I am trying to raise awareness and money for the Alzheimer's society. My Dad is in the advanced stages.Alzheimer’s: Dad carries on and lives with it.
I thought I would follow on from last week and tell you how I think my Dad has coped and deals with his Alzheimer’s.
I’ll just mention a snippet of his life when he was a little younger. I have to mention his brother, my Uncle.
Dad had an older brother called Chas. My sister and I always called him ‘Nunk’, Dad said it was a London......sorry, “It’s a Landon fing” apparently it is a nickname for uncle. My Dad’s family had this silly tradition that the men had to have the initials C.W.C. I’ve no idea why! I’m the first male not to have those initials, thanks to Dad. Who knows what I would have ended being called! Dad and Mum had whittled it down to a few names eventually they settled on Stephen, because as Dad said “If you shorten it to ‘Steve’ it sounds good on the football pitch.”
Nunk was quite a lot older than Dad, but Nunk always looked out for him. I remember we used to visit and my Grandma and Nunk on a Sunday. Dad and Nunk would sometimes slip off to the pub. Mum would sometimes have to drive home. Nunk would be at the Bar, this is when you could smoke and measures were done by eye. Nunk would come back with a drink double the size of what Dad had asked for and Nunk used to say “Sorry bruv, his hand slipped.” Dad’s family were always laughing and joking. Even when the bad things happened they would have a smile on their faces.
Dad was always quick with a joke, quite often they were bad ones, he also loved puns, quite often bad ones. He was always making us laugh. He had a great outlook, nothing really got him down. Not anything that my sister and saw anyway, but this is where it changes.
For a couple of years before the official diagnosis his outlook changed. He was less of the things I have mentioned previously. By now, myself, my sister and his granddaughter, (my niece) were the only close family Dad had left. He obviously felt that he couldn’t or more to the point didn’t want tell us what was happening. I think he felt really alone. No-one else he knew had gone through or had someone who suffered with Alzheimer’s. He must’ve felt like he was going mad. We used to joke about forgetting things. Like, when you go upstairs and you forget what you went for. The rest of us would think for a minute and remember. Dad couldn’t. It made him feel much better that other people were doing the same thing. But, looking back now, that was the start of the Alzheimer’s.
He started to have a lot of time of work because he couldn’t remember how to do his job properly he had been there for over thirty years, he was senior management. He claimed he had a bad stomach. Again, we thought nothing of it. He had stopped watching television. He stopped listening to and playing music. I think he was starting to really panic.
When I married my amazingly supportive wife, he didn’t really talk to her much. In fact he only stayed for about an hour at our reception. I think it was because he wasn’t in familiar surroundings with familiar faces. Nikki thought it was because he didn’t like her. We went round for Christmas dinner one year and he kept getting up, going upstairs, coming down and sitting back down again. Then five minutes later was doing the same thing all over again. Nikki did say at the time that’s not normal behaviour. She was starting to feel a bit ignored.
A couple of months later I received a phone call from sister saying Dad needed to have some tests done. Dad’s company had arranged everything. In fact, after the diagnosis they gave him a year’s full pay! Then, after that year had finished they gave him a retirement party at his office. They were so helpful and couldn’t have done more for him. I’m sure they would’ve if they could.
Anyway, after the diagnosis Dad was happy, he was laughing and joking again. He had a smile on his face, like he used to do when my sister and I were little. Nikki even commented on the dramatic change in him. Unfortunately, she didn’t really get to know him very well because the Alzheimer’s had changed him a little. I think the change happened because he knew there was actually something wrong with him. He could deal with that. Nikki even started to get kisses on the cheek and hugs when we went to see him.
His neighbours started to watch out for him even more. The local shopkeepers made sure he got the right newspaper and looked his after his change. I think he felt safe because everyone knows him and everyone knows Dad has got Alzheimer’s. My sister and I have never hidden his Alzheimer’s from anybody. I like to think that we have helped people to understand Alzheimer’s and dementia a bit more.
Advanced sufferers can be violent. Dad has never been violent. He has never shown any anger. Dad has taken everything in his stride. This is despite the fact that he will never get better. He can never be cured. However, he still laughs, he still jokes and he still has smile on his face when I visit him.
I would be extremely grateful if you help me by re-sharing and hopefully others will not feel so alone.
I would absolutely ecstatic if you could donate some money to help this underfunded but much needed charity.
There is no cure. No treatment. Only help, care and dedicated people who care.
Thank you. #Alzheimers #alzheimersociety #alzheimersdisease #dementia
This is the event i'm taking part in.http://www.grandunionchallenge.com/?gclid=CIT_rr-ki70CFWjpwgodszEAzw