 and are bound to find things difficult, some one very close to you has this horrible illness and it is very hard to watch them decline. I care full time for my partners grandad I'm only 24 and things are very difficult at times. With regards to correcting your grandfather I was thought not to, as it may cause distress and aggression, not to mention he will be more confused, and upsetting for you. I was always thought "don't try to bring then back to our world go to in theres". Your not useless or selfish at all it's very hard to deal and cope with this illness. All you can do is your best, your grandfather will have good days and bad days as everyone does all you can do is take it one step at a time :) I hope this helped take care x


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canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,592
South coast
Its so upsetting when a relative with dementia doesnt know who you are anymore.
My mum thinks Im her mum now and lives in a complete alternative reality. She thinks that her husband (died nearly 30 yrs ago) is having an affair (which is why she never sees him) and that he wants her to cook dinner for him and his girlfriend (even though she is in a care home now). It is very diffucult to know what to say, although I can honestly promise her that her husband is definitely not having an affair and she will never have to cook a meal for the girlfriend :D
 

Effy_

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
7
Thank you so much for all your kind words. It's so nice to know that I can come on here and people will actually listen and advise me. I know I'm only 16 which is very young, but I want to know what's best for my grandad and how to help him cope. I'm really struggling in coping myself actually, just earlier today I was reading poetry with him (poems are his favourite) and I was reading our favourite poem (song by Christina Georgina Rossetti) and he knew it word for word, and then suddenly he thought it was time for him to go home (he lives in South Ireland and he's staying with us in South Wales) he thought that his wife (my grandmother) didn't know where he was, when an hour ago he was on the phone to her, he got so distressed and I just didn't know what to do. I want to do what's best for him and to help him cope whilst learning how to cope myself. Thank you so much for your kind words and amazing advice, it really has helped and it's wonderful to know I can come on here and get support. Thank you again :)


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Roses40

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
473
manchester
Please,please read saffie's link about compassionate communication. I can't change my mum but it has helped me tremendously to adjust my own behaviour toward her. Thank you for caring x
 

Jess26

Registered User
Jan 5, 2011
970
Kent
I just wanted to say what an eloquent, caring young lady you sound. You should be proud of yourself :)
 

BR_ANA

Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
1,081
Brazil
Show the post about compassionate communication to your family.

Keep your life too. School and friends are important.
 

Effy_

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
7
I took a long time reading over the link and it has truly helped tremendously, I find myself talking to my grandad and not being worried about what to say and what not to say, the conversation seemed to be flowing (complete nonsense of course, but tremendous nonsense) so thank you saffie for that link, and everyone else who recommended it and helped me, beyond happy that this is a place I can come too for help (and also not be patronised for my age) you have all been so kind in welcoming me to talking point and I can't thank you enough.


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Effy_

Registered User
Feb 17, 2015
7
I was just sat downstairs with my grandad watching television while my parents and brother went to the shops quickly to get my grandad some 7up (it's his favourite drink and he ran out of it earlier) and then my grandad started getting frustrated and saying he needed to get changed and I didn't understand why, and then I looked at his trousers and he had wet himself and I didn't know what to do, and he was really angry at himself and he was calling himself stupid and it was so so so horrible, but I took him upstairs and laid out a pair of clean trousers on his bed and un did his belt for him and then waited outside while he got changed but he couldn't get his trousers on him but he wouldn't let me come in to help him but luckily my parents came home and my mother helped him get changed, I don't really have a question, I just kinda want someone to tell me that I did the right thing :(


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