Watching Dementia Take Over

by Melanie Edwards on January 13, 2012 · 11 comments

in life


Every time I visit my parents’ house, it brings about bittersweet feelings. I’m glad to be able to spend time with them, but seeing my dad fall deeper into his dementia and be forced to succumb to the disease, is heartbreaking in many ways.

This was a man that growing up I saw as strong and in control. He took care of things, made rational and logical decisions, and was a provider. Now, he doesn’t even know how to properly tie his shoes. He has trouble following a conversation. He asks about things we take for granted; “Do I eat with this?” he says, as he points to the fork on the table.

It’s tough to see him worsen almost daily. The disease has completely transformed him into a different man. There are traces of who he used to be still around, but he acts and looks different. It’s frustrating, sad, and at times, maddening. And, there’s nothing we can do.

Photo by Jenny Downing

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz C. January 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Oh sweetie… It really is heartbreak to see you even write about this and your sadness reflecting on your post.  Hugs. And know that I am always here for you!


2 modernmami January 18, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks, Liz. It is sad, but we’re dealing the best we can.


3 Anonymous January 14, 2012 at 8:06 am

What a powerful sharing Melanie. I feel the sadness, the loss and the frustration. It breaks my heart to see you and families go through this. Some things in life make absolutely no sense — this one, losing a parent to dementia, is one of them. I’m only a phone call away, whenever you need someone to talk to and listen. Big hug to you.


4 modernmami January 18, 2012 at 11:09 am

You’re right that it makes no sense. Thank you so much for your kind words and offer.


5 Monica January 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

Mel, I know how deeply personal this is. It is so hard to see someone you love change so dramatically. Thank you for sharing, though, and reminding us all to appreciate our parents now.  Un abrazo.


6 modernmami January 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

Gracias, Monica. I’m glad the post is serving as a good reminder. That is a good thing.


7 lisa renata January 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Oh Melanie, how hard this must be.  My husband’s uncle has a really bad case of alzeimer’s, so bad that his gentle and dainty wife (he’s over 6 feet tall.  She’s only 5 feet tall) had to put him in a home because she can no longer take care of him.  It is sad, to see her go through this.  So I can relate somewhat.  Thank you for sharing such an important part of your life.  Abrazos amiga.  


8 modernmami January 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

Lisa, it’s tough. My heart goes out to your husband and his family as I know what a hard decision that must have been.


9 Tracy January 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

Heartbreaking and frustrating for all involved. I’m sorry, Mel.


10 Cristina-ColombianaenCA January 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I can imagine your frustration and sadness. Must be really hard for you. Thanks for sharing your feelings, big hugs!


11 Carla @ All of Me Now January 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

This post says so much about how you’re feeling right now. While his memory may fail him, know nothing can replace in his heart, his soul, his spirit the love he has for you. Much strength and faith to you and your family during this very tough time. And big, big hugs!


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