Stories

The stories on these pages are from people affected by dementia.

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My beloved Dad (country Victoria) was forced into aged care for 6.5 years by my sibling (Adelaide), who didn’t want him living with us in a loving family unit.

We had an incredible amount of contact with him, and supported him in every way, took him on outings regularly, bought him to the family home weekly for special roasts, and treated him with dignity at all times.

He felt special and loved.

For 20 years we NEVER missed a birthday, father’s day or Christmas etc. No different in aged Care. He was a lucky one.

Prior to 2007, we led a normal lifestyle for our age (82).

My husband was diagnosed mainly by our own GP. Almost immediately he had to give up driving and our life changed quickly on account of this and other leisure activities.

Depending on our 2 daughters (both live great distances away) and relying on friends wasn’t good.

My husband’s dementia has progressed slowly over the past 4 years.

My Grandfather is 86 yo & my Grandmother is 83 yo, both happily married and have been so for about 63 years.

Old Gramps has prostate cancer & poor Grandma has Alzheimer’s Disease.

For this reason we are unable to put them into full time care, because Gramps has a physically debilitating disease & Grandma’s is a mental disease, they have different needs.

 A TEACHER REGARDLESS

A teacher at a Primary School with highly skilled awareness

Before he met Alzheimer life is questioned for it’s fairness,

His quest for gaining knowledge then imparting what he’d learned,

Was taken from his memory his skills were overturned

Sadly though within that mind that has become fragmented

Snippets of a learned skill align, then are presented

It doesn’t come with reason nor reflected comprehension

I work in an aged care facility and I see the miss use of antipsychotic drugs for treating dementia.

I work in dementia specific areas; one area is middle- late stage and the other specifically late stage.

I work as a diversional therapist and know that most of the behaviours are due to the persons needs not being met.

Most of the time its because of the lack of staff and the other is the staffs attitude towards the person with dementia.

I have recently become a trainer specifically because of the latter.

I care for my wife Margaret.

Diagnosis- Official diagnosis by Professor Woodward approx. 8 years ago after 18 months of tests at Aust/ Repat. Hospital.  

Medication prescribed- Aricept which helped for a number of years but now has minimal effect. Regular annual checks by GP over above time. We were retired at time of diagnosis.

He had had dementia for some years now, but only stopped driving a year ago, after driving his car into the bush and needing to be triangulated using the 'find my iPhone' app.  

The police, after six hours of telling them where he was, couldn’t find him. I did.

This was very distressing and he was very cold.

My Father was a head teacher at TAFE and a licensing inspector before that, directly reporting to the licensing magistrates court. I still have his ID.

A Lady with dementia needs her morning medication

I made my way, with breakfast tray without much hesitation

A cup of tea, a piece of toast one tablet to be swallowed

There was a kind of sameness as the conversation followed 

She asks me every morning why she needs this medication,

Diagnosis:
Grace Edwards was born 4/2/1927, she was diagnosed with dementia at Casey Hospital October 2007 after an operation at Dandenong Hospital to remove gallstones, gallbladder and repair a hernia. It was previously a gradual diminution of memory over several years. She was medicated for low level depression.

Stage1:
On recommendation of our doctor we received 1 hour/ week home help and 1 hour/week social visit.

Stage 2:
Upgraded to Villa Maria early 2007

MY DAD

The old man sits there, Looking like he used to

A man drowsy from sleep, With a smile so deep.

Who is this man? Once so full of life

Now silent and withdrawn, Unaware of life with his wife.

Who is this man? That sits quietly in his chair?

With a twinkle in his eye, Reminding me with his stare.

Who is this man? Who used to sit me on his knee,

And called me “Blossom” But now no longer knows me.

This old man is my Dad, He is not the man I once knew