Sudden Sharp Decline in Dad

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Long-Suffering, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    This last week, dad's mental state has declined dramatically. Up to then, we could have a very basic conversation on Skype. He could at least exchange a few words for a minute or so. This week, he's managed a hello then immediately asked for music. I play him his favourite Irish folk songs on Skype. He mouths along to one or two then he's in a rush to get off.

    His dementia hasn't been a constant decline; it's been a series of sudden drops, like walking down steps. He started crying at the end of our song today. I am feeling very depressed about all this. I've had a constant headache for 2 days. I think it's also because a friend of mine is hospitalized in a coma. It's been one hell of a week.

    LS
     
  2. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    Sorry to hear you have had a rough week and it's been so hard for you. Hugs.

    It sounds like your Dad may have taken another step down like my Mum has done recently. Has he changed his mess recently, or had a change of circumstances recently as this can sometimes have a detrimental effect on dementia sufferers.

    Maybe he didn't talk much or stayed for a shorter time as he was more tired than previously he had been. Hope he stabilises a bit for you and improves if we can hope for that much. This disease is an awful experience for all.

    Hope your headache improves, maybe a walk no matter how short may help clear your head. Be kind to yourself.
     
  3. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    464
    Female
    Cheshire
    Sending you a massive {hug}.

    It's no wonder you're feeling so low, and you need to be especially kind to yourself while life is difficult.

    My dad's decline has been stepwise too - I know him so well that I can tell instantly. It's lovely that your dad enjoys the music you play him, but I know how painful it must be for you to see him withdraw. It's possible that he'll get a little better again... that's what happens to my dad, he declines and then picks up again for a while.

    Take care x
     
  4. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Thanks, Mrs Busy.

    He's not had a change of meds or circumstances. Doesn't seem to have any infections or anything like that. I suspect it might be that mum is overwhelming him a bit. She often still talks to him exactly if he is 100% in possession of his faculties. For example today I could hear what she was saying before she came on Skype to talk to me, and it was a good 2-minute rant about some tele-marketer that had just rung her. She was really mad about it, and a normal person would find listening to that stressful, but my dad being in the state of mind he is, listening to that sort of thing totally unsettles him. He is too far gone to understand what she is talking about and he just gets this impression of a wall of angry noise. When she came on-line to me, she gave me the same rant about the tele-marketer and it stressed me, so god knows how stressful it is for dad. I've tried talking to her about what's suitable to say to him, but she just loses it even more.

    God, I have a CRACKING headache. Pills don't touch it.

    Hopefully things will improve soon and we can have another happy day for dad. And mum as well if only she'd let herself. I think I'll go out for that walk, Mrs Busy :)

    LS
     
  5. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi Looviloo,

    Yes, I'm hoping he'll pick up again. He enjoyed his first song but the last one had him in tears. It's so sad. I sing Brendan Shine so much that I hear his songs in my sleep.

    Thanks again,

    LS
     
  6. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    464
    Female
    Cheshire
    LS, your dad cries because the music moves him, and that's not necessarily a bad thing (although upsetting for you, obviously). It sounds like you're doing the right things and touching his emotions in a way your mum doesn't. Enjoy your walk x
     
  7. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Thanks, Looviloo.

    Yes, I think you are right, b/c he did say "Thank you thank you" after listening to the music. I dunno. I am usually strong b/c I have to be for mum's sake. She's there with him 24/7. But sometimes I feel like I am locked up in the house there with them too.

    I think another reason I'm down is that August is usually the month when I go over to see them, but this year I haven't. I lost my job, had a nervous breakdown, etc. It's been a hell of a year. And on top of that, every year when I have been to see them, it has been a nightmare because of mum being so horrible a lot of the time. So I think my depression is a combination of what's happened with them and me this year plus my habit of feeling depressed every August when I go to see them.

    For most people, family = happiness, doesn't it? I can't imagine that.

    Okay. Time for that walk.

    LS
     
  8. Angela T

    Angela T Registered User

    Jul 13, 2014
    187
    France
    #8 Angela T, Aug 31, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
    Long Suffering, I am so sorry, you have too much to deal with...

    It is hard, from a distance, and it is hard having to be strong for both your dad and your mum...

    Family isn't always happiness - mine never was, I realise, reading your post, how very hard it would have been for me if my dad had had dementia/Alzheimer's and my mother was his carer... It would have been highly dysfunctional, and I would not have felt I had my place as his daughter, she would have seen to that.

    I have had migraines for years, managed to reduce them last year, and now they have come back!

    TAKE CARE.
     
  9. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    I hope you do go for that walk, nothing like it to blow away stress, that why I love dogs, because you always end up talking to someone about something unrelated to our problems for a few minutes each day, can't do that with a cat. I have three cats, but is my dog everyday.

    I agree that your dad did enjoy the music too. With my Mum I find that her hearing in some ways not all are hyper sensitive so if any loud noises or raised voices are nearby they are magnified for her. Think this is due to anxiety too as my son has that and he is hypersensitive to noise too. So your poor dad is probably struggling not just with the not understanding but it's louder for him. My sons therapist explained it that if we hear a siren going past once it's has passed we forget about it, but in my sons head it is louder and carries on for five minutes more in his head, and whilst that's going on someone's talking to him, so he can't take it all in. So that's not helping your Dad.

    I realise your Mum isn't easy to deal with but have you tried to pull her up sharp by saying Has anyone died Mum, no, so be quiet as it really doesn't matter in the scheme of things!

    I know what you mean about treating your dad as normal, my dad does this he seems to think he can bully her out of it. Another time he will go to the other extreme and not let her try and do things as he thinks she isn't able to.

    I'm still looking for that elusive happy family, don't think there is such a family so don't beat yourself up on that one, we all have our crosses to bear and dramas. Unfortunately, like you they seem to be on a daily basis in our lives whilst others get off easier.

    Take care.
     

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