‘I’m trying to cope with my father’s loss of memory and had to write this down.’

Andy is struggling to cope with his dad's memory loss. On a particularly bad day, he felt compelled to write theses thoughts down. Read his dementia story.

My name is Andy Simpson. I am trying to cope with my father’s loss of memory. He hardly recognises me now.

I take him out from his care home in Cheshire most lunchtimes for a bite to eat and a pint. That golden time is special for him and me since we do love each other and I see him as my best friend as well as my father.

At Easter, I was on the way home from Dad’s care home in my car after a day when Dad’s memories were particularly bad. I stopped my car at a lay-by and wound the window down. I picked up my mobile and wrote this in the space of 15 minutes.

Now I read it several times a day and it is very nice.

Writing my thoughts down

Andy's dementia story: Andy and his dad smiling in the sun.

Dad and I enjoying some lunch in the sun.

My father George is doing fine at 86 years old and is still fit enough to walk about. The only failing is his memory. He has lost the ability sometimes to know me and that is sad.

Sadness is within everyone but what helps me through that sadness is when my father tells me stories and events that don’t rub away.  He recalls only the happy golden times of his life and there were many, the sad events are eradicated which seems a way of nature.

So I try to imagine myself in his mental capacity at a future time when possibly I will myself suffer from memory loss and fail to recall how my lifetime events happened. When or if I ever do reach that time where I do not hold the mental capacity to read or to recall people in family photos, and strangers that ask you what you did in life. It is scary and daunting.

It doesn’t matter what you did in life, but it is very important you were happy within yourself. Like painting on a canvas, paint it bright with lots of bright happy warm memories and when the paint drips, good times shine out. If all the paint is a brilliant white then that would mean you are lucky and have had a spectacular life. But not everyone has. Most of us have dark times which are best forgotten.

'Do not dwell on the dark past'

The answer I believe is make every moment as happy as you can, do not dwell on the dark past no matter how dark that place may seem. I was in a dark sad place but no matter how dark and scary it gets it never goes pitch black.

I appreciate the flowers and the shoots coming out, all add to the good times. Appreciate those moments they are golden and wonderful.

Spring time is wonderful and another year will be gone in a flash, cherish the small things that make it brighter and more warming to you.

You smile at life no matter how hard it seems sometime. And your time will smile back at you. We are so lucky even though we do not know why we are here. I believe everything and everyone is created for a reason. A purpose maybe not only in life.

We may never know how the painting will look when the paint has been allowed to dry. But whatever or whoever keeps painting us on a beautiful amazing canvas is truly something spectacular.

Time is the only thing we have really.

Just time.

Do have a wonderful Easter mum missing your smiles xxx

Are you caring for someone with dementia?

Caring for a person with dementia can be rewarding, but it is also very challenging. It's important to look after yourself.  Read our information and advice for carers. 

Our National Dementia Helpline team are available on 0300 222 1122 to answer any questions you may have about dementia.

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That is so moving and thankyou for sharing

This is wonderful and uplifting thank you, if only we all had time to write down, while we can, our life story, the good and the bad and the downright awful! Then we would have something to look back on, but how nice it is that your beloved dad just remembers the happy times. To be honest I wish that was all I remember, I do have wonderful memories of good times now but would love to completely forget the past! I just don't want to get Alzheimer's like my mam.

So sorry but my husband lost also his mind...signs from dementia and Alzheimer. But he is also unhandled and agressive😂😂😂😂😂

Im caring for my mum who has Alzheimers she is 91 years old. Thankfully she no's who i am as i see her every day. My younger sadly passed away resently from Bowel Cancer. The sad thing is my mum doesn't remember and asks all the time were is Susan. My mum is Irish and the lovely thing is she can sing most of the songs from years ago word for word so if she's having a down day we sing and her face lights up its wounderful to see. Lots of good memories. Love you mum. Xx

Hello. My name is Brian Farmer. I lost my wife eight years ago after nursing her for eight yeas with Alzheimer's Dease. A friend of mine is going through the same thing with is wife. She been going down hill for the last three years my friend got the same problems as I had, can't get pads for incontent and really it's a problem with no help at all, He got to fight for everything. Nothing have changed over the last fifteen years. Just people tilling him he got to pay for everything. " Sad times". Bryan Farmer

Hi Brian, thank you for getting in touch and sharing your experiences with us. We're so sorry to hear about your wife.

It sounds like your friend is having a difficult time right now. Please do suggest they call our National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 if they'd like any dementia information or advice. Alternatively, they might find our online community, Talking Point, helpfuL. They can access it here: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/

Thank you and all the best.

Whát it's really like looking after someone with dementia. My husband has vascular dementia as well as Alzheimer's. He is doubly incontinent and is unaware that he needs to use the toilet. I dread coming home after a couple of hours of freedom. He may need to be showered or cleaned up at any time of the day or night. He has to be persuaded to take his various medications and I constantly have to remind him to drink fluids. It is like looking after a toddler but instead of progressing, he is regressing.

Hi Lesley, thanks for getting in touch. It sounds like you're having a difficult time at the moment. Please do contact our National Helpline team on 0300 222 1122 if you want to talk to someone. Alternatively, you might like to speak to other people affected by dementia on our online forum, Talking Point: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/ Thanks again and all the best.

Thank you Andy. I am struggling to find the happy for me and my mum right now and your story has helped. Wishing you, your dad and family all happiness. 🌻

Thank you Andy for such an uplifting post. It sounds like that in spite of everything you and your Dad's relationship is shining out.

Hi Andy - I shared many special times with my Mum too; taking her out of her care Home and having precious time when she didnt fancy a trip out. Each time, she too shared only the happy times from her past and she had many. The mind works in mysterious ways. I hope in later life my own memories, how ever feint or vivid are colourful and happy too . Stay strong and cherish each visit .

Hi I am Maureen,
I agree with Christina Yates, This is wonderful and uplifting thank you.
My husband has Lewy Bodies dementia,brittle diabetes also what looks like Parkinson's,
along with a brain aneurysm in the area known as the communicating part.

I am interested to learn if the brain aneurysm is in any way linked to the cause
or otherwise of contributing to the dementia.
The frontal area must be affected I guess because his behavior is not whom
he once was.
I also would like to know as his wife come carer, I would be able to access any free learning at a distance from professionals in the work of Alzheimers, how I can possibly progress to manage better my care for him as I feel I do not bring out the best in him when I have to remind him of his medication for his diabetes control
which is something I cannot just pass by and has to be addressed and challenging behavior is the area that needs addressing.
Also Brian Farmer (27/04/2018) comment 'Nothing have changed over the last fifteen years. Just people tilling him he got to pay for everything. ”
I think is very true, as I am also a mother/carer of a son aged 54 whom has learning difficulties (passed term mental handicap) and autism where there
is also challenging behavior my experience is that there is no support/ understanding/empathy what so ever from general practitioners and DWP, because
of same the patient and carer loose out on welfare benefit support and families
under pressure break up.

Hi Maureen, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. You can read about how dementia affects the brain here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20073/how_dementia_progresses/99/the… If you would like any more information, including what training is available, please don't hesitate to contact our National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122. You can also find lots of information on care on our website here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20046/help_with_care We hope this helps. Thank you and all the best.

Thank you for that moving piece it is very helpful and reflects my own experience that I wish I could express with the same feeling.

Thankyou for your heart warming words. I lost my mum today and my father lost his wife of 65 years. He has short term memory loss. He cared for my mum for the last 4 and a half years due to her having a severe stroke; he hid his memory loss from everyone until now and will be having an assesment . I just want him to have something to live for now she has past away. It's all very over whelming and sad. Your words give me some hope. Thankyou.

Hi Joanne, I'm very sorry to hear about your mum. Very sad news.
If you'd like to talk to one of our advisers about how to keep your father involved and active you can call on 0300 222 11 22.

Best wishes

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