Dementia and Math and my Dad

Dementia care at home

Dad’s gone into his shell. He’d simply stopped thinking.

To get him back I decided to go back to what he was good at.
Math.

Actually he was a wizard with numbers. You gave him a number and some logic and he could intuitively tell you if it seemed right or wrong…

He was a par excellence gunner. They needed to know their trigonometry. Their heights and distances to land the shell on top of the enemy.In the ancient armies the Gunners were the educated lot in the Army.
Usually also the scholars and the philosophers and the Mavericks. And the ones who won you wars.
They were the alchemists of the armies. Slightly odd, not bothered about dressing much. They needed to make their gun powders and shells and then figure out how to land it on the enemy ( and not on their own men)
Math was essential in calculating the mixtures and the heights and distances…

Napoleon was a gunner!
It figures.

Anyway, enough of gunnery and back to Math and my Dad.

Yesterday I was sitting with him and I intuitively decided to ask him to count from one to hundred. First time he tried, he got about 20-30 percent right.

Slowly by the third attempt he could rattle off quite a few of the numbers.

I could see the light come back in his eyes and the concentration on his face was so good to see.

I told him “Dad, we need to give a work out to your mind… it’s good for you”.
He smiled and nodded his head and agreed.

Because we were so closely involved with Mum, Dad had literally gone into his shell and I realized Math would be a good way to get that Brain Muscle get a work out and blood start flowing back into those veins in the head (Dementia is all about blood vessels constricting and blood flow stopping… and if you force the brain to think, it forces the blood to once again flow…anyway, let’s see how this experiment works!)

Today morning I decided to up the ante and get him to write it down on paper. He got up to 30 more or less right and then started fumbling. I’d nudge him a bit, give him a hint, tell him to look at the column and the row and try to figure out what would fit.

He slowed down but got it right eventually.Then tea came and I said class is over.

He sighed and said “you know, once upon a time I was good at these things”. I told him “ yes. You were brilliant. And you taught me numbers when I was a kid. And I too was brilliant eventually, like you were”.

I told him“ now I’m going to teach you numbers again and you’re gonna be brilliant, like you made me brilliant, I’m gonna make you brilliant “.

He laughed.

We had our tea a bit more happier in our hearts. My mum who had no clue about numbers would be smiling at her two men doing their numbers!

Post Script:

After the tea got over he said he wants to go to the loo and then he said “I’m going to take a nap!”
These kids nowadays

Anything to avoid the next class whether you’re five or ninety five.
Nobody wants to study!!

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