Re: grief in the dementia patient

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none Re: grief in the dementia patient


Quite a regular
Joined:
2002/12/10
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Hi Robin - It sounds like your dad is really adjusting well to his new "home" and that is terrific!!!

Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent of the dementias and the stages of dementia are not really all that definitive - however, as the disease continues to affect a person's brain, there is a progressive decline in memory and thinking. Don't be fooled by this progressive nature to the disease - some days are better than other days and there are many things that can affect how well a person with dementia is doing from one day or week to the next. Maybe, because your dad is in a place that he is more comfortable with - faces that he recognizes and rooms that are more familiar to him - he is less anxious and less stressed. In short, he is feeling better about his environment. As a result, he may be functioning better and his thinking may seem to be better because of this and his medications of Aricept and Zoloft.

Please try to remember that some days will be better than other days - and as time goes by, he may continue to decline in memory and functioning but still seem fine on those "good" days or weeks . . . it's not that he is now cured of dementia but that your care and his adjusting to the facility and the medications are helping him cope with his disease much better than if he was not receiving all that good care.

It's not unusual for caregivers to express the same doubts and concerns that you have shared about whether their loved one really does have dementia if they are able to manage and adjust as well as your dad has. However, the course of dementia is really gradual and changing over time - so that you may only be able to see decline in memory, thinking and change in behavior or mood as you look back over time - 6 months, a year or more.

Check out the Alzheimer's Association website for a good overview of the stages of dementia if you like - www.alz.org. You may also want to call the Alzheimer's Association in your area (check that out in their website for contact info) for support groups and caregiver classes to help understand this disease a little more.

In the meantime, please take care and know that you really are caring for your dad in the best way you can now by allowing him to be in a place where the staff understands dementia and can be there for him 24/7.

You are an awesome daughter and we will try to help in any way we can as you continue to care for your parents, Robin!
Barb


Posted on 2008/7/10 21:01




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