My Grandad

Earlier this year, following a stroke, my Grandad was diagnosed with dementia. Since this, I’ve read a lot (maybe too much) information online about dementia and the symptoms. But, no amount of reading could prepare me for seeing him in hospital when I visited home (I study away at University). It was heartbreaking. Because it was as though he wasn’t there, if that makes sense. And he couldn’t recognise me. I’ve not been home since then but I am going home this week-end and I am scared to go and visit my Grandad because I know he’s gotten worse since. Selfishly, I don’t want to stress myself out even more or upset myself more as I, myself, am having fairly major surgery next week (which will be my first ever operation and my first time in hospital). This itself is scaring me as my only experiences in hospital have been visiting my Dad in hospital before he died and now visiting my Grandad.

Thanks for reading this/listening.

Dear EmBeth_1994,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandad. Dementia can be a devastating disease, and it is very normal to feel scared. I don’t think you’re being selfish at all. It is very important that you take care of yourself so you are able to be there for your grandad.

Talking about your feelings can be very helpful, whether that’s with your family and friends, or here on this site. We have lots of supportive users here who understand what it is like to have a grandparent diagnosed with dementia. Here are some examples:

If you’re feeling very anxious, a visit to your GP could also be helpful, as they can advise you on how to manage your anxiety and refer you for counseling if you need it. Meanwhile, The Mix offers a free helpline for under 25s that can offer you extra support:

If there is anything I can help with, or you have any questions about this site, just let me know.

Best wishes,