I read an article today that is potentially worrying for a lot of people.
But maybe there are some things we can do to help ourselves.
I’ve been watching my Nan slowly lose her memory over the last few years, only now it seems to be getting worse at a faster rate.
I have to sit and watch the effect it has on my Grandad who cares for her daily. He has always been the biggest kid in the family but now his happy-go-lucky nature is starting to change to someone with a short fuse who has been worn down as a result of my Nan’s behaviour.
I know that it isn’t her fault, but I find dealing with her behaviour for a few hours a week stressful. I can’t imagine being locked in a house with her every day.
It makes me feel like a bad person too for not being able to deal with it better. I try to avoid talking to her as she is antagonistic towards me but that just makes things worse. She makes up stories, which to people who don’t know the truth sound increasingly worrying.
I’ve tried my best to get her to help herself, to keep the symptoms at bay and encourage her to stay active but she is increasingly detached from reality which makes it difficult.
All we can do is make sure she is looking after herself and keep her safe, we can’t reverse the outcome of the disease.
I find myself having to explain to my Nan what different types of food are that she has eaten all her life as she doesn’t remember what they are. Her diet is turning into mostly biscuits, cakes and chips as that is all she seems to freely eat. With most foods she is picky and often decides she won’t eat it before trying it even though it is something she regularly eats.
As a result she’s losing weight. We keep trying to get her to take health food supplements, Complan and vitamin C drinks but she flat-out refuses or pours the drinks away. She thinks we are trying to give her something to make her go away and that hospital appointments are designed to experiment on her.
We see flashes of her memory from time to time. Recently she has started to acknowledge that her memory is fading which she never noticed before.
It’s very unpleasant to watch the people you have known all your life change their demeanour without even knowing they are changing. They still look like the person you know and sometimes you see flashes of that person but others they are someone you are meeting for the first time.
Lets hope in the future they find a way to help people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s so that families don’t have to lose their loved ones in such a cruel way.