Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How does one write about...dementia.

Frontotemporal Degeneration or FTD is an evil disease.

The thing is, you know something is wrong but you can't put your finger on it. Then you get a weird phone call asking to borrow a lot of money. Then you find out a parent spent all their retirement savings.

You have logical conversations with the parent, they sound intelligent and engaged.

And then through a long series of events, they end up in a Geriatric Psych ward at a hospital local to their Assisted Living facility. Fortunately the head of department finds him interesting and takes his case. This is where we are now, and we're waiting for enough information to make a decision about where my Dad will get the care he deserves.

What this disease does to people is brutal. Unless the peers or loved ones understand the illness, they can react poorly. Even with knowing that it is the disease talking, it is easy to get reactive.

The best thing for the FTD person is a solid plan, patience and reflecting back in a positive way. Agitating the person is bad for everyone. This is challenging to most people, especially with a loved one...and sometimes the most loving decision is to let the professionals do it.

It has been very challenging for my Mom. We're finding out what the options are, Dad gets released on Thursday.

I'm going to do a short bike tour to support a rad 12 year old raising money for the Sierra Club/Climate Change. Then I will go to South Carolina.

Dad's Happy plate! dad on bike
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