So dementia is a progression, so what changed? Let me update you.
The other day I had a little photoshoot with Lottie Poval Photography, and she was brilliant all day and let me and my dad do our thing and just took part and get some lovely photos as we went.
But I did notice a few things that were different this time around that I thought I would point out and this photo does a great job of illustrating my first point.
His paranoia means he says that some of the staff are police and he wants to be able to have his room private. The care home then gave him a key to his room which was brilliant, and where that made a slight difference, it doesn’t lessen the feelings of paranoia around people going into his room and having a good rummage.
Off the back of that, he is always so keen to lock his door whenever we leave his room and this time he forgot. Sounds normal I know but it was a bit of a moment for me as his paranoia has always been such HUGE part of who is he. So with a gentle, ‘do you want to lock your door?’ and he went oh yeh and grabbed the key from around his neck and locked the door. And you can see this key attached proudly around his neck using shoelaces.
Another thing we do a lot is use his phone, and he always has it on him. When we first landed to see him I didn’t think twice about it and I usually pop on his phone to make sure he can make calls ok and all is well. But we get halfway through our walk and I say ‘oh let’s get your phone out and you can take pictures too.’ But he didn’t have it on him. And he always has it on him, even if he doesn’t know which pocket its normally in.
What does this say to me?
The obvious. That his Alzheimer’s is long and progressive, taking what might have been commonplace for him and taking that away. What’s still there is it’s my dad, his personality and humour. He still has a good time and we try and keep things as independent and fulfilling as possible because it is possible to live well with dementia.