Living with Dementia
I hope others will understand it's OK to hurt. I am so grateful to you all for the support you have given our family through the years.
As a first step towards acceptance of the changes in my husband [after his diagnosis] I made a phone call to the Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary to sign up for a course. After explaining my intent, and before anything else was said, the person on the other end of the phone asked, “How are you doing?” So unexpected, so sincere, so compassionate, so moving. We chatted for a long time.
Meet Matt and Heather
This devoted son and his mother experienced a dramatic change
Adjusting to the new reality
The next day we were standing around retelling this story amongst ourselves and having a chuckle about it. There happened to be a little bit left in the fridge, as I didn’t send it all to the church. We went up to the kitchen and I cut it into 2 pieces -and when I turned around, Mum was standing there staring intently at the plate. Kate came up and stood in between Mum and the plate. Then Mum stuck her hands past her, doing this “zombie/ Frankenstein”-type walk to get past her! Erin was slumped over in the corner trying to hide her piece and eat it. And just the smile on Mum’s face the whole time was priceless.”
Surprises in store
Club 36 provides activities and respite
Matt’s plans have been put on hold. For now.
Matt is Heather’s primary caregiver. When Heather was diagnosed, he had a growing realization that his graduate studies wouldn’t happen right away. He knew things would settle down a bit, but that he wouldn’t have time to do other things. “When I took that time off after university, I had money saved from working and earning scholarships – and the plan was to have a long, relaxing four years’ worth of saved up vacation time. I didn’t end up getting that full vacation, but I did get an adventure.”
Matt offers this thoughts to others
I expected a few brochures - and I left the office with hope.