Our dementia journey

My gran was diagnosed about 2 years ago with dementia

dementia wordie

As a mental health nurse I’ve worked with people with dementia, my job before the one I have now was dementia focused

Dementia is a horrible illness. There is no cure

My gran has Alzheimer’s Disease which is one of the many forms of dementia

My great gran, her mum, also had dementia

I don’t see my grandparents as often as I should, it’s hard as they don’t live near us plus with a full time job & 2 small children weeks quickly turn into months without you realising

We do speak on the phone. Every phone call is the same question repeated “are the family ok?”. I’ve lost track on how many times that is asked. If you ask her questions she will answer but then asks that question again

We went to see them with my mum at the weekend. My gran was really happy to see the boys as she always is but she was a bit flat & a bit vacant. You could tell she got lost in the conversation at times

She spoke to the boys but she couldn’t remember their names, more so Baby M than Mini M, but that’s ok

She also got muddled but rather than constantly challenge or correct her we just went with the flow as you could tell it was frustrating her

My grandad has lost weight. He says she got worse. It must be hard for him as it’s just the 2 of them 24/7 but they won’t accept help

My mum has set up numerous assessments with various professionals but they always refuse the help that is offered. They are managing & she isn’t a danger to herself or others so as far as services are concerned that’s good for them as they’re so stretched. This is not a criticism it’s just the way things are, there isn’t enough funding so help is usually given to those most in need or in crisis

They are also proud, my great gran ended up in a nursing home, her circumstances were very different though but I know that’s in their mind & if they ask for help that’s admitting things aren’t perfect & she’ll be put in a home. Of course that’s not the case & we’ve tried so many times to explain that but they won’t listen

Its hard having a love one change in front of you but it’s also hard knowing there’s help out there which they won’t accept. Especially as a professional I find that extremely frustrating. The illness part I can get my head round but that part is my hard part to deal with

We are going to try to visit more often & give them some support. Hopefully they’ll change their mind in time about help

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