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).

 

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Memories and the making of them

So you all know about my Dad AKA Grumpy, well he continues to go through the journey that is Alzheimer’s and the progress within this cruel and unforgiving disease (yes a disease not a normal part of ageing). So as a family we are now realising the importance of making memories and today was one of the days that my niece managed to make one and video the evidence for us.  She captured her daughter and us all a memory that previously his grandchildren have and now great grandchildren may still have time to make. So it was great to see a video of Dad with his great granddaughter stood on his wheelchair has he drives it into the house. He actually looked like he used to be and do you know what it made me think we need to grab those memories and just store them to share with those that come after us or are to young to remember. So log it and keep it, enjoy looking back, value who your person is and don’t just see the condition. Remember they are who they were just a little buried under all the chaos that is Alzheimer’s. Its a short blog today but honestly it is so important to remember and save those moments and love them. Just take a moment and sit back and remember the person in front of you. SEE THEM!30922044_10157320885744622_2107416334_o

HAPPY FRIDAY (just a quick post)

Hello Friday. Within the care industry there is not the Hello Friday feel for many as they may still have the weekend to work. So to those who are finishing their working week go and relax and try to focus on something just for you.

For those who are not yet finished or just starting their working week I hope you are ready to go out and smile at the people you support and hopefully they join in and make the time as interactive as possible so that when you leave to go home or to your next call or to your next patient that you have left them feeling good and content.

Remember you maybe the only person someone sees or you maybe the last person that this person sees so please make the most of your time. I know its hard work but don’t allow the people you support feel a burden. Be Happy be caring and be empathetic. It could be you one day needing the support. So go out there and do what you can and just know you are VALUED and I thank you for doing a great job. #happyfriday #care

 

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sunrise at its best

Take a moment to appreciate Autumn x

Well its Autumn here and I love the colours you find when walking. Love the warmth feeling it makes you feel even if its a chilly day. Its just a lovely season. Everyone should take a moment to take a wander through the leaves that have fallen from the trees, Hearing the crisps leaves beneath your feet. Take a look at the colours and the patterns mapped out on the leaves, look up to see the leaves hanging on to the tree or as they fall watch them glide to the ground. Just take a moment. The news can be dark and miserable, with politicians making decisions that affect so many and I know this will not fix things but for a moment you will see beauty and it may just give you a smile for a while.  P1120230 P1120174P1120169P1120123 P1120120 P1120356P1120205 P1120193 P1120185 P1120407 P1120410 P1120344 P1120231

News is that Whilst in Scotland I was proposed too… I SAID YES…….

Well 25/07/15 my lovely Scotsman proposed to me whilst stood next to a tree over looking Loch Eck. I was shocked that he asked me on this day as it was my sons birthday and really had no idea he would pop the question. 2 Witness and a number of pictures later I enjoyed letting everyone know that I will be getting married.  The photographs are of us at Loch Eck on that lovely day (even though raining). Loch Eck will always hold a special place as it was one of the first places that my now fiancé took me to on my first visit to Scotland in 2013 I loved it then and I love it even more now. It is so memorising and beautiful and has many places to view it from and each shows a unique picture that should and is asking to be captured.

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It knows I though it was a Red Squirrel as now its being very blatant in its stealing of my Apples.

Brave and Brash Grey Squirrel. The subject is closed now and never to be re-opened (well unless it does tricks). Its very brave now even looking at me as I take the picture. Well Squirrel watch needs to be over before my family form an intervention group. What a day of hope to be dashed that its an every day GREY one. Well thank you x P1090394 (2) P1090419 (2) P1090423 (2) P1090425 (2)

Squirrel Watch

Morning of 20/07/15 I find myself obsessing over a little creature that I found in the trees behind my house yesterday. I was lucky enough that he/she decided to come back and visit yesterday evening.  So what do I find myself doing this morning instead of getting my 10 year old ready for school? I find myself sat with coffee in hand at my back window staring out at the said trees for any glimpse of he/she visiting again.

Yesterday I even sent an email to The Red Squirrel Survival Trust asking them to verify if the said squirrel is a red one. Oh what has my life come to that I take more time on Squirrel Watch then I do checking that 10 year old has boxers, matching socks on.

Pictures of yesterday evening watch  in case you are as obsessed as me and can’t start your day with out a squirrel fix.P1090241 (2) P1090246 (2) P1090259 (2) P1090275 (2) P1090278 (2)

Update at 08:07 no sighting today as yet. I have to tell myself to work today and not look out of the window with camera in hand. 

09:13 spotted the little mite but not quick enough with camera, now must move away and do some work, not sure squirrel watch is a valid excuse to take time off. 

Good News Stories Regarding Care

I am doing this Blog to try to bring a community together who work hard on a daily basis, who provide a service that is immeasurable to the people who require the support. I thought I could get people to join in and speak about care, to offload to ask question to gain some advice or guidance.

However, trying to find light-hearted news stories or good care news is really hard, is that because the media gain so much more reporting failings and poor care providers or is that because we talk openly about ‘bad’ care but forget to promote ‘good’ care.

We need to commence a push for good news we need to get care providers, inspectors to talk loudly about the ‘good’ as well as the ‘bad’. Care is a growing industry and does require inspectors/family members/carers to speak up about poor and abusive practice but  we also need them  to talk about care homes that are doing exceptional work to provide an environment that meets all needs.

So if you have any good news stories please add it in the comment box.

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