When you realise your loved one has dementia, it is a huge journey of adjusting expectations and how you relate to them.
In my case, my parents hid it very well so I slowly started to realise that everything was not quite right and slowly started coming to terms with the fact that, first Mum and then Dad, had dementia. As naturopaths, they didn’t have doctors check-ups so they never got an actual diagnosis from the doctor. You may have had a more sudden shock where your loved one received an early diagnosis. Whichever way the sad realisation occurs, it signals the start of a journey of new normal’s.
I remember feeling strange and awkward in the new ways of relating. I remember switching between cherishing the times of caring for them, in the end even the bitter sweet moments of feeding my Dad, and dreading the visits because of the confronting changes in them I knew I would find. I remember the funny moments when we could laugh together and the excruciating moments of their resentment aimed at me for their new-found loss of capacity. I remember switching between feeling honoured at the responsibility I had for them and loathing this new burden of duty.
Amidst the uncertain journey, there is one certainty – everything will constantly change. Adjustments will be necessary.
What adjustments have you experienced in your journey?