Thank you again for all your emails this past week wondering where I have been!-ha. Our new reality living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s has been quite a shock to say the least. I took a little time off to help get my grandfather situated since he got home from the hospital and short term rehab over a week ago and this week I plan on getting back to normal. Well my new normal! -ha.
As many of you know, my grandparents were living in the in-law apartment in our garage where we added a second staircase and chair rail lift a little over 6 years ago when they moved in from Florida. When my grandfather was taken to the hospital over a month ago (where he stayed for about a month), it was evident that he would need 24/7 care when he came home.
New Reality Living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s
The doctors were recommending that he either have 24/7 care at home or be admitted to a nursing home. A nursing home was absolutely out of the question so we opted to move both my grandparents into the main part of the house. This change was very difficult for not only my grandfather but my grandmother. She literally lost her husband (his ability to care for her and him) and her home as she knew it.
The family pitched in and helped my gram go through 60 years worth of stuff and figure out what needed to be donated and trashed. Have you ever helped someone who grew up in the depression weed through their stuff? Needless to say, that was a project.
It wasn’t ideal doing this without my grandfather but unfortunately, we had zero time and were under pressure to get everything done in a week. We made 6 trips to the Salvation Army to donate a gabillion items along with a dumpster full of trash. I think they saved every envelope they had ever gotten in the mail for the last 67 years they have been married.
While my grandparents have always been in the same house, they had an interior door off of our kitchen / foyer area that led to the garage that they could shut and have privacy. Well the privacy is basically gone now for them as we needed to create a new TV room and bedroom literally in the middle of our house so we could keep an eye on my grandfather.
Our lower level has a large open kitchen / family room, a bathroom and two large rooms that were the playroom and storage area.
We turned the playroom into a new tv room for my grandparents and the storage area that was for all my blog decorating stuff is now their bedroom. It’s not perfect and by no means gives them the privacy they had, but it’s the only way we can keep my grandfather home and out of a nursing home. Here is a picture of the playroom during Christmas that is now their TV room.
Our new reality living with my grandfather’s dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has literally rocked our house. My grandfather’s disease has been prevalent for years but he has gotten worse as time has gone by but he (and we) were always able to manage and cope but last month, he had a huge break in reality and basically failed years in one afternoon. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has no boundaries and it takes over your loved one’s life (and the family) with no notice. We are hanging in there and trying to adjust to our new normal. One thing is for sure though, we are all dedicated to keeping him home and out of a nursing home. He knows he is in a different living space now but he gets it confused with the old living space. He gets very disoriented as to where the kitchen is, the bathroom ect. BUT then he has moments of clarity where he is super sharp and totally on the ball. It’s a minute by minute disease that has a mind of its own.