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Posted by a friend on November 11, 1999 at 00:36:36:

In Reply to: Dementia posted by Kelle on November 08, 1999 at 12:47:46:

: My father is 78 and last year was tested for alzheimers, everything came back normal and the dr. said he was in stages of dementia. Told us to deal with it as a family and go to alzheimers support groups. At this point I need more answers than anything, where is the fine line between the two? Dad has gone from times of being himself to times where he cannot think of a simple items name, to outbreaks of rage vented toward my mother, to simply confusion. At this time he cannot live alone, and we are doing everything to keep him home, this man is in no way in need of a nursing facilitiy. My greatest fear is that one day my siblings will convince my mother to have him put in a facility, I will go to great lengths to try and keep him out. I need help, I know that my father cannot be the only aging person out there with this problem.

It really does not make any difference if it is dementia or alzheimer's. The result is the same. I understand your mother had to be put in a home, as she became so violent and has incontinenece and would not even keep her clothes on. She has dementia from mini-strokes that shuts down the brain in stages. It was for the safety of all of us, her included. When the family can no longer handle your father it is in his best interest to put him in a locked facility. It seems so inhumane, but would he like knowing he had harmed your mother or one of the siblings?
Protect his and your family's dignity by letting him go at the appropiate time.

The problem is it feels like a betrayal or throwing the loved one away to put them in a home. But this is no one's fault. It is not his or your fault or your siblings' fault. It just is like it is!
Yes, it is so unfair!!! go ahead and grieve his losses, your losses, and let go.

I could not resolve this until I went on a search for a home, and spoke to folks at lots of places I would not want my mother to be. But I did also speak to a very kind and wise supervisor of a good facility, that reassured me of the kindness of putting our dear ones in a place they cannot hurt anyone or themselves (my mom was always sneaking out of the house and running away just before she was put in the home).

It took me awhile to quit feeling so guilty. It helped when my siblings visited her and told me that she had absolutely no recognition of them or anyone. She was relaxed and at peace there where everything was controlled and she never had any surprises. That was 2 years ago, and I am finally getting some closure about it...I have had to grieve a lot over losing her. You will have to grieve too! Let it happen, you will heal, and dad will be in a controlled and safe place when he needs it.

Another thing is to look in your heart and see if part of this is fear over your own old age...which we have no control over.
Give the fears to the Lord to take care of..we can't control the future.
My prayers for comforting are with you and your family.

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