Monday, 3 October 2016

Minor Project Interview with my friend about her dad and dementia a transcript

My friend about her dad and dementia, an interview

The main thing I noticed is that I begin to treat him like a child, more like a child than an adult so he needs a lot of help with everything, for example I took him out for lunch for his birthday last week and he couldn’t read the menu at all so I had to like point out everything, as you would a child, and then he couldn’t cut his food properly, because he’s got so much slower now, like really slow, even walking, walking, talking, anything, he’s just really really slow now, so I kind of gave him, you know like a steak knife, I gave him one of them and then kind of helped him, but you don’t want to help too much cause you don’t want, they don’t feel like a child so you don’t want to treat them like that too much because they are still an adult, so that’s hard because your natural instinct is just to help, but they want to do it by their self.
Yeah, he’s very slow now, he gets very frustrated when there’s thing going around him that are fast, so say if you’re in a rush one morning for work and you’re running around the house getting ready getting the keys, he won’t like that, it will really stress him out and he will get really panicky in a way and really anxious so if you’re tidying up the house and things like that he doesn’t like that, he doesn’t like mess at all now, like at all he gets really really angry about it sometimes if there is just a glass on the table, it will have a little bit of water or whatever in it still and then he’ll be like “what’s that doing there, that needs to go in the kitchen” and I still got drink in it but yeah, that he doesn’t like…
He still kept his sense of humour, he tries to make jokes out of everything, which I think helps because, you either laugh or cry about because things are getting worse and if you do cry about it you’re just going to be sad and become depressed almost, if you think about it. But if you laugh I think it kind of keeps the mood up, which is a bit helpful.
I think for my mum and brother who are there all the time, I think they find it more difficult, because they probably think he’s nagging at them, especially about the whole mess and things but I don’t think they understand that it’s not him, it’s the illness, so he can’t control it, so they find it hard and might react in a way they shouldn’t, but telling them that he’s not moaning, that he’s not really moaning it’s just the illness coming out.
He likes animals and, so he likes animals so my mum got a new puppy the other week and we all thought he wouldn’t like it because like the mess they’re going to make, but because it’s new, it’s kind of like a baby, like it’s something to care for and like look after so he really like took to it and really likes looking after it and he holds it, he will like literally cuddle it all day and hold it like a baby and all sorts so, that’s quite nice and he talks to it so I think it’s a way of getting his like emotions out, to the puppy. But I’ve heard a lot of people use like baby dolls and do the same thing in like care homes, they have dolls and things and they get like really overprotective because they like their new, like possession kind of thing that makes them feel comfortable, so that’s good… I’m trying to think of what other things have changed…
(Does he do any tasks at home?)
Yeah he yeah. So, he does cook, but he will make mistakes, so he put like a, my mum told him to cook like a chicken or something, but he put the whole like card board box or something in the oven, like things like that and he might not turn the oven off and things, he might forget, so he can do it, but he needs more supervision now, because… he will make mistakes. He still washes up and does the washing, doesn’t iron, that might be a bit dangerous, because actually, my mum asked him to fill up the iron when she, while she went to the shop and I was around, and he filled up the pot of water to pour it in and he literally completely missed the whole hole, and it went all over my dog but luckily it was cold water, or it could have burned him, but yeah he’s not very good with fiddly things, bout the same as a child, really. I think it’s more like, you see them returning to a child in a way, because dementia eats at your brain, I suppose it is kind of going backwards, so, in the end… because my nan had dementia as well so I’ve kind of seen the worst stages too, and in the end she couldn’t speak, eat, she didn’t know who we were, so, he’s at a stage where it’s not too bad at the moment, which is good, but I don’t know how fast it will be till it gets a lot worse, so I try not to think about it.
Some days it gets to me, like I really think about it, but like I said I try to laugh at the mistakes he does, rather than getting really upset and moaning about it because I know it’s not his fault, so I’m just like oh don’t worry about it, or do this instead, and I think that makes it easier to cope with. Last year while I was working at H&M, I think that was around when he first got diagnosed, I didn’t realise it but I think it must have really gotten to me because I got… not depressed but really really low and it like affected me at work and stuff, so that wasn’t good, but now, cause I’ve lived with it for a while, I kind of begin to cope more okay, and I’m not there every day now, where I live at Dan’s, so… it’s easier… but I can see my mum get stressed a lot and a bit frustrated, which isn’t nice to see, but you can’t do anything about it so… you just have to live with it.
We have to help him read, he used to be really good at writing and spelling and things, so that is a big change. He wears glasses, so I think if it’s really big words, like I don’t know, he could probably read that, but where the menu obviously they have the headline and then there is smaller writing, he couldn’t read all that…

His appetite hasn’t changed, he says, he always says to me he can’t eat a lot, so I took him out for lunch he’s like “I won’t be able to eat all that” and then I’m like okay, and then he had a starter, a main, and desert and ate it all and I was like see? You can eat everything! So yeah things like that, he can eat fine at the moment but yeah, it’s like funny some things he says, and we have to laugh…

1 comment:

  1. Okay - so just summarising some of my thoughts as per our tutorial today; I think collage might be a better metaphor here, as knitting - which presupposes an 'unravelling' isn't really expressed here; instead there is a greater sense of someone being re-surfaced - for rather their adult self being 'stripped back' to an earlier more childish version: I'm sort of reminded of when you see this kind of thing on noticeboards:

    For this reason, I'm thinking about 'collage' and paper layers being 'more' relevant to this story and than 'knitting' - personally, I think collage gives you really creative freedom to tell this story in lots of interesting - and quite non-literal ways. Here are some examples of the idea of an environment being made up as a collage etc. and also how the human form might be created accordingly:

    Check out John Stezaker's portraits - where he splices two photographs together - a good metaphor for dementia?

    Joseph Cornell as we talked about - his 'boxes' are collections of dislocated memories - surreal but very melancholy and sad: