I'm not sure if this is a question that can be asked here (or even answered) but I'd like to try.
My grandpa is almost 80 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a little over a year ago. Since then I feel like he is loosing interest in life.
He used to be a self-employed and managed his business together with my grandma. He used to be a craftsman who drove around the local area and worked with his hands all the time. He enjoyed spending time with his customers and knows almost everybody in the village he comes from. When he stopped working about 15 years ago his son took over the business which he runs to this day. Grandpa always did some business on the side afterwards, which kept him busy. He has always been helpful, generous, compasionate, loving and funny to his whole family.
In recent months he:
- had to stop driving, because it became too dangerous
- had to stop working, because his body wasn't able to sustain it (to be clear it was a "hobby" for him, he doesn't have to work)
- stopped caring about news and politics (which he was happy to discuss in the past)
- cares less and less about football (which was very important to him)
- sleeps for some time in the morning and expanded his afternoon sleep
It crushes me to see him like that. So far he still recognizes his family, but I can see his memory slowly fade away. My grandparents get visited about 5-8 times a week by family members and I visit them 2-3 times a month. When we're with them, we mostly talk and spend time with grandma and grandpa sits there and rarely takes part in the conversation.
I can understand, why he acts like this. If my ability to do the things I like (and had been doing for more than 50 years) was taken away and it was difficult for me to learn new things (memory...) I wouldn't know if I was able to keep my spirits up.
- Is there something that can be done, or do I/we have to accept the situation?
- What can we talk about that he takes an interest in, or how to can we invite him into the conversation?