Friday, 26 December 2014

Dementia Diaries - Christmas 2014

Last week was a bit of a turning point In dealing with mum's illness. We have been trying for months to get dad to agree to respite care for mum. He refused seeing this as a failing on his part  - his pride would not allow him to accept help and all we could do was watch him struggle. Last week social services took over and told him respite was no longer an 'option' it was a necessity and an emergency at that and booked mum into a care home the following day. It's hard seeing her as others must and walking Into the care home and seeing her as she now is shocked me. Out of her comfort zone the difficulties were more pronounced - physically she looks dreadful sallow skin, slumped, very overweight, hair plastered to her head - if my real mum could see this version of herself she would be horrified. She can no longer do anything for herself, not even feed herself. She did not know where she was or why she was there just that the others in there were ' barmy' Dad doesn't understand why they put her with people who are so bad - he doesn't seem to realise that she is actually worse than many of them.
It served to show dad how exhausted he was and he has now agreed to regular respite care. It can only be a matter of months before she has to go into a permanent care home.

We have visited today as it's Christmas - it's been hard - a sad reminder of Christmases when our kids were little but my brother and I as well as our families went for the morning to support dad. I showed him this photo I'd found and his response was 'that's when she was still with me' mum however didn't know who the photo was of.

 There were tears and hugs and lots of poignant moments. Fortunately our Tommy rescued us all. He never cries when we give him to Dad - he just looks at him - sometimes babies have more wisdom than the rest of us. Who knows what 2015 will bring but we know it will bring challenges. Enjoy your loved ones whilst you can and hope you all have a peaceful New Year x

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