The last two mornings the CBC'S the Current has had their whole hour and a half program on dementia. They have covered causes, research, care, caregivers, medications and much more. They interviewed many experts on dementia. Governments and health care facilities are worried as the baby boomers group nears a peak time for developing dementia. They are wondering how the system will cope.
This morning there was a major segment on care givers. Many people attempt to care for a relative with dementia. Many give excellent care but sooner or later they become exhausted.
This section of the documentary made me think of my Dad's situation. Dad developed late on set Parkinson's . We had a wonderful Step Mom. She was capable and competent. She was determined to look after Dad. I lived 1400 km (900 mi.) away from Dad and my brothers were 800 km (500 mi) away from Dad. It was good that she was determined to look after Dad. We were consulted before any decisions were made about Dad's changes care and our step mom made sure everybody was on side.
The problems that happened in the home were falling. At first she managed. Then he fell one night and she couldn't get him up so that ended care at home. Dad also did a little wandering at night. Our step mom would watch him as he went outside and looked up and down the street. She asked him one time what he was looking for. He said, " He was looking for his truck with a load of pigs."
However, a time came when it was not possible to care for Dad at home anymore. First, there were several respites and then the time came for full time care. Our step mom spent time with Dad everyday.
Now I joked with my step mom one time that Dad may outlive her and she would not be able to complete her mission of looking after Dad to the end. Sure enough. That's what happened.
We were fortunate enough to get Dad moved back home to a nursing home. Here he had three sons and many grandchildren. Care was still an issue as he continued to deteriorate.
When listening to the stories on the documentary I couldn't help but think that we were fortunate in how our Dad was cared for. For many people the care can be a disaster.