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Dad's Dementia Took a Break—For at Least a Day

Dealing with Dad's dementia: This week, I talk about the delight of those rare days when things seem normal again.

My dad had a great day the other day. My boyfriend and I went over to give my mom her late Mother’s Day present and my dad greeted him with the same charisma and pep he was known for years ago.

“Hi, Giuliano. How’s it going?” My boyfriend said to him as he walked in the house.

“Great. Just watching the game. I’m going to get ready for work soon and then … oh, hi, missy,” he said to me, not remembering that he doesn’t have work anymore. But, that’s okay. He was so responsive and alert.

It was very good to hear. He continued to talk to mom and my aunt and brother about various things that day, as if nothing was different.

This is a great thing and it made me very happy to hear and see!

The only thing is that it is a bit confusing. That’s the thing about dementia, in the early stages, it seems to come and go. Lately, it comes more often than it goes. But, once in awhile you’ll get those lovely, clear days where it seems like my dad is back.

On the other hand, how do I get that clarity to stay longer than a day or just a few hours? How do we stretch it out?

Has anybody had a similar experience? What do you do to make the most of those rare, sunny days?

RESOURCES

It is often encouraged for both patients and family members/caregivers to join a support group. There are support groups offered nearby in Mountain View, San Jose, or even telephone support groups. For support in your area, check out http://www.alz.org/norcal/in_my_community_support.asp

Bob M May 24, 2012 at 03:36 PM
My wife's mother is 95 yrs of age and has vascular demnetia. She still lives in her own home and we are 2 of the 4 family caregivers. We have noticed that her "clarity" does seem to be tied to the change in seasons and improves with the nicer weather. We are able to get her outside in the sun and yards more (due to the warmth) and it has a noticeable affect on her, mentally and physically (sleeps less during the day). We also try to watch her diet and give her foods that are high in antioxidents and few processed foods. The better fresh fruits of summer do seem to help. Other than that all you can do is enjoy their good days and don't let the bad days get you down. Like a young child becoming an adult, your father is changing. Its just this transition is tougher.
Nicole Baldocchi May 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Bob, Thank you so much for reading and writing! Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. I have made similar observations as you! The nicer days do seem to trigger clarity. I'm not too sure about food, just because my dad is so stubborn it's hard to get him to eat what we want him to eat. But the nice weather definitely helps! I wish you the best! And thanks again for reading.

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