Losing dad to Dementia

Dad has Stroke-Related Dementia. I always thought that stroke afffected someone with physical symptoms like paralysis for example. I didn’t know that it could affect the brains the way it has my dad.

That evening he had a stroke, he behaved differently. No one knew he had had a stroke. He was out driving on his own as usual. Dad is a very independant person and loves his independance. He just behaved differently, that is all. But different enough for us to be concerned to persuade him to see a doctor.

Dad made an almost turnaround in his personality change. Always a neat person, he became more sloppy. He became more forgetful and now he would not bathe. Always a chatty person, he has now become quiet and usually talks only when you talk to him.

We are watching him slowly decline. He continued to drive around for a while because the doctor said it was ok but as he declined he had to stop driving. This is hard for him since he now has to depend on others for transportation. From being merely forgetful and quiet, now he looks lost sometimes not knowing what to do next. For example, if its time to go out and we tell him so, he looks loss, not knowing what to do next. Sometimes he does not change, sometimes he goes back and lies down on the bed. Sometimes he cannot recognise things like remote controls and handphones or chargers and does not know what to do with them.

Its hard to lose a person slowly like that. Its hard to watch his personality change. He is taking some new medication that costs RM11 per pill. He has to take one each day. Its rather expensive.

The funny thing is that once or twice, it made him unable to sleep for almost an entire day and on those days, he becomes his old self once again. Maybe this is not due to the medication but its really strange. Still its nice to have the old dad back again, even though it has just happened twice. He would be all chatty and like his old self for a day and the very next day he would be back to quiet, lost and confused again. Its really strange how the brain works.

Sometimes we are too busy for him. I am writing this post to remind myself to talk to him more even though its usually just an “Ask and Reply” kind of conversation.

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  1. mom2ashley says:

    I am so sorry to hear that. It must be very hard for you and your family.

    Yes, its hard when the roles are reversed and you have to become a parent to your parents.

  2. Judy says:

    I think you mentioned about your dad in one of your posts sometime last year.
    People with dementia have their good days and their bad days. On the days when your dad behave more like himself could have been his good days.
    No one knows exactly what causes good and bad days but I suppose all of us have good and bad days.
    It is difficult to see our parents who used to care for us in this situation.

    Yes, its hard.

  3. dobbs says:

    Sorry to hear about your Dad. I understand how difficult it must be for you as my Dad has a similar problem as well.

    I’m sorry to hear about your Dad too. How do you manage?

  4. dobbs says:

    We are very fortunate to have my sister and family living very close to my parents to help. I only manage to visit a few times a year.

    It will be the hardest on your sister, ie. the “frontline” caregiver or carer.

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  6. Wen says:

    sorry to hear abt ur dad but happy to hear that u are such a lovely child to him..

    I don’t think I am a lovely child because I could do a lot more for him…

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