Words by: RobNelsonXXX from
All of the main points in the video, we’ve seen with my father. He is a textbook case of Dementia, and it took us a while to understand and admit to that fact. Even after his diagnosis, it took more time for us to accept the idea that this was really happening to him and act accordingly.
Once we did accept the reality of his dementia, it became much easier to help him.
Here are some interesting points from the video, and what we’ve seen with my father:
I’ve been surprised with how intense my father’s feeling have become. He can’t articulate himself very well, and not being able to do so probably makes them more intense. It took a while for me to realise that he has very intense feelings about his situation and his life now.
Over time (as it took us a while to learn how to listen to him), all of the above feelings have been and continue to be expressed by my father. He is currently in a nursing home, and I am working very hard to help him with his quality of life.
This statement is very accurate with my father. He doesn’t feel important or worthwhile, and also feels marginalised and rejected by the world-at-large. Anything that makes him feel connected or appreciated will make the difference between a happy day or a day filled with agitation and depression.
As the video states, even a smile from a worker or family member can change his mood and affect his entire day.
One of my father’s biggest complaints is that he has nothing to do. This isn’t part of the approach of the nursing home itself, but one woman there has tried to give my dad meaningful things to do, as she does with other residents. Such things as delivering envelopes and other busy-work that can make the residents feel more important and less bored and lonely.
In my father’s case, we are still working hard on this. He used to be an engineer and wants to do something that has that feel to it. He wants to get paid, too! (Any ideas here would be appreciated)
This issue has been growing in importance for me, as I have seen the truth of this statement in many forms. For example, I have had a cold over the last few weeks and haven’t been able to visit my father as much. I’ve also had to keep visits shorter. This caused him to spin into a depression and agitated state. Fortunately, I was able to put an Echo Show in his room and he can call me on video any time he wants (which he does about twice a day now). When he does talk to me on the Echo Show, he sometimes starts off very upset, depressed and agitated. Just being able to see me and talk to me calms him down. Nothing magic occurs on the conversation, its the simple fact that he is spending time with a family member, albeit remotely.
The nursing home itself, as far as I can see, invests no time in his emotional well-being, and it has been left up to me, though some CNAs and nurses have a nurturing style which helps him greatly. He does get some visitors (friends) occasionally.
For the most part, I am his only connection with family and the rest of the world. This is also something I am working on changing (by moving him to a better nursing home, for one).
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