Re: My 87-year-old dad has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia.
How was your Christmas?
What an amazing time when we all can connect with our feelings from any part of the world with this type of medium that wasn't around in our parents time. That's why I really love this unique support group because I think that we all can recognize ourselves!
Deb and Judy have shed some terrific light on this dis-ease. Notice I wrote it as dis-ease because we are all afflicted as a caregiver or persons with this disease.
I agree about formulating your own resource network including lawyers, support groups, physicians, social workers, caregivers, family, friends, neighbours and Alzheimer/Dementia associations & organizations.
I connect with your undying love for your parent….
I feel a tremendous love and gratitude for my mother who has been officially diagnosed with "Mixed" Dementia last February 2011. A single mother who raised three children and made us the first generation to attend University in our family. A woman who sacrificed her own happiness to make sure that we wouldn't have to suffer, that we could truly strive for our own happy lives. An immigrant who moved away from her parents to live in another part of the world completely different from her own. Both parents worked hard, making their lives as normal as they could. My mother, who restarted her life in a new country with many ups and lots of downs. I want to be there for my mother but feel as helpless as she is at times and realize how important it is to be honest with these feelings as I learned from my Alzheimer/Dementia support group. None of us signed on to become parents to our parents.
I'm often told and reminded how fortunate I am to still have my parents. The people that have told me this have lost their own parents at a younger age and did not have the years that I have still have with mine. So I am currently creating audio recordings of my mother since she is alive to remember some of those precious memories. These memories, stored deep in her mind, help us both to relive and share important moments in time….
This time is your time to decide what you want and need to think through as you embark on this tumultuous journey of caring for your father. Or about what you need to consider right now because none of us planned or were prepared for this onslaught of challenges that will bear down on you with an intensity and weight you simply won't anticipate.
I am still proud, but afraid and confused about my new role and obligations for my mother. My parents raised my brother and I with values and family plus social expectations that have radically changed my life forever. I connect with your challenge of helping your parent. It's a tough balancing act, with no set rules and a myriad of confusing choices.
I hope that this forum and connecting with others who are dealing with the same kind of problems you're facing or will face will encourage you to cherish the past, live the present and plan for the future and help you how to deal with it rather than stand by and wait to be blindsided by the course of events.
You are a loving wonderful child!