Theese days I'm working on a new project - a picture book in A4 size that my dad can look at, and we can read on the backs places and things from the past to trigger the small parts of his memory that still is there... Like his mum and dad and the place he grew up :) My dad has had the Altzheimer's disease since the early 90's, and the last months it has gotten so much worse, to the point that he doesn't know who we are, or sometimes even himself. He sees things and people who aren't there, and can't comprehend the simplest of things, like why there are people inside the tv - looking at him and talking to him...
We have him still at home, although he needs help with absolutely everything now, from going to the bathroom, feeding him, dressing him, and supporting him when he walks.
It's so sad to see how quickly he's deterriating. We have to be at his side most of the day, 'cause he is like a child, getting anxious when he doesn't see us, and in need of attention all the time. Luckily he loves music, especially oldtime-dance-band music, like Vikingarna (a swedish band), so we have a cd playing constantly to calm him down, and we sit and hold his hand a lot...
It's me and my mum who are the caregivers, and it's beginning to take it's toll on both of us. And especially my mum, who has moved him into her room to keep an eye on his movements during the night. We haven't got the best of health between us - my mum have Sjøgrens. And we share other things like rheumatic pains in the joints, backpains, fibromyalgia, strong migrains (my mum didn't get so much migrains after her menopause - wich makes me long for that, although I'm 34...), Oh and some allergies too.. And I have some hormonal wackyness goings on wich is not quite fun.. (with the need to shave like a man). And no - we're not total wrecks in this family - just a little bit! *lol* ;)
My three brothers are in full-time jobs, and are busy busy busy.. But they visit and chat with dad sometimes, and my youngest brother have taken him on a short walk once a week, as well as giving him a good shave - he only complains when me or mum tries :) My dad has always been a very active man, and taking hikes in the woods and mountains has been his hobby. Now that his feet won't carry him long, and his appetite is low, and he is wobbly all over... the trips has ceased. But that makes him very agitated and restless... He get's medecine to calm down a bit, but the constant talking and confusions are very tiring.. So I'm wondering how long we can keep up.
But we want to keep him at home as long as humanly possible. Both me and my mum have worked in the healthcare system, and know firsthand how the elderly and the ones with dementia are treated. Not that they don't have the best healthcare the county can offer - it's that the county isn't able to provide the thing that's most needed - human contact. They sit there in their chair with the staff rushing past all day long, no-one is able to just sit and hold hands and talk. Too short on cash for that... hopefully more effort will be done this year with the change of the 'political regime'?
The Norwegian election for priminister and political party was last night. I didn't vote.. I voted last time - on the guy who won, but I can't see much progress. And promises have been broken.. Haven't heard any good from the other 'windbags'.. so I couldn't decide!
Anyway... wow - this was a very long rant! Glad I begun writing this in english, 'cause I think I'm skipping on the translating today! :)