Coping with dementia...

For the past four and a half years, I have been working in a care home which cares for people with dementia and Alzheimer s. It leaves you shattered and struggling to cope with some situations.

For the past four and a half years, I have been working in a care home which cares for people with dementia and Alzheimer's. It leaves you shattered and struggling to cope with some situations.

Now my dad, who I care for when I get home from work, may have to go into a home very soon. It is a difficult option to consider. You feel like you are letting your dad down, rejecting him.

But it took me, the last person, to realise you can only do so much as a carer; caring can be both physically and mentally exhausting and there are limits to the level of care you can provide in your home.

If the person you care for is no longer able to look after themselves and you cannot provide the care they need, residential or nursing care is a sensible and realistic option.


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We are a very close family, which helps. I have been caring for dad for about three years since mum passed away. On one occasion, dad asked where mum was. I had to tell dad that mum had passed away about three years ago and asked him if he did not remember.

I learned that I should not have told dad as no-one had actually told me what to do or say. I had to work it out for myself.

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How do you cope with what you have to say to Dementia sufferers? It distressed dad for a while. You are often alone without professional help. You are, in fact, entering unknown territory. You always feel guilty at feeling helpless and are unable to give them the quality and quantity of care your loved ones are entitled to.

You especially feel guilty at having to put them into a home and feel, somehow, you have abandoned them. Did we do the right thing, they say?

Men are not meant to cry, but I can tell you I have cried loads when I am alone. Life can be hard. I have had good support from my social worker, Maggie Doyle, plus Liz Osman Barter Day Unit, plus my sister, Margaret Bailey, and daughter, Louise Mears.

R A McCartney,

20 Jocelyn Road,

Budleigh Salterton

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