We went to the GP, who initially suspected that Dad had Parkinson’s. He was prescribed some medication but not referred to a specialist at that time. When Mum and Dad moved to Spain, Dad took a downhill turn. He was referred to a neurologist who diagnosed him with vascular dementia. Dad was still having issues walking, so he was then re-referred to a second neurologist who diagnosed him with Lewy body dementia.
Paul’s mum and dad
Caring from a distance
Mum tried her best to care for Dad at home, but he became incontinent and was having accidents all the time. He just wasn’t safe at home anymore. We made the very difficult decision to put him in a care home.
It’s difficult living so far away from Dad and caring from a distance. I try to get out to Spain four times a year and speak to Dad every other day on the phone, but I never know what mood he is going to be in when I call. I also wish I was closer to support my mum, sister and brother-in-law more.
Dad often forgets that I don’t live close by. He sometimes asks me to bring him a bag of chips. I try to joke with him by saying that they will be cold by the time I get there. It’s really difficult to know whether to keep reminding him that I’m not in Spain or to just go along with his version of reality.