My Dad has dementia. That is hard to say or type. My Dad has dementia. His memory is slowly fading. He doesn't eat well if someone is not there with him and he can't really pull things from the fridge together for a meal. He is starting to be unable to do tasks like paying his bills or make up a grocery list. He can do some of it if he is interrupted but it is slow going. He has mentioned more than once the damage that does to his confidence. He easily gets lost and flustered.
It is our turn, as his children, to take care of our Dad. He has been, very fortunately, very willing to ask for help and to let us do things for him. He has mentioned more than once how lucky he is to have us. He has us because my parents were open to life. It makes me so sad for the people who have 2.5 children but have no one to visit them, no one to take care of them. I saw it all the time when my grandma was in a nursing home.
Each of us are coming to terms with what that means and the difference in my Dad. Some are in denial that he is as bad as he is. Others think he is worse than he is. Some are letting their own guilt or denial get in the way of doing what is right. Some of that reflects their own past history with my Dad and their relationship to him. But, we are stepping up, in varying amounts, to take care of him.
It has been a great joy to be able to do something for my Dad. While this time is sad, and will get sadder yet, I would not change it. I enjoy every moment I spend with him and every thing I do for him in a different way than before. Our visits have more meaning and are richer because I know that someday he may not know my name. I want to be satisfied that when he dies that I have done everything I could for him. Everything. I do not want any regrets.
Please pray for a happy and peaceful death for my Dad. Please pray for us that we remain strong and united in our care of him. Please let us put him first and ourselves second.