Dementia is a Bitch

I’m sure there are plenty of seasoned caretakers of people with dementia, but this is all new to me and I don’t like it.  I moved up to Washington to my dads beautiful home in the picturesque tourist town of Port Townsend to be here for him as his dementia has reached a dangerous level.  I believe (according to my google research) that we are in the stage “moderate dementia”.   That doesn’t sound too bad, right?  It’s hell.  I’m watching my once very capable father (retired hazmat Fire Captain) sink into an alcoholic, confused, repetitive man who puts the parmesan cheese in the spatula drawer and gives the dogs uncooked rice as their dogfood.

He has lost his drivers license, doesn’t do laundry, and my daughter and I are, at this point, just trying to stay out of his way.  I didn’t mind in the beginning.  I did his laundry, went grocery shopping, cooked meals he loves (he is a pescaterian), and listened over and over again (every 30 seconds or so) his story being a radio guy in the planes in the Navy, or going into burning buildings as a Fire Captain.  I expected that, and I knew that was going to be tough, I’d have to patient as hell.  What I didn’t expect was the amount of alcohol consumption and the changes that would occur after the first bottle of wine.  Without going into detail, I will say, it was scary as hell.  My 8 year old daughter did not need to see the things she was seeing and to be scared in her own home.

He does not like my daughter and that’s the part I cannot take.  Everything else, just par for the course.  I actually heard him on the phone with my mother yesterday calling my sweet, lovely, kind, fun, beautiful daughter “a bitch”.  The worst thing is my mom didn’t even back us up, instead she threw me under the bus saying it was my fault.  I know this because I was listening in on the other line.  My daughter heard it too and tears gathered in her eyes at the words.  It’s all gotten a bit much for me to take.

  1.    I’m writing this and will continue writing about my endeavors here in the “house of horrors” and if I don’t make it out, at least my story will be told!   In all seriousness, I know there are others who are suffering taking care of someone with this terrible disease and maybe we can all take comfort in each others trials and tribulations.

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