Father’s Day and Dementia

This Father’s Day, take some time to remember those cherished memories and create some new special moments if he is still here.

This will be my first Father’s Day since my Dad passed away. While I am sure I will have some tears, I am also blessed to be able to celebrate my husband as Dad to my boys and also to enjoy time with our church family.

I realise others may not be as fortunate, so my thoughts, prayers and compassion are with you if you will be spending Sunday alone or with your Dad having a difficult visit.

Following a chat with a friend and looking back on my conversations with my Dad, I became aware of some tips that helped my Dad and I share them below.

Helpful Topics of Communication with your Dad, Husband or Loved One with Dementia

  • Work
    When talking to the other people at my parents home, they always loved to talk about their work and what they had done. When Dad could still talk, conversation about his work would bring him to life. Even when I wasn’t sure if my Dad remembered what he’d done, he liked to hear about his work.
  • Impact
    My Dad’s face would light up when I would talk about the impact his work had on so many people, even when he couldn’t communicate very well. As people face the end of their life, they can feel useless and like they aren’t needed anymore. So to remind them of the impact their lives have had upon you and others, can raise their spirits by knowing their life didn’t count for nothing.
  • Accomplishments
    When Dad started to lose his words and could hardly communicate, I looked for ways to cheer him up. One way was to talk about the Olympics which was an accomplishment in his life – to compete in two Olympic Games in fencing. This Father’s Day, perhaps you could think back on what have been some life accomplishments for your loved one with dementia and talk about it to bring some joy into their confusing world. One of Dad’s ‘friends’ at the home was a well decorated returned serviceman and his face beamed one day when I visited on Anzac Day and he was dressed in his regalia.
  • Sport
    Dad was always active and an athlete. The staff were horrified, as well as amused, when he would go running around the corridors with a smile on his face. They were hoping he wouldn’t trip over. He didn’t 🙂 For other men in his home, their faces would light up when I would talk about sport with them.

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