Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Dementia Blog - Part 1 - Initial Shock

Imagine your mother has been getting more forgetful over the past few years. Your father has dealt with it on a day to day basis, and so has become accustomed to dealing with the difficulties the condition causes.

And then, your father falls ill, and has to go into hospital. You live in a different part of the country, your spouse has to go to work, and you have small children at school to deal with.

How can care be provided for your mother ? What and who is involved ? How can you do your best for your mother ?

This is the situation my wife and I found ourself in recently, being on holiday in France when we were told the news about my wife's father.

We decided I should come back home early, as the girls had been missing their mother, who is the bread winner in our family.

I took over mum-in-law's care from another member of the family, all of whom had their own commitments, ranging from caring for a teenage mother and her baby to earning livings and running businesses.

The initial stages involved taking her to visit husband in the local Worthing Hospital, which of course is being threatened with closure. Is it reasonable to ask elderly people, and as we know Worthing's primary reputation is as a retirement centre for the elderly, to travel long distances to Brighton or Littlehampton for care ? Click here to vote to Keep Worthing & Southlands Hospital going in the place it is needed, local to the elderly and infirm.

Clearly this care for mum-in-law involved full time residency in Worthing, and was luckily only possible as my wife was on holiday from work and looking after the children in France. There was a limit to the amount of clothing I had brought with me, which would soon run out. What should we do next ?

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