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Posted by Fred on November 29, 1999 at 01:51:24:

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.

Kelle, I can feel what your going through. With my dad in a similar position with Alzheimers and my mom taking care of him, there can be a lot of frustration. You're right, he probably does not need to go into a facility yet, no matter what the dr's day. Most people with alzheimers are cared for at home until it becomes impossible to do so.

I watch my dad go from normal conversation to rambling talk. He talks cruelly to mom, though he has never done that before in their 50 years of marriage. He leaves on a whim to "go home" - where that "home" is anybody's guess: he leaves from the house he bought and has lived in for over 20 years. He watches mom like a hawk and guards the checkbook like everyone's out to get it. This is all part of the dementia.

I am sorry that you have to go through this. You can strengthen yourself by reading up on Alzheimers and other dementias as much as possible. Get on the web - there's a ton of good material out there. Call up your local Alzheimers Association or the National Alzheimers Association - they should be more than happy to give you all the reference material you need. Get in a support group - you WILL need it!!! Don't play super-person or the lone ranger and try to do it all on your own - get help, ask questions and cry when you need to.

The dr. probably does not know how to deal with an Alzheimer's patient on a long-term, non-medical type basis. My dad's doctor has told us we need to "institutionalize" him. We won't do it until we flat out cannot handle him. We'll take away the car keys and move in with mom if we have to. That is our resolve. Look and see what your resolve is. And don't expect everyone in the family to help the same, if they help at all. Do the BEST you can, that's all that anyone can ask for. Cry, get angry and let off steam, but make sure you have a suppport group, too.

Check out the link I've included. It's only one of hundreds out there but it's a place to start. God bless you on your journey - don't give up!

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