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 Post subject: Life goes on I guess
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:01 am
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Location: North Dakota
After reading the poem (Crabby Old Man) that RixWorx posted I feel compelled to write.

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a couple years ago. I have been told that the younger you get this disease, the faster it progresses. I believe that because my father is only 71 years old and his dementia has progressed very rapidly.

My step mother who was taking care of my father also has breast cancer. She was no longer able to take care of his so as of last October, he has been in a home.

He seldom recognizes me anymore, but for the most part he seems happy. But it is hard on the family. I have lost a father, and a business partner of 35 years. Until a couple years ago, I saw him more than my wife and kids. My mind goes back and I think of some of the good and bad times we had. Then I look over at my father---staring into space with a blank look on his face. It is hard.

Please read RixWorx's poem and let us all try to remember the elderly as young people in old bodies.

Dan

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Location: Eastside of Big D
Dan - it's truly a cruel condition and I know what you are going through with your father. My mother has Alzheimer's as well. She is almost 88 and was diagnosed about 4 years ago. Whether the progression is slow or fast, it is difficult on the family to helplessly observe the once vibrant person disappear. My mother is in a good facility close to where I live and cared for by kind people but when the time comes that your parent no longer knows who you are -- well, I know how you feel.

Just wanted to let you know that there are others who share your pain. Whenever I visit her and see all of the other residents there, it makes me think that it is God's waiting room - they are just waiting to be called. Peace be with you brother.

Tom

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:31 pm 
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Location: Rolling Meadows, IL. USA
My mother died of Alzheimer's and father's health was failing so he was unable to care for her. Our oldest son put his life on hold to care for them.
He (Daniel) best described it as a very mean disease.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Location: Saratoga, Ca, USA
For me it was my father six years ago. When I was a baby, my parents took care of me with love and kindness when I could not take care of my self.

I figured that I owed a debt to them for this great start in life. My taking care of him was a simple repayment of that debt. He may not have known what I was doing, but I did it with all the love and caring that he had showed to me when I was young.

A parent reaching the end of life and providing loving care for them are really two different things that often get blended together. I found that my dealing with the letting go of my father and the simple joy of returning his caring in his time of need brought me some measure of peace.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:44 pm 
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I think it's almost worse than a stroke. Mom stayed here her last three and a half years, but she never developed that paranoid meanness that can come with the disease. I think the worst part was the first couple of years, where she knew something was wrong, but could not figure out what it was. She stayed in her own house until compliance with meals and pills became too much, then came here.

I still think we did the right thing by taking care of her on our own. But I could afford to really retire with the wife working. Not everyone can. She got her bath and her linen change, played and babbled at her 8-month old great granddaughter (two toothless women!) before bed, and then did not wake up the next morning. At least that was easy on her.

Love 'em as they loved you when you were their mental age. It's all we can do.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:16 pm 
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Location: Tyaak, Victoria Australia
Yeah, that is very hard, I do feel for you and your family.

The last time I saw my Dad in 2008 I was out sitting on the porch with him on a fine crisp autumn morning. He stared at me frowning and not saying anything. It was a hard moment for me, and my 7 year old daughter.

To this day I often wonder what he was thinking.

Keep the good memories on the top of the list, but I find sorting through some of the not so good ones useful on occasion too.

Take care,
eric


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