Alzheimer’s in Our House

Alzheimers in our house

We had Alzheimers in our house. I am re-posting these here for my friends struggling with Alzheimers in their families. If any of you are being, or have been touched by this horrible disease I encourage your input and insight. Please see alz.org for great information of this disease and caregiving.

Originally posted 6-17-11

Well here it is 1:47 A.M. and I’m trying to do a better job this time. We are suffering with Alzheimers in our house. As I stated earlier, my Father has Alzheimers and is 90. He has had its for several years now but after a recent illness he got radically worse. My Step-Mom has taken care of him the whole time and has done a great job. But after this illness we all knew she couldn’t do it any more.

The safest place for Dad was in the nursing home.

It breaks our hearts to see him there, but his illness has advanced to the point it is the best place for him. Besides, we were all getting worried for our step-Mom. She has MS and the stress of caring for Dad was taking a tremendous toll on her.

Suddenly it struck me how strange this entire scenario is. It is very odd that I’m carrying on a one sided conversation that I now realize can be read by any one, any where. That scares me a bit. But if by sharing I can help one person who has a loved one suffering with this horrible illness, it will be worth it!

For those with Alzheimers in your family I recommend going to the Alzheimers Association website alz.org   It has wonderful tips and ideas.

Maybe together we can help each other. Please share Your thoughts, hurts, ideas, and suggestions.

Thank you for checking in.

As my Dad would say, Keep Your Chin Up!

Hang in there and God Bless!

For some frightening facts watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXnZt5VMjZY&feature=player_embedded

 

 

 

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Father’s Battle with Alzheimers and Dementia

In Honor of my Father’s Battle with Alzheimers and Dementia. Original Post dated – 6/17/11

I was up till almost midnight last night talking with a dear, life-long friend of mine about her mother-in-law who is suffering from Alzheimers and Dementia.

My Father died in November 2011 from Alzheimers and Dementia disease.  I lived through the moment to moment to moment torture of watching your loved one disappear right before your very eyes.  Of watching your parent reach levels of decline that no human should have to suffer through – but keep on living.  It is a horrible, horrible thing to reach the point where you are mad at God for making a loved one continue to suffer. It is horrible, embarrassing, excruciating, and literally painful beyond words to reach the point where you pray for God to take your loved one home.  Take them out of the strange, lonely place they are in.

I am recovering now and hopefully can be a hand to hold as others move through that horriffic expereince.

To that effect, I am going to copy the first plog posts I ever attempted and repost them here in an attempt to start an ongoing conversation with those of you that are going through this, or have lived through this horrible disease

in your family or household.  God Bless you each one.  May God carry you and comfort you.

Here is my first post ever –

Dated 6/17/11

I have no idea how to do this blogging thing but here goes.  <br />
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My Father is a wonderful man.   He has loved his family and worked his entire life to give us anything we wanted.  He is a World War II veteran, where he was a combat medic.  He would never talk about the war.  He said it was too sad, and too gruesome to remember and he just wanted to put it behind him.  He loves God even more than he loves us, and that is a lot.  He is kind and gentle, a true gentleman.  The kind that opens the door for you, pulls your chair out, holds your coat for you.  But he never coddled us.  We had to work, hard.  We built fence, irrigated, learned to ride, read the land, and the livestock.  Add to that he taught us about real estate and business.  He wanted his whole family in real estate, but I didn’t have a stomach for it.  He still made me get my license as soon as I graduated from high school.  Then idiot me, thought I knew more than he did and didn’t pay my dues one year.  Now I would have to go back and take the whole class again.  Should have listened to my Father.  I learned along time ago, listen to my Father.<br />
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Now I cry everyday hoping to have the chance to listen to my Father’s sage wisdom again.  He has Alzheimer’s and has very little to say now.  My heart hurts just typing about it.  But I had to do something.  I have no one to talk to.  See, I’m single and late at night I have no one to tell how bad it hurts that my brilliant Father is drugged so he will stay in his bed in a locked-in nursing home.  He is caged.  And I can’t get him out.  I can’t see through the tears right now so if anyone reads this, please forgive me if I misspell something.  Frankly it sucks.  My Father essentially is in prison.  Oh it’s a well lit, nicely painted – prison. That prison is filled with other patients with Alzheimers and Dementia.

My Mother died 22 years ago and he remarried a wonderful woman.  She’s a very nice, a Christian woman, but she has MS and the care giving is taking a terrible toll on her.  She has care-giver burnout and is tired.  Tired of taking care of a 90 year old Alzheimers and Dementia patient, tired of the 28 hour days, tired of him following her everywhere, just plain tired.  My sister and I can see that.  Even if she can’t – yet.

Funny how second marriages are just different.  She’s 20 years younger and after he got sick, not with Alzheimers and Dementia, but sick with Pancreatitis, within two weeks of his 90th birthday, he was in a “home”.   But, it’s not a home.  It’s a prison. She has taken care of him in their home for several years as his mental facalties declined and has done a good job. But when he got Pancreatitis it just became too much and now we are struggling with putting him in “the home.”

There is enough of my Father still in his shrinking brain to know things are not right and, bless his heart, he tries to escape!  He stacked chairs up one day and tried to crawl over the fence.   Another day he tried to throw a chair through the screens to get out of the porch.  I’m proud of him!  But the “staff” says he has “behaviors”.  No, you’re kidding right??  Behaviors?  You bet he has behaviors!  He knows where and how to escape and he was doing everything his 90 year old body could do to accomplish it! <br />
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We had to have a meeting so we could “all get on the same page for Dad’s care”.    Bull!  That was just a way for the “staff” to get us to ok medicating him.  “We can’t have him putting others in danger.”  The only reason he would put others in danger is if they try to grab him and pull him down from his escape!   <br />
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The last month has been, excuse me, a living hell.  That is why I am trying this.  Maybe I can spill my guts and help some one who is just getting started down the road with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia.  I’ll tell you right now.  Get on your knees and pray.  Pray for strength, courage, and patience.  Hang on, it’s not a fun ride.<br />
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I’ll talk to you tomorrow.<br />
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God Bless.

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