How the girl's deal with Dementia

02/05/2013 16:32

I got asked something on Twitter. How do the girl's manage with their daddy's dementia, and did I have any tips.

Well. I don't know if these are tips or not, because what works one day isn't tied to work the next, but I've been as honest as I can be with the girls. They know daddy is poorly. The way I described it is that he will be or get more forgetful, he might get confused, he might say words wrong and he might get cross and shout at them, but when this happens it isn't "daddy", it's his illness. I think that the honest approach has helped, and whilst they have the gyst of it, it's been simplified  for their age and not wanting to frighten them. My biggest tip with children is to be honest, to tell them, that way when things are going belly up they know there is a reason for it (the illness) and that it isn't them.

They interact with their dad differently. They let him instigate, although it's them and allow him to think things are his ideas. If he's doing jobs they will go and help him (one's washing the car with him now). This isn't because she wants to wash the car, it's because she wants to be spending time with him (clever eh?). He controls the tv remote, so they've learnt to be interested in what he's interested in. That way they have something to say to him that they know he's interested in - if he's not you can be talking to a brick wall and get no response.

They've learnt to be super tidy - that way they can't get wrong for leaving things about, and if they've put it away they won't get a tirade of abuse thrown at them (this also helps me because his OCD is my doing the housework lol).

They know when he's in an aggitated mood to play outside or in their bedroom. They've learnt not to point out a word if he's said the wrong one because that leads to him getting aggitated. They do as they're told when they're told because that keeps the house peaceful.

Most of all, if they're scared, or upset or have any question they know that they can come to me and they will get an answer - albeit maybe a diluted answer, but they will get an answer and that can be all that's needed to reassure them.

The other important thing that works in our house is that if daddy doesn't want to interact with them, not to force it. Forcing it just sets you up for a fall, he gets upset and cross, the girls get upset, the shouting can start, the mean words that he doesn't know he's saying or mean will start, and simply leaving it and letting him look out of the window leads for a happier household.

What works in one person's house isn't tied to work in another, each person with dementia is different, and each day with dementia is different, but keeping things as simple as possible seems to work for us - at the moment. xx

 

 

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