Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The 36-hour day*

It’s my new "bible" but I’m reading it very slowly. Because I am reading it very slowly it is often skulling about the kitchen full of scribbles, notes and underlined sections. I don’t exactly hide it but even if I did I know that Nonna would find it. She likes to read whatever I read, often whilst I’m actually reading it. Put anything down for a moment and she’s all over it like a rash. Each time she comes across it, several times a day, we have the same conversation. It starts off with alarm and annoyance, the tone is un-mistakable:-
“Why you read dat den? Dat’s an orrible book.”
“Because of my dad. I’m hoping to learn some more so that I can help mum out a bit.”
“Your dad?”
“Your father? Ee az dementia?”
“Yes and my mum’s looking after him all by herself.”
“Ooo dat is sad. I didn’t know dat. Dat’s very sad.” The sadness shows in her face. It’s genuine. Genuinely sad.

*"The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life"
by Nancy L. Mace, M.A., Peter V. Rabins, M.D.,M.P.H.

Big and grateful thank you's to everyone's generous thoughts and comments.


Anne said...

Is your dad mobile, able to get around? One of the speakers in my pre-retirement seminar spoke about health issues of seniors. She told us walking fast, 4mph, daily can stave off, even reverse, Alzheimer's symptoms. She sited some studies, but I just remember the walking bit.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Nonna's so compassionate. As are you.

W. Latane Barton said...

I, too, have gained great insight from this book. I have several others which are helpful as well. I think we all enter this dark place in our lives with so little knowledge so I appreciate those who have gone before in written word.