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Posted by teejay on April 16, 2000 at 23:05:49:

In Reply to: When is it time for a home &/or assisted living? posted by Maria on April 12, 2000 at 12:38:35:

Oh, Maria, I am so sorry for your situation with your parents. I have just come back to the message board today, so have just seen your post. It is so hard to know how to deal with this particular disease, because each situation is different, but you are not alone in sometimes just getting MAD...sometimes that seems about all we CAN do.
I had to deal with this many years ago when just a child when my grandfather had it, but was not a caregiver then. I did see the effect on my parents, because there was no respite for them.
I have also in recent years dealt with it with a grandmother-in-law, 3 uncles, an aunt, a mother-in-law and now my husband. This is my third time as primary caregiver and it dosen't get easier. The time for alternate living arrangements varies with the general health. With my husband's mother we were fortunate to find live-in help for 8 years. When she became wheelchair bound it was necessary to get care home help. His aunt was not so lucky and she had to enter the care home when she could no longer look after herself and had no children to help.
If your dad is still physically active it will be difficult to get him to be content outside his home. I would say if he gets to the point he does not know where he is, or if he needs help with personal hygiene, dressing, etc. then you probably need to look at outside resources. I surely understand your desire to keep him with you, but with 2 small children at home I doubt you can handle him.
As to you mother, please don't be too hard on her right now. I know the frustration of literally losing the person you love to a disease that slowly but relentlessly takes that loved one away. It is so hard to repeat the same answer to the same question 20 times a day; to leave to run an errand having explained exactly where, when, why, etc., then coming home and he doesn't remember where you are. It is hard to have to treat your helpmate like your child, remind him to take meds, bathe, change clothes. Many have to help with incontinence, or removing clothes. I think when that happens I will probably consider a home, or at least home health care or assistance of some kind.
This is a long reply, but I know where you are and how difficult the days are. I surely don't have all the answers, but I want to encourage you to work hard at keeping yourself as calm as possible for everyone's sake. Keep a sense of humor, because all I have known seem to have one and do and say cute and funny things. Find things to laugh with them about; treasure the soft, loving times; look to God for your strength and understanding. I hope you do know the Lord as your Savior and Sustainer. He is my Strength every day.
If I can help in any way, I would like to know it.
I'll pray for you and yours.
: First off, I want to say how MAD I am right now about my father having to live with this horrible disease! He is such a great person! I am so depressed for the last few days and just can't seem to quit crying. Are these feelings normal? My problem is this: My dad is only 65, he was diagnosed 3 or 4 years ago, but thinks he has had Alzheimer for 10 years. He is getting worse and worse everyday, but still manages to function. Of course, having a conversation with him (that makes sense) is completely out of the question, and don't let him NEAR the kitchen! But, for the most part he is still Dad. My mother is his primary caregiver and is a cruel and heartless person. It's all about HER, she is completely narcissistic and self-centered. She yells at him constantly and is never kind to him at all anymore. It has gotten so bad that he is starting to "run away" from home, luckily walks to my sister's house that is nearby. He says he can no longer live with the "witch" (his words) because his quality of life already sucks, her negative attitude is tearing apart the whole family (5 kids). BTW, we have asked mom to get help, but she is in denial about her problems. It is time to separate "them", that is clear...but where do we put him when he is not ready for a nursing facility? Money IS an issue here too!
: I suggested to my husband that perhaps we could help, since I am the only one who is home days because of two small children. It just seems right that he come and stay with me. My husband is totally against that idea, yet I feel it is the "right" thing for me to do. It is my nature to nurture and have even done volunteering at the Alzheimer care facility nearby. I don't want this to ruin my marriage, but don't I owe it to my father to try and make his last years anything but a living Hell? If we do put him in a home while he is still "here", I'm afraid he will never forgive us kids! I'm sorry this is so long, but there is a lot of frustration here, and I really need someone else to tell me what they might do in a similar situation.


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