Nana - The agony of Alzheimer's

A fiercely independent lady who used to say "Don't let me end of like those poor old souls over the road!"

Nana lived opposite a care home. I used to work in a care home & nana used to sit and knit bootees for my poorly residents. She used to say she'd rather be dead than in a care home & made me promise I'd never put her in one.

For a long time she tried to hide from us how much she wasn't coping. I noticed little things like sugar in the fridge, dirty clothes laying about, lack of personal hygiene, mixing up her bills & debit cards.

All the signs were there. I moved in with her for a while but it became increasingly difficult to manage. Had to arrange for carers to come in as nana's mental health deteriorated. Nana hated strangers coming into her house & sometimes she wouldn't let them in.

Then Nana left the gas on and almost died. I knew then she was not safe to be at home.

My parents were living away at the time so I didn't want to worry them.

Eventually I had to tell my dad as I knew nana needed 24 hour care.

It broke our hearts to put her in a home but we needed to know she was safe & being looked after.

We managed to get her into the home opposite her bungalow which seemed perfect at the time as she could still see her garden from across the road & this helped with the "big move"

Nana settled so well. I visited her as often as I could & kept her supplied with anything she needed.

Big issues with care home. I won't go into details but the CQC were involved & we moved nana to a different home.

I cannot fault the home she is on now. They even wash her wool when she's sleeping.

Nana has never been officially diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's but we all know she has it.

She asks me who I am somedays.

Other days she is so lucid.

I sit and go through photos with her & she remembers who the people are & where they were yet can't remember what happened yesterday.

Heartbreaking to see her as a shadow of her former self.

She is now 97, still fiddles with her wool but unable to knit now due to poor eyesight & osteoarthritis in her fingers. We call it her unfinished comfort blanket.

Recently she has become very unsettled. Shouting for help at the top of her voice but not knowing what she wants when the carers go to her. GP has prescribed meds for this.

My dad visits daily & really struggles some days.

My mum has no patience with the elderly.

My brothers just can't handle seeing her. As far as they are concerned Nana died a while ago.

Dementia is such a cruel disease.

I deal with it professionally & personally.

It's not easy but I have my own way of dealing with it.

Just wondering if anyone else here is in similar position?

1 Reply

  • Welcome to the community, and thank you for sharing your story. It's clear that you're doing right for Nana. No easy answers, as you know from your work.

    All the best, Christian

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