Over the course of the next few months/years I will be writing about my experiences of caring for my father, and also about the development of his dementia – an illness which is different for every person. This fact is something that I only found out as I read about the illness and how it affects each person, about the methods and medication(s) that are available, and what affects these may have.
For over five years I have been the carer for my father, and in the last two years I have had to take on more and more responsibility for his affairs and his life, He is now 86, his birthday was in March, and it has been sad to see a once vibrant man disappear in front of me on a day to day basis.
The symptoms which first indicated that something may be wrong, was his short term memory lost, his inability to remember things, even when they has been put on paper for him, or on the calendar. Then there were things like his shuffling, which he had developed over the years, and which I had put down to him being unsure of his feet due to an accident he had whilst crossing the road.
In the last two years his memory problems became more and more obvious,; even things like going to the barbers’ where I had dropped him off, and was sitting in the car waiting form him, when he came out he had forgotten I was with him, or where the car was.
For anyone this is stressful, and I am certain for my father it was also – he would often come out with phrases like ‘I’m stupid’ etc when referring to not being able to remember things.
For the present he is in a nursing home, which I will talk about more in my next piece; however as I have said dementia is different for everyone, and I include a link to a wonderful uplifting article on the use of technology and dementia ‘ ‘Life after diagnosis: Dementia Diaries, stigma and the media‘