I was a carer to my dad for over 12 years and if I had known at the beginning what I know now, it would have made things a lot easier.
I am writing this blog as an aide to those people who care for someone with dementia.
To be clear, I am not a nurse, doctor, or posses any formal medical qualifications or knowledge. The information and advice I post here is advisory and you should always seek advice from a medical professional.
This blog is based on my experiences of looking after my dad who had Frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson's disease. He passed away in August 2016.
Although dementia and Parkinson's are two separate diseases, they do tend to go hand in hand. So, if an elderly person gets Parkinson's, they will likely get dementia too. But a person getting Parkinson's disease, especially a younger person, may never get dementia. The best example of this is the American actor Michael J Fox who got Parkinson's at a very young age.
Dementia is a disease. It is not a natural part of ageing. At time of writing this first blog article (March 2017) there is no known cure for dementia or Parkinson's.
There are several different kinds of dementia. My dad had Frontotemporal dementia which is the worst one to get and affects only a minority of the population. Most people who get dementia tend to get Alzheimer's disease.
My blogs on this subject will be in three main chapters covering early dementia, the middle stages and the final stages. As the final stages of dementia are the most recent for me, I will start with that, but I may post about the other stages at various times and out of order.
Although these diseases are terrible and only head in one direction, there are laughs along the way and I hope this blog will give you a little bit of hope, as well as information, if you are dealing with this condition.
My next articles will cover aspects of the final stages of dementia.