On the progression of dementia, translated…
My father-in-law is currently ninety-one years old, my mother-in-law, eighty-eight, they have three children, all grown with families and careers. When my father-in-law was seventy-eight, he’d become ill, had surgeries on his heart, his gall bladder, to remove the stones, and on his small intestines, the caring of the elders were left, on the shoulders of the sons, but, the brothers kept evading their responsibilities, and, nobody wants these two hot potatoes. My mother-in-law shouldered it on her own, and I feel awful for her, and, I’d asked my husband, who was the second born son to retire early, so he could get my in-laws to live with us.
But, my father-in-law slowly showed signs of forgetfulness, forgot to turn off the lights, or the faucets a lot, or often repeated the same words, and, has the delusions of someone stealing his money away, and, the doctors diagnosed him with dementia, and so, we took money out of our own pockets, to pay for his medication, hopefully, to slow down the progression.
Because we live close to the beach, my father-in-law would often take long strolls by the beach, but, he’d always bring back a large bag of garbage, and, there were piles and piles of trash, outside our doorsteps; even if he’s at home, he’d often packed his things, and called that he wanted, to “go home”, and, when we’d stopped him from going out, he’d thrown a temper tantrum.
Several times, we weren’t watching him closely, he’d slipped out, gotten lost, and, broken his arm, gladly, the neighbors and the friends had helped; and, he’d tripped and fallen, and, bleed from his face, as he sat by the side of the road, but gladly, we’d signed him up for the demented elderly registry, and, we were notified by the police, and, we got him home.
When my father-in-law’s conditions became very serious, and can no longer take care of himself in daily living, and would go to the bathroom all over the places. In order to take care of him, I needed to record down the time when he’d urinated and defecated, and check his diapers constantly, and, when I had to give him meds, I’d grinded the medication up into powder form, and mixed it in with his food, and, clean him up in the privates daily, to prevent urinary tract infections, and, I’d brushed his teeth gently, and put mittens on his hands, so he won’t scratch himself.
And now, my father-in-law’s mentality is no more than a three-year-old, and, would cry, wanted his mom, and, in the colder nights, his cries seemed even more sorrowful. Looks like we’ll ALL be losing sleep tonight!
And, this, is toward the E-N-D, when you have absolutely NO control over your bodily functions, you can’t even remember your loved ones, and, there’s just NO dignity in that, but, the family still did the BEST they possibly can, to care for this demented elderly person the best way they can…