Have you ever dealt with someone with dementia? If you haven’t, count yourself lucky. It’s incredibly frustrating. Having to answer the same questions over and over again because they just can’t seem to get it straight in their heads. You have the same conversations every single day, and they don’t believe anything you tell them so they argue. I know that your not suppose to do that, but sometimes you just can’t help it because if you try to stop answering them they just keep asking the same question. If they are not satisfied or don’t understand what you are telling them, then you are a liar, not to mention the pure meanness with the things they say.
Sometimes it’s amusing in a way. When they get curious about the things around them and they look at things as though it’s the first time they have ever seen them. For example, the phone. Pick it up, flip it over, push the buttons, ohh it makes noise and put it down. Move onto the next thing within arms length and examine that too with a child like fascination. Or when they just start laughing for no reason at all because something struck them funny in that moment. That very short lived moment.
But the worse thing is, feeling bad for them. For the frustration they must feel at not being able to remember things, or get their brains to work with their mouths. Seeing them this way and remembering how spry and active they use to be. Invincible, smart and able, leaving you with a completely helpless feeling because there is nothing you can do about it because there is no cure. There is no reversal. There is no going back.
As a care taker, you have to make sure they eat, sometimes feeding them yourself, make sure they bath, because they won’t unless you make them. Make sure they take their meds which they will hide it their shirt pockets, or anywhere else they can put them. Lose sleep because they call your name all night long, or tell you that since you slept three hours that was long enough. (this happens here quite a bit.) It’s exhausting. Your eyes feel like there is a pound of sand in each one. Your temper flares because you don’t feel like doing anything but lay on the couch but you can’t do that because that person can’t take care of themselves. It’s all on you. No pressure. It’s a full time job on top of all the regular every day house hold stuff do to. Some days it’s just too much to handle and you want to either run away, scream and yell, or jump up and down stomping your feet.
It’s not their fault. They have no control. It’s not yours either and you are a God send for taking care of them because, well, not everyone would. They say “patience is a virtue”…whoever “they” are was right. It is…and it takes a lot of patience to take care of someone who is sick. With this or something else. All you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, take one day at a time, and keep praying!