Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.57 7 Jul 2020


Share this article


A woman who is a full-time carer for her father, who has Alzheimer's, said she believes the COVID-19 cocooning did more harm than good.

Denise Monahan said some of his abilities have faded as a result of being in the house for so long.

Describing her father as "a very, very sociable man," she told The Pat Kenny Show: "I think what's happened to him is extremely cruel, but there you go - we can't choose the onslaught of Alzheimer's."

On living with lockdown, she said: "It was very rapid, it was like the children coming out of school.

"One day they were in school, the next day they weren't - it was exactly the same for dad.

"One day he was in the day centre, the next day he wasn't.

"And then for weeks and weeks he wasn't - and then we realised there's actually no talk, there's no roadmap, 'when is he going back', when can we get back to what was normal.

"I know there'll be a new normal, but what is the new normal going to be for dad?

"That just seems to be kicked further and further down the road.

"Although the term 'cocooning', I did like it at the start - I thought it was like wrapping them in a blanket of safety - I think that just stretched on a little bit too long.

"And for dad, by the time the over-70s were allowed to go out... sure the habits had set in, and he didn't want to go out.

"And he didn't understand why he needed to go out".

"I think when people have Alzheimer's they go into a set of habits or routines that become embedded, and they're very difficult to break back out again.

"And that's what we're trying to do with dad".

"I just seen that he spent so much time in the house now, he doesn't know a lot of people now by name.

"We're relying on a little bit on photographs, and that's difficult - we're resorting to photographs that people dad well-knew up to a while ago".

"That putting faces and names [together] seems to be removing itself far quicker than we would have liked".

Asked if she felt lockdown did more harm than good, she said: "Yes, without a doubt - it went on far too long".

She said she would have liked to have seen him go to his day centre "maybe two days a week".

"I would have liked to have seen that, even two mornings a week would have been great.

"That would have kept him in that momentum, kept him in that routine connected to his peer group - that's who those people are down there.

"And I would have loved to have seen that even for two days, if they could have even staggered how many people come and would have gladly changed the day he goes in - if it was even a rotating day - it wouldn't have mattered."

"Telling people over-70 who are vulnerable like that to stay at home yes, sounded grand on paper - but it actually did an awful lot of emotional and social damage I think".

She added: "It's been an absolute privilege to be able to help my dad and to be there for him in the mornings when he's struggling to get dressed, when he's struggling to make his breakfast.

"When I was growing up, I wanted for nothing - my dad worked really, really hard to make sure the seven of us had what we wanted - and now it's payback".

'Putting faces to names seems to be going'- Living with Alzheimer's in lockdown

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: An elderly man at a retirement home | Image: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

Share this article


Read more about

Alzheimer's COVID-19 Lockdown Covid-19 Denise Monahan Living With Alzheimer's Lockdown The Pat Kenny Show

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

19:00-22:00

Share

Up next

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on