What is Normal ? and does it have to be sad ?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by daveflowers, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. daveflowers

    daveflowers Registered User

    Apr 12, 2008
    This may be inappropriate but i need to know if im tackling my dads Vascular Dementia in a suitable way.
    The rest of my family ,brothers ,sisters uncles and aunts really do get upset in front of my dad, where as im the opposite and am sometimes looked on by scorn at the way i and therefore my wife and children are with him.
    I take the approach of while hes with us enjoy him and when he is on a good day, encorage him to enjoy and on a bad day i still encourage him to enjoy. When he really belives that he is talking to family members who have passed away i ask him questions to relay on, where as other family blurt out crying and upset him.
    I understand and appreciate that all people are different in not just their outlooks but also in how the deal with emotional stress but it really does get under my skin when i see all these tears.
    Yes, my dads going down hill rapidly, he has a good day, bad day alternate and most seem to only go see him on a good day (which is no help to my mum as she needs the support on the bad days) but when they do go its allways upsetting for my dad.
    My dad will sit and chat with folks who are not there, its part of him now, accept this i say. He will wander about in a totally different world, seeing things from the past or goblins and fairys, this is my dads world with his condition. He is quite happy living like this at this moment in time so why carnt the rest of the family just ****** accept it.
    We all know how eventually his condition will end, my wife and children have accepted this and we have lots of fun with him. Every days a bonus Good or Bad, so does it have to be sad ? I dont think so, Frustrating, Draining of both mind and body, But Sad ?
    I would love to hear your thoughts as to whether my wife and I are guiding my children the right way and other peoples ways of dealing with Dementia.
    Thankyou and Kindest Regards,
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Dave, I think you have a wonderful attitude.

    No, it doesn't have to be sad. You are helping to keep your dad cheerful, and that's the best way to help your mum. It doesn't help anyone to keep looking for the negatives.

    And what a wonderful lesson you're giving your children, too. They are learning not to be afraid of people who are ill, or who say strange things. You are bringing them up to be loving, caring adults.

    Well done you!:)
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Dave.

    I think you are being very strong for your father and I admire your efforts to try to be as positive as possible with him.

    But I also feel perhaps a little tolerance towards family members who perhaps are not as strong as you, wouldn`t go amiss.

    There are times when I too can jolly my husband along, but there are other times when it breaks my heart to see him confused and frightened and I find it hard to control the tears.

    It takes all sorts to make a world Dave and it shouldn`t `get under your skin` to see tears.

    Take care xx
  4. heartbroken

    heartbroken Registered User

    Feb 17, 2008
    I think you are great keeping a brave face on things and helping your dad be happy but some people can't be as you are so please dont be to hard on the rest of the family. you are teaching your children the right way so please don't show them ant other.
    I look after my step mum and like this week school hols I have to take my 7yr daughter with me, I have sat her down and explained things to her the best I can, she is great and helps us lots, don't shut your children out its good for them to learn and help were possible plus I find Edna listens more to my daughter.
  5. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Dave
    Thank you for posting. Everybody reacts to the symptoms of dementia differently. I have found the easiest way to cope with the diease is as you say, to accept the behviours. The quicker we can accept them the more we are able help, as positively as possible. I have taken this approach with my children in accepting and understanding the behaviour of my dad who has vas dem. I think you're right, your other familiy members crying in front of dad will upset him. Somehow you need to educate them to your way of thinking. Being blunt may or may not be effective, you'll have to think of the way that is best. In the past when I have been traumatised by my dads symptoms, I always had my husband reminding me of 'if you think its bad for you, imagine how bad it is be for your dad' This certainly got the message across. As Sylvia said though, people are upset by the disease and you can't get away from that for very long. Even in the saddest moments, I try and try to find the positives but when you are the sole carer ( and partner)this can be very very difficult. Your mum will need all the support you can give her. Enjoying what time your dad has left with you all is the best way to cope with dementia.
    take care
  6. river_

    river_ Registered User

    Oct 15, 2007
    You sound like you are doing well, possibly it would help the rest of the family to learn about communicating and connecting in dementia.

  7. zan

    zan Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    I feel that people with AD pick up on others emotions. If you are giving off a happy atmosphere when you visit, your Dad will sometimes pick up on that happy mood and he will be happy. Your children need as many happy memories about their Grandad as possible. Be happy and perhaps the other members of your family will see that your visits are enjoyable and fun, despite all the problems and worries that you share. You could set them an example and hope that they are able to relax and enjoy their visits and make the most of every day they spend with your Dad. Good luck, Zan
  8. knackered

    knackered Registered User

    Apr 8, 2008
    happy atmospheres

    daveflowers & zan

    I do agree it is important for us to provide a cheerful or happy atmosphere as dementia seems super-sensitive to atmosphere.

    On those occasions yes, it can be fun to join in the imaginary scenarios- or at least not to contradict them.

    But there are times when my mother's dementia tortures her. And that is sad.

    At those times, i try to distract, to move her away from it. Sometimes it works, others not.

    And I find her loss of ability to reason sad. Sad for me, not for her of course.

  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #9 Margarita, Apr 14, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
    My mother does not talk to dead people yet or imagery people, but I as a 8 year old , shall never forget my Grandmother doing that & it scared me. That it did leave an impression of fear in me that I did not tell anyone , because it was not something to tell talk about . I don’t think my mother understood what was happening anyway . so could never talk to me about it .

    I suppose if you explained to your children what happening to they granddad they may not get scared, do you ask your children how they feel when they see they Granddad taking to someone that not they

    How old are you children ?

    I think it’s healthier to cry it Realises a lot of pent up tension fear, anger , sadness, if crying in front of your father upset your father. I would ask them please to cry in another room when they feel ready come back in. Some people do they crying in privet , while other just shower it out in front of each other .
  10. helen.tomlinson

    helen.tomlinson Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008

    Thank you so much for those examples of Validation Therapy. I found it most interesting and helpful and something I will copy and give to some family members and anyone else who might be interested.

    I can benefit from it myself, of course, in dealing with Alan at times.

    Best wishes Helen

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