Dad (AKA grumpy) Our families Dementia journey

Lets look back:

2017 Journey begins and diagnosis……….Mum had seen a number of changes within grumpy which made her concerned regarding his memory. The issue we have is that grumpy has multiple conditions and as many people know some can mirror Dementia Symptoms and also the medication he takes could have had an impact. However, mum had to make an appointment for dad at his local GP to talk about some of his conditions and at that appointment she raised her concern. She wasn’t sure she would raise it as she was worried about Grumpy’s reaction. However, Grumpy also said he had noticed things that he was worried about.

The doctor on this visit was one of the ‘good ones’ (sadly the surgery isn’t that good). So there and then the GP commenced the initial testing. Which went similar to this:

  • name and address was given to him at the start.
  • asked him to count backwards from 20
  • asked him to say the months of the years backwards
  • showed him a selection of pictures and one of the was a crown and he asked which picture related to the royal family.
  • He then asked him to tell him the name and the address that he had given to him at the start.

On speaking to mum after she said for some he did well, he did remember some of the address and name, he was able to get half way counting and for the months. However, he struggled with the picture question and could not explain the crown being part of the royal family.

The doctor then said he has some markers that could mean he needs further testing and that he would refer to the ‘Memory team’ (what it says on the tin I suppose).  He also asked for medication review, and full round of bloods to rule out any other condition that could mimic Dementia.

Grumpy went along to the memory team with mum and sister Joanna which is really important to have as many people as you can that knows them. As we also see different changes which helps the professionals to see the bigger picture. He was also sent for a CT scan.

During the months that followed dad fell unwell, had a number of TIA (mini strokes), post stroke seizures, bouts of infections which meant lots of trips to the hospital (not always a positive experience). Not having a definite diagnosis was hard as the hospital did not meet his needs at the time and a lot of this was down to not having it in black and white. I felt they dismissed us which added even more pressure.

I am going to continue to write about Dad’s journey. This is just the beginning 2017 was a hard year. I am aware it is not over and that 2018……….onwards is going to have more hard times.

A few things to note:

  • keep notes if you notice changes
  • during the investigations do not forget to breathe
  • once diagnosis comes do not think life is over there and then
  • know that dementia is a terminal illness and this can be something we need to support people understanding
  • a diagnosis does not mean someone does not have capacity understand so remember how they feel about the diagnosis
  • depression is a common reaction
  • compassion and empathy will help you to support someone.
  • plan for the future
  • before diagnosis consider Lasting Power of attorney for health and wellbeing (only comes in to action when the person loses capacity).

 

Will be back with more experiences and progression within Grumpy’s journey.

By the way ‘Grumpy’ is a term of endearment that all his grandchildren use (because he is grumpy but it a loving way).

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Dad (AKA grumpy) Our families Dementia journey

  1. Hi, I’ve finally found a bit of spare time to catch up and return the favour and read your blog posts. It’s very good advice to record everything about the Dementia journey you have started with your dad, as you know I do the same using my blog, without it, I would not have remembered half the things that have happened. I also keep a separate list of important dates/milestones/events/meds etc for my dad on my phone, which I have found very useful when I’m meeting or talking with Social Services/Dr’s/Care home etc. I will also add to your list of advice to get LPA for Finance and Property too.

    It sounds like you are just beginning the journey of Dementia with your dad (sorry to hear about the TIA’s and the treatment at the hospital) but it’s good that he is happy to go along to appointments etc, diagnosis is certainly a key to more understanding and support. The hardest thing for me was getting my dad diagnosed, I struggled for 2-3 years with his Dementia without a diagnosis or support but my dad would not agree to see a Dr, until in the end it was forced upon him by me having a telephone consultation with his Dr and managing to persuading the Dr to do a home visit.

    Our experience of the initial questions for diagnosis was quite different, dad was so far along that the Dr could not get him to understand even a simple question or communicate effectively an answer, the only thing that kept the Dr from sectioning dad there and then, was that he looked well cared for and his home was in good order, but at least it speeded up the diagnosis process and Social Services involvement etc. I still managed to take good care for dad and keep him in his own home for almost another year without too much mishap which I was pleased about.

    Take care and good luck with your dad and I look forward to reading more of your journey. Lx

    Like

    1. Hello Georgia

      It looks like you did an incredible job looking after your father. My mum is the one who does the care for my dad I live a couple of hours away so not there all the time and as I am a self employed trainer within care time is limited. However, 2 of my sisters are very close to my mum so they support her. Dad is going through a stage of grunting repetitively. It’s hard work for mum as it keeps her awake. I need to decide on being more consistent with my blogging as I have not kept up to date with it but I will try to look at this.

      Away training at present and on Thursday will be training carers within Dementia awareness.

      Take care

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s