#Dementia

This one word is putting fear into me. My dad has vascular dementia and we are learning how to deal with another curve ball that life is throwing at us. No one is left unaffected by this horrible condition.

It is odd how often we live in blind ignorance until we are thrust into a situation and then we learn we are only one small unit amongst thousands who are learning how to cope with this condition.

I did not inherit his great intelligence and it is this intelligence that we now see fading behind a mask of sorrow and fear that he is learning to deal with. Dad was never an emotional man, he was always the calm voice of reason. The solid base. Now, this base is quivering under the multitude of questions he and we face.

So I am turning to all readers to ask for tricks and tips on how to lighten his load. His apologies are becoming more frequent, as are some silly incidents, i.e.,

Open the fridge door to discover all of the dinner dishes stacked (unwashed on the shelves).Open the  hot stove / oven door to find items of clothing sitting on the shelf being baked.

 

The washing machine last week was lined in white plastic, which I resorted to hoovering, the flakes to remove them.

Our solutions include:

We have posted notices on doors etc listing the what to do when leaving the house.

There are notices appearing on microwaves, seats, notebooks, computers as we try to make things easier for him to cope.

Remove all evidence of bills paid, as he worries about money which he no longer understands.

Have a series of carers in the house at meal times and as often as we can, we arrive in ones to nudge and coax him into a sense of normality.

So, again I appeal to all who read or notice my strange rambling blog all pieces of advice big and small will be chewed on, thought over and acted upon.

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So why post a picture of a sunflower? To give us all something sunny to look forward to, especially as Bob is asleep, again.

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Maria’s Stuff Playing with Pictures

I have been having fun at a photography class. Basically learning how to make better use of my camera.

But in the process I discovered some old photos’ and have started to play around with them. This one reminded me of how much fun, kids get out of the simple things in life,

in this case it was: Boxes.

What do you think?boxes

Maria’s Stuff: Reality Check – One year on and still missing her.

The 30th of May was an awkward weird day. I woke remembering but trying hard not to visualise my last few minutes with my mum.

After watching her cope with being paralyzed on her left side, and her ensuing struggle to live on a daily basis I have learnt to recognize, and admire the courage of the elderly and anyone who is ill.

On a stranger note I get angered by the daily flippant changes in our Irish healthcare system which are  devoid of commonsense, logic and business sense.

I do have many regrets involving her last year. The main one being my constant questions (in my own mind) about how we failed in our lack of care. We did everything we could at the time, don’t get me wrong but looking back I see the faults, the areas where I should have demanded more on her behalf.

The reality of a situation like that is though you may be doing the best you can for them, I felt, in this case,nothing I did was good enough. I am left wondering and questioning if I could have done better, more..

For now, I focus on remembering the times we laughed, moaned or groaned to each other .

I have also learnt that a life no matter how long or short it is, is often remembered by moments. These snapshots bring back memories of vivid happiness, fun, grief, nothing escapes but they are all moments to be treasured.

For the first time in my life I appreciate and understand her unspoken philosophy of being involved, doing something no matter how trivial or menial. The size of the gesture or involvement doesn’t matter. It is the act of living, being part of life. And all I can add is for such a small woman she managed to do a whole lot of living.

A Moment with Maria while Bob is busy waiting for an Ogre.

A defining moment or challenge was experienced today. We were giving an athletic session to a group of 26 kids, my 13 were high on life. The three boys refused to calm down, stop was not in their vocabulary, pause was left outside the door. On the third reprimand I had enough of them, “Please return to your class room.” I twittered in my sternest (birdlike voice).

Suddenly the three villains wore angelic expressions and professed there love for staying in the gym with us. I wavered for a nano-second then caught the glint of amusement in their eyes. I stuck to my guns and they left the room. To return with an apology at the end of class.

It was clear that they were not used to an adult doing what they said, that is, empty threats often given and never carried out. Which leads to the question if the future generation cannot do what they are asked, is there any hope for us?