Dementia Sucks!

It’s been three months since my last blog post…I’ ve been a terrible blogger! But in that time I have done my best to be the best granddaughter that I can possibly be and to keep up with my university studies as well. I’ve sat down at my computer hundreds of times to write a review or just to let you know where I’ve been but I’ve had the biggest case of writer’s block that I have ever experienced. And let me tell you, writing 2500 word essays on copyright law is not a pleasant experience with a case of writer’s block!!

Earlier this year my grandfather (Pop) had a stroke and now has severe dementia. My family had to make the decision to put him into a nursing home because he needs a high amount of care. I’m sure all of you who have a loved one or friend suffering from this cruel disease, in any of its variations, knows that it’s shit. And I’m sure the rest of you can imagine.

Having to place your loved one into the care of strangers is equally shit, but I think this experience is one that is impossible to imagine unless you’ve gone through it yourself. Even if it’s a ‘good’ nursing home, which in most respects my Pop’s home is, it’s still shit. Probably the biggest shock for me was to discover that there are no mandatory staff ratios for aged care homes in Australia  and a pattern over the last 10 years or so of an increase in the amount of unqualified personal carers and a decrease in the amount of Registered Nurses working in aged care. This seems to be a worldwide issue and one that I really think more people should be aware of. We’re all going to get old one day!

Besides from that tiny little rant, I’ve been doing my best to be there for my Pop. As difficult as it can be sometimes, it makes it all worth my while when I’m able to make him smile and show me his usual cheeky self.

Here’s a collection of some of my favourite pics. I might be a little bit biased but I think my grandparents are beautiful!

Stay tuned for a ginormous catch-up of book reviews coming soon!

1
Me and Pop
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The love of his life
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My last visit before the stroke
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This is his most favourite photo of himself

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24 thoughts on “Dementia Sucks!

  1. So sorry for what you’re going through, Jade. I know how hard it is with the homes thing, too. Mum is in a private one (bang goes my inheritance – it costs a fortune!), and we still have worries. Just stuff like noticing that she’s not cleaning her teeth, and her clothes getting shrunk because they all go in one big wash together. We get round it by haranguing the staff over it, and making sure that all her clothes are in man-made fabrics. I know that might sound trivial, but Mum was always so neat and smart, and she would hate to think she’s looking awful. I think you just have to keep an eye on it, and visit at irregular times if you have any suspicions that all is not as it should be.

    Hope you manage to deal with all this okay – we’re several years on now, and it’s just the way it is. xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • So funny, I could have written that part about the little stuff myself! And I just got home from a random dinner time visit!! From what I’ve read it sounds like Australia and the UK have a pretty similar similar, although I’m pretty sure all of our aged care homes are private and they definitely cost plenty to want the little things to be taken care too!

      Thank you so much for all of your support through this!! And helping me to see that it really just is the way it is now xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are lots of NHS run ones in the UK, I don’t think they cost anything at all for the family, but they’re pretty dire! We get something towards it here, but not very much, and not for the first couple of years.

        Yes…. it is just the way it is, alas xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • As bad as a pretty good home is, I still get nightmares about it! Just got berated on Facebook for writing this post by an unqualified carer who works at my Pop’s home and knows my Mum. Wonder what the home’s social media/privacy policy would say about that??? It’s bloody unbelievable the way family members get treated by these gimps sometimes!

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  2. I’ve missed your posts Jade but you’re focusing on what you need to. Those photos are really lovely,and while things are hard now, you obviously have a fabulous relationship with your Pops and lots of really wonderful memories to treasure. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re so right – dementia does suck and I’m so sorry for what you and your family are going through. I’ve been in that situation with my mum and know how horribly sad it is. Lovely photos of you both. xxx

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  4. My deep sympathies. My best friend and business partner has developed early-onset dementia. I spend as much time with her as I can, especially on the days when she’s confused and frightened. It’s still too raw for me to write about, so kudos to you for being able to, and for giving so much of your time to your grandfather.

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    • Thank you ❤ Sending out lots of love to you and your friend, I can only imagine how difficult and frightening it must be for you. It's not fair for anybody to have to deal with any of these debilitating diseases, but to deal with it at such a young age must be shocking for you all. You hang in there and love your friend the best you can. One day I'm going to write this down, all of it! Every single thing these people and their friends and families have to suffer through xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful Pictures!! I found your blog while perusing, and I have to say that as a Campus RN in an Assisted Living Facility in the US, I am completely flabbergasted that there are no staff to resident mandatory ratios. In my experience, dementia is the most difficult for families because you lose your loved one while they are still here. You learn to truly cherish the lucid moments and hang on to memories. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I think the state and federal regulations are the biggest issue. I know there are so many wonderful nurses and carers in aged care everywhere and it’s just not right that their jobs are made so difficult because they just don’t have time to do everything they need to under such difficult conditions xx

      Liked by 1 person

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