I'm new to this site. My dad was diagnosed with alzheimer's about 2 1/2 years ago. It is getting very obvious that he is not well. I'm not even sure he knows me anymore. It is very hard on all of us, especially my mom who is taking care of him. I live two hours away, one brother lives four hours away, and my other brother lives in Texas. My mom says we aren't giving her enough support, but I'm not sure what else any of us can do. We go over as often as we can, but we don't always have the money for gas. I also call as much as I can, but sometimes that is just too costly as well. I'm feeling really stressed and really guilty. We moved away about the time Dad was diagnosed, so we've been gone for the majority of his illness--at least the obvious symptoms. Anyway, I just needed to vent. Y'all take care.
this is a very awful disease and i am so sorry to hear about your dad. my father was diagnosed about 1 yr ago. my situtaion is a little different. i live close to my dad, he lives in nyc and i am in nj. i am married with 2 kids. my parents are divorced and my dad re-married and my step mom takes great care of him, but i explained to her that i need to be a part of everything and i want to help. i find the best thing you can do is call and ask how both people are doing. it must be hard on your mom and i know when someone asks how my step mom is doing it makes her feel better.
just keep on showing love and support.
my brother is opposite of me, he is in his own world and barely calls to see how my dad is doing, it really makes me mad.
anyway, you r doing great, just keep calling and asking questions.
My dad has Alzheimers and Parkinsons. I live 1 hour away and go there 1 - 2 times per week. But, it is getting costly with the price of gas going up. My sister lives 4 hours away and has a part-time job. She calls them a lot and comes about every 2 - 3 months. She has enuf money and time, where she will have to start coming 1 x month, as our dad has started going down hill faster. He has had alz much longer than your dad, or at least been diagnosed for longer.
Is there any way to get help for you mom, with your dad at home? Like for 1/2 day, 2-3 times per week? My dad/s dr. set my dad up with home health care, but you have to mostly stay at home. They had to quit coming - mostly for pt and ot and nurse, because he went out almost every day, until about 1 mo. ago. It was free for them because somepart of the government paid for it.
There are also adult daytime care places. If no church ones in you parents area, in my parents town, the ASL places have day care, during the week. Or, I found a lady, that charges $10. an hour at our church. We will use her in about 2 weeks, for about 4 or 5 hours. Then again, on a Mothers Day, lunch and shopping trip I will take her on.
I think that the other wise caregivers on this site, will reply in the am, and give you more advice and possible answers to your problem.
Take care and keep coming back - even if it is just to vent!
I was my Mom's only caregiver for 5 years and I think your Mom really nneeds a break. Her words to you were meant as a cry for help. Maybe you can go and stay with them for a weekend every now and then and encourage her to go out with friends .. most likely she has already cut herself off from everything else but taking care of her husband.
Day care is a good idea, but eventually the best solution for us was a good nursing home.
Sorry to hear of your dad's illness. Just wanted to give you my two cents as well. My grandmother has dementia and is being looked after 99% of the time by my uncle. (she lives across the ocean from me). But she has several family members that live close by. I dont say this to give you any pressure but if I could only drive 2 hours to get to her, I would love to so that I could relieve some of my uncles burden. So he could have a break for himself. The one thing about caring for a patient like this, is that a caregiver can end up being as badly off as the patient if they dont have support. It is physically and mentally exhausting and I completely agree with Martha. Your mom is crying out for help and whatever way she gets it, you need to help her. If not yourself, then find some way to get her some relief. That combined with some visits from her kids you can all take turns, should give her something to hold on to. It can be a long road for her.....I know you have alot of pressures as well....but being far away you can have "breaks" from the situation, she cant. Please ensure she gets some help...she is your mom and needs you if not to be there, then to help her find some ways to get some much needed rest.
Hope I havent been too harsh, I just know the effects of looking after someone all your yourself - I watch my uncle, he has lost all his friends, has no self esteem and once my grandmother is gone, he will be all alone. Please watch over your mom as best as you are able and in turn you wont feel also so guilty. It is obvious by your worry and concern that you really love your parents...just try between yourself and your siblings to help out. Perhaps your brother in Texas can help financially so you can visit more? Not sure if this is an option...but just talk things out.......this could go on for a long time and you all need to find a way to cope because the sad thing is with this disease is that things can get alot worse. My family most days now can not even be civil to each other....sad but true. Have a good heart to heart with your siblings and see what you guys can come up with together.
Best of luck and kindest regards,
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. We are going to see my parents on Thursday and I told my mom we'd stay with Dad a few hours while she goes to see a movie or something. I know that two hours doesn't seem far away, but when my husband works overnights every other day and we have farm chores to do, it can be a strain trying to get there. It's going to get more complicated once the kids start school in the fall. I have suggested to my mom for her to look into a program my husband's aunt was involved with where someone could come in and watch my father while she has time away, but my mom won't look into something like that. My parents are very private people and are very worried about people in the county finding out about Dad's illness (although it's probably already around). Anyway, we're going to do what we can. My brother in Texas doesn't have the means or time to get back very often and my other brother is in the middle of a bitter divorce right now and needs support and can't give anything back right now. Anyway, y'all have a good week.
Please find a way to convince your Mother that it's OK to get
help with your father.
I was in the same situation as her with my husband and refused
to allow anyone to help me with him. I think I felt it would
be disloyal to allow a stranger into our private lives. Note
I'm saying I "think I thought" actually I have no idea what
I was thinking. I was too tired to be rational. It took a
visit by one of my kids who had not been able to get down
for almost a year to put things into perspective. He
convinced me that I was getting to the point of not being
able to help my husband and that I was going to need help
as badly as my husband did/does.
You mention a program that is in your area that will send
someone in to give her a break. If you want to help,
getting your Mother to accept help is THE most important
thing you can do.