A few years ago, sisters Sian and Kia shared the heart-wrenching story of their dad Richard’s journey with younger onset dementia, diagnosed when he was just 53.
It’s now been 14 years since Sian and Kia began helping their mum care for their dad. They had to grow up quickly, assuming adult responsibilities from a very young age.
They’ve seen dementia turn their kind, fun-loving dad into a completely different person.
But thanks to our generous donors, we were able to provide the guidance and support the sisters needed in what was a very overwhelming time for them.
As Richard’s rare type of dementia began impacting his ability to speak and understand conversation or his situation, his frustration and confusion would boil over into anger. Sian says:
“Dad was becoming increasingly aggressive. We decided to trial him in respite but while he was there, the doctors recommended he stay permanently.
It took a very long time for us to deal with the guilt of dad going into a nursing home. For mum, it’s been stressful and challenging.”
The sisters were supported to deal with their distress through the programs provided by Dementia Australia. Reaching out to others their age going through similar issues, they’ve been able to process their feelings, and find advice and support.
Today, Richard can no longer dress independently, feed himself or use the bathroom. He can’t speak or understand what people say to him. His family are unable to communicate with him and as you might imagine, the sadness is indescribable. For their family, the grief of dementia never ends.
Please help now to make sure people affected by dementia like Sian and Kia always have our services and programs at hand.
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