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update on my dad from previous threads

Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
hi everyone. I will be soing a thread over the next couple of days touching on the subject of losing my dad to dementia after using this site as a sounding board whilst he was alive i though maybe some members would like to hear my story
 

Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
So as I mentioned I have been on here on the past when I needed to rant and rave about my dads care or family quarrels to do with my dad and how he should be cared for.
My dad lived with Alzheimer's for 6yrs. Lucky for us he still knew who we were most of the time, sometimes he would revert back and think we were kids again. It was more his loss of mobility which gave us no choice but to place him in care but thankfully after a couple of not so great care homes we found him a great one that did their very best for him.
My last post on here was about my dad suddenly going into himself. He started to refuse care, he stopped eating, drinking and taking his meds which as you can imagine had a drastic effect on his state of mind. After a couple of my regular visits and trying to persuade him to drink just something it became obvious that he had had enough. I could see the sadness in his eyes and one day I just hugged him and said " Have you had enough dad"?. He looked at me and just cried and nodded. I didn't need him to say anymore. He always said that he didn't want to die in hospital and so I took the decision to keep him in the care home where he would be comfortable. The hospital would have only put him on fluids anyway and not tried to feed him so that would have just prolonged the inevitable. I made sure that all end of life care would be given when the time came and it was agreed dad would stay in his room where he would be made comfortable.
Over the coming days he would occasionally open his eyes and look around to see who was with him, he even managed a smile when I took my husband in to visit him. My daughter who my dad adored had been in a few weeks before and sat with him on his bed, she saw him before he withdrew and will have good memories of them together.
Eventually dad was just sleeping and I watched him fade more and more for 3wks. They eventually placed a morphine patch on him to take away any pain he may have been experiencing but he seemed comfortable. I kind of new then that once that patch had been placed that to me was telling me things would be coming to an end. It was not nice to watch my dad slowly slip away into a shell but his wishes had to be respected as I had done all through his journey. I received a message on the 23rd March from one of my brothers saying that dads breathing had laboured a little and there was definitely a change but his obs were still pretty good. My brothers had gone out of the room because one of the nurses felt that my dad may not have wanted them with him when he slipped away. They decided to go home and get some sleep and I took the decision to not take the 1.5hr drive over and that I would go over early in the morning.
On the 24th March I was driving over in the morning at about 8.30 when I received the call to say that he had gone. None of us were there, but he wasn't alone. My brothers girlfriend had popped in and sat with him playing some of his favourite songs and talking to him about cooking, after her being there for half an hour dad slipped away quietly.
My dad was always a proud man and even at the end he kept to that by making sure none of his children were present when he let go. I did whisper on a few occasions that he could let go which isn't an easy thing to say to your dad but I will admit it breaks my heart that I wasn't there holding his hand went he died.
I must admit I do feel angry, guilty for the way he chose to leave and maybe I just wish he had spoken to me before taking the decision to give up but I guess he knew it would upset me if I knew his intentions.
My dad was cremated on the 19th April which I had to arrange all by myself as I had always taken care of everything to do with dad and his care, finances etc. We then held a memorial and Interment of his ashes on the 26th Sept which was 6mths since his s passing and he was finally laid to rest with his mum and dad.
I miss him every day and I am keeping his memory alive, I don't want to forget him and how he has motivated me to pursue a career in teaching Dementia Awareness and the way lives can be made a little easier using simple methods and being mindful with communication and empathy.
I qualified in my teacher training back in October and I am now in the process of setting up as a training facilitator hoping to engage with companies and individuals sharing my experiences and knowledge enabling them to understand someone living with Dementia and changes that can be made in an environment and the approach to offer a better way of living for an individual living with Dementia.

I hope you can all find my story helpful, maybe find comfort in my words. I have also started a blog which I plan to use to offer info and advice and just a sounding board for anyone going through what I have been through.
www.livingwithdementia291641996.wordpress.com
 

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Amethyst59

Registered User
Jul 3, 2017
5,749
Kent
What a moving story...and thank you for attaching the picture. One reads these stories and imagines a little old man or lady...and then a photo takes that illusion away completely...and we see a much loved dad and Grandad. Good luck in your new enterprise.
 

Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
yes that photo was taken 3wks before my dad began to give up. my dad was 83 and looked so well eventhough he was living with dementia. thank you for reading my story.