Dementia – the forgotten memory.

One of my family members my dad has dementia. It’s really hard on my family especially my mom. This definition is taken from the Alzheimer’s Canada.

” Dementia is an overall term for a set of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. Symptoms may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. A person with dementia may also experience changes in mood or behavior.

Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse as more brain cells become damaged and eventually. “

It’s really hard to see my dad struggle and Not being able to remember things he’s just been told. The stress of things changing around him that he cannot control and not understanding and then in turn not remembering. I’m watching my mom losing the man she’s known for 45 years. I’m watching her grieving the loss of her husband. I’m losing the man who has helped me my whole life with so many things. He was the best guy to go to for different strategies or to figure out things. Stresses of course make it worse and change is really hard. Now she’s seeing the hallucinations. It breaks my heart but I’m so glad I can be there to just listen when things get tough.

One awesome thing that has helped is a local choir called Voices in Motion. It is a multi generational choir for those with memory loss and their caregivers. This choir has helped my dad so much. He no longer can read books but I often see him reading the notes of the music and I hear him singing and he’s started whistling>I’ve never heard him whistle ever in my life. He loves this choir because everyone excepts him for who he is. It is a well known fact that music increases socialization, cognitive function and everyone in the group has a huge appreciation for each other. For my mom it’s a place she can sing and get support at the same time.

This is a link to the choir and some of the people singing. Even though there are some rough times I love all the support my mom has found and she has lots of friends who know and understand what is happening. This helps a lot and that there is respite care if my mom needs a break. I’m helping as much as I can and trying to be there for my mom as times are changing rapidly and so much is unknown.