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Grandma

So, I'm know I'm not the only one with grandparents. I also know that my Nanna's not the only one with dimentia. It feels like it somedays but I know other people are out there and going through similar stuff as well. So I thought this would be a good forum topic.

My Nanna's dimentia makes me feel alone and helpless. She is someone who has been close to me my entire life and now that is slowly getting taken away from me. I feel so helpless when she goes into hospital I only get bits and pieces of information when it happens and it is scsry because I know that soon we will lose her completely, wether it is to the illness or through death, each fate as bad as the other.

I worry for her but also my grandfather, it's hard enough vistiting them on a regular basis but living 24/7 with someone who can't even remember 5 minutes ago takes its toll on a person.

Re: Grandma

Hey @Grake, thank you for starting this topic. I think it will help a lot of people going through a similiar situation and give them a place to talk. I'm really sorry to hear about your Nanna, it's so difficult to watch someone we love struggle with their health and feel powerless to help them. Alzheimer's Australia have a really helpful page for family and carers of loved one's with dementia that's worth taking a look at it. You can find it here. They have a support line (1800 100 500) too, with counsellors who understand what you're going through. Please kow that you are always welcome to share your thoughts and feelings here and we will listen.

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Re: Grandma

Hi @Grake

Sorry to hear of your Nanna's dementia. It really is a super tough experience for all involved.

I hope you might feel comfortable contacting Alzheimer's Australia, like @ElleBelle mentioned, if you feel comfortable.

I hear that it feels like your Grandma is being taken away from you. Would you like to talk through some of your fond memories of your time together? No one will ever be able to take those moments away.

Perhaps you could get a nice notebook and write them in there? Then you can always go back through them and remember your Nanna before the dementia took over
|| Life runs in cycles, the wheel never stops turning, no matter how dark the night morning comes, no matter how cold the winter, spring comes. When you feel despair know that the wheel is turning, joy will come. ||

Re: Grandma

Hey, I'll definitely have a look at alzheimers Australia. Think I may of looked there when my nan got diagnosed. But reading what was going to happened scared the hell out of me, it just made everything so uncertain. Around the time my nanna got diagnosed with dimentia I got diagnosed with depression, it just felt like it was all happening at once and too this day (a year on) it still feels overwhelming to think of.

Nanna's been the constant in my life, for four years in high school I'd go over to her house most afternoons and she'd always give me biscuits and a warm milo. I didn't really like going there at the time because I just wanted to go home after school but now I really miss it. I miss being able to have hoir long conversations with her (likd I still can now but we talk about the same thing like 300 times).

Re: Grandma

Hey @Grake, thanks for starting this thread and I'm sorry to hear about your grandma. It's good to hear that you have good memories of going over to her house and chatting. 

 

My grandma passed away a few years ago, but she had dimentia. I had always lived in a different country to her, so had only seen and spoken to her a couple of times. So it's obviously not the same scenario as you're experiencing. That said, what I found helpful is knowing that no two people experience Alzheimers in the same way, so some of the things you read about won't always happen the same or in the same timeframe for everyone. Another thing was knowing that people with Alzheimers still feel joy and love for a long while as the disease progresses, so it's still possible to share experiences with them even if it's in a different way.

 

I like the sound of ClCl's suggestion about writing some of your memories of her in a notebook. Does that sounds like something you'd want to do?

 

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Re: Grandma

Hey @Grake I'm really sorry to hear about your nan. Thank you for sharing this with us - I think this is an important conversation to have, and sometimes there can be a lot of comfort in sharing experiences. We are here to support you and listen.

 

Like others have mentioned so far, those special memories of your Nanna and going to her house after school are something you will be able to have forever.

 

It sounds like you are a very empathic person, and are concerned about not only your nan but also your grandfather. It's important to recognise that in order to help and care for others, we need to take care of ourselves first, esepcially during particularly tough and stressful times. I'm wondering what self care looks like for you? What do you do (or can you do) to look after yourself, espeically when you're feeling overwhelmed about Nanna?

Re: Grandma

So update on this- for atleast my grandparents they are now moving into an old peoples home which is hard as they have been in there currnt house over 40 years. I've grown up going and visiting them there. Its sad they have to move but it is for the best.

I have also stsrted keeping a journal dedcated to talking about my nanna. Atm just putting memories in it. But atleast I'll hopefully have that forever.

Re: Grandma

Hey @Grake thanks for coming back on and giving us an update.

 

I can imagine how hard that would be - it sounds like it's been (or is going to be) a huge change for your family. 40 years is a long time! It's completely okay to feel all kinds of conflicting emotions, like feeling sad even though there's another part of your brain that recognises that they will be moving somewhere that mean that they will able to receive care and support.

 

The journal is such a lovely idea, and a really special way to honour those memories.

 

I'm wondering if you managed to have another look at Alzheimers Australia since your last post?

Re: Grandma

I had a tiny bit of a look but when I first found out about the dimentia I did a heap of research so it seems I already know most of the information pretty well.