Progression in Dementia

A lot can happen in 7 months with progression in dementia…

Back in July, I had no idea of the pleasures to come my father’s way, and therfore mine. Living in these moments, I just take them one by one, but I can’t even imagine what it’s like for him (if you don’t read any further I just want to make clear the above is sarcasm, because this is the internet, and well ppfft).

After such a long time of not writing anything about our journey, the list below looks a little crazy, but it’s in no way unique. Let me just give you a quick breakdown:

  • Incontinence
  • Possible prostate cancer
  • Career’s unable to give him personal care (showers)
  • Having a fall and going into hosptial
  • Moving care homes

Incontinence, what a word. This had me worried from the very beginning of his diagnosis and had me wrestling with what it even means when it is said. Actually, I am not even sure what it means even matters, it’s more about how other people perceive it. I have a lot to say, with a lot of stories, but I will just leave it at this, he now wears a pad.

folkestone harbour at sunset
Folkestone harbour at sunset on one of our winter walks

Cancer. The big C. We got a call to come to the GP for all the family to come in and my sister called it.

  • Can he answer of the doctors questions (at least correctly), no.
  • Does he understand the doctor is about to stick his finger where the sun doesnt shine, no. 
  • Did any of us know anything about a PSA score and what it means, no.
  • Did any of us know what the flow of his pee is like, I soon did.

Showers, now for anyone who knows me personally then they know I just cant be bothered to shower every day, I mean its just a lot of work when I could be sitting on my arse doing anything else. My father is very simliar, and if you try and get him to do something he doesnt want to do, well your in trouble. Now as we are cut from the same cloth, I somehow had this ‘magical power’ that could get him in the shower. I’ll just leave that one there for now.

Dad in my shirt, hospital trousers and slipper socks

If your loved one has dementia, and they end up in the hospital it could mean life and death, or at the very least a big decline. Let’s not forget there are reasons they end up in the hospital that need to be addressed, and on this occasion, he was found on the floor of someone else’s room unconscious, with blood around his mouth with no obvious cause. He was only in the hospital one night, but I doubt that’s the end of our troubles or visits there.

All of my fathers belonging, as we where getting ready to move him to his new home.

All of these things then end up with him eventually being moved to a more suitable place. He has gone from a residential care home to an EMI residential (I didnt even know that was a thing) but atleast they can shower him! We now just need to give him time to settle in and see what damage has been done after the events of the last 7 months. And don’t even get me started on the social services!…

These little ramblings I hope are helpful for anyone who isn’t sure what to expect looking after someone with dementia, or just for everyone who is super nosey. I have definitely been both, and I definitely have more to say on the above, so watch this space as its bloody long journey he is on.

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