This is going to be a very hard blog post for me, if you know someone or have a loved one suffering from this disease it is just painful. When my mum got diagnosed with Dementia I was relieved as I knew something was wrong with her for a long time. It was extremely stressful at the beginning as you know something is wrong but you don’t know what it is. You confide in family and they say things like “it’s old age unfortunately” when you know deep down it is more than that!
It is easy for someone who does not spend a lot of time with that family member to dismiss your claims and even when you confront them about it they continue. This is what I found hard because the denial people have until you the person takes responsibility and pushes family and medical professionals to get that official diagnosis. I saw my beautiful mother go from this strong, independent woman and turn into a scared child right before my eyes.
It took a long time for me to come to terms with it because I did not want to believe this could happen to her. After everything my mother had gone through in her life she did not deserve this, I asked myself why her a good person. There are some mand horrible people out there living there best lives and still doing horrible things. Then there is my mother who is this wonderful person who did everything for everyone and never asked for anything in return.
I noticed things like excessive sleeping, lying about little things, things in the house going missing and the lack of appetite. One major issue was the paranoia your loved one has and how to deal with it daily. You will even receive regular accusations from your loved one due to the paranoia, so please try to not take it to heart as it can be heart-breaking. I used to also have long conversations with my mum, but that stopped as she would change topic frequently and start talking about the past.
So in the end you loose the closeness of conversation and feels like you are living and caring for a stranger. Mum also has no sense of time of day anymore, so she would sleep all day and wake up at night pondering around the house like it was day time. She isolates herself in her bedroom for days on end with no communication with anyone. No phones calls, no sound on TV, no interaction and no eating which can be particularly hard.
We had to buy some food supplement drinks for mum as she would refuse to eat or eat very little. So combined with her medication we also added some vitamins and some specialised brain vitamins to see if it would at least slow down the deterioration but unfortunately for us it has not. If this had been diagnosed early who knows the path to mum recovery may have been different.
A lot of her friends and family have also distanced themselves from her, which can be particularly hard. I find within my culture we are very ignorant to things like this and mental health etc. This is from my own personal experience other may have had a different experience but I can only speak from mine. They think it is easier to ignore the once close friend or family member like that will help or resolve the issue instead of taking ownership and trying to maintain some level of communication. You have to remember it is not the person suffering with Dementia’s fault they cannot keep in regular contact. There brain is not functioning they way it used to hence why the other person unfortunately has to make the effort.
I have looked into care homes and bringing private help but mum does not have the finances to do that, so unfortunately it is left to immediate family. I am also worried by the state of care homes at present with some many leaving or being made redundant. It’s a bit of a catch 22 scenario and can be very stressful at times. I also run my own businesses. Which unfortunately suffered due to this but I have excepted that they will and I will do my best to continue the best I can.
I just want to say for those of you who are currently going through this as I never thought I would be myself. Take some time out for yourself, speak to your local authority for support, I know they can’t offer much but whatever they can is better than nothing at all. Remember you are not alone and speak to people regularly about the way you feel and are coping. It is not easy but together we can get though it, sending respect, peace and love to you all going through this.
I know at times it feels very lonely and stifling, when it reaches to this point reach out for help and support. You will get it!
My mum has done a full life circle from Parent to Child. I love you mum…….