a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

My photo
Sequim, Washington, United States

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Taking care of loved ones with dementia

Pictured - my 93 yr. old dad with "little dog"

Little dog has a name, but Pop can't remember it.  Pop has dementia.  Jules (little dog) doesn't mind.
I think the best thing we could do for Dad is to keep in his home.  I'm lucky we were able to do that.  I'm super lucky that my brother and his wife retired in order to be able to do that.  Retirement is not an option for me.
I talked to Pop this morning.  I usually ask questions about the weather, what he is eating...things that he can answer.  He always asks, "And, where do you live?"  I tell him California.  He says, "Lucky you."  This morning I told him that I was going to fly to Florida for his 94th birthday on July 1st.  He said, "The whole country celebrates my birthday 3 days too late."  That was pretty IMPRESSIVE that he came up with that line, but then again, it was always one of his favorite lines.
It is very taxing to take care of a family member with dementia around the clock.  My brother and his wife are now using a senior service in Florida called Senior Solutions.  They aren't cheap, but they are experienced in hospice care and dementia.  They have them come out for 4 hours a week.  Just enough time for them to grab a bite to eat, a movie or a walk on the beach together.  They make sure they are home to watch late night TV together with Pop before he goes to bed.  Dad has to watch shows like Funniest Home Videos, because he can't remember 1 minute from the next.  It's impossible for him to sit through a movie, because he can't remember what happened in the movie from one minute to the next.
My brother and his wife, Linda, are going to leave Pop with "Senior Solutions" for two days while they fly to Texas for their oldest daughter's wedding.  Pop has a special person he enjoys from this company.  They will try to have her come stay with him.  I'm so glad the wedding isn't until April and that they are having him left for short periods of time with caregivers now. 
I'm never sure that he knows who I am when I call.  He doesn't call me by name anymore.  When I say "I love you," he says "Thank-you." :0)  But, I am very thankful he is still with us.  I love him dearly.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Now if your Dad was in Canada, he could celebrate with the whole country, along with my brother-in-law:)
Your brother and sister-in-law are very special people.
My mother is 81. Things are changing, and not for the better. She's not the easiest person to deal with, and is very opinionated and very stubborn. It is going to get hard, and I'm not the most compassionate person...