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Looking for advice

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Old 06-25-2014, 01:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WI
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Stemp22 HB User
Looking for advice

My name is Sean and I live in WI. My step dad has been diagnosed with alcohol related dimension and early onset Alzheimer's. His long term memory is still there but his short term memory is not good. We have gotten him to stop drinking any alcohol besides n/a beer. And that has helped.
Where I am in need of advice is that he does not treat my mom very good anymore. He is short tempered and accusatory. Things like saying that she is having an affair on him. And to a lesser extent just makes things up in his mind as fact. I and my mom know that this is just the disease talking and not really him. But it has grown to the point where I'm not sure my mom can take it anymore. She is trying really hard but emotionally she is just spent and I worry about her. I have 2 step-siblings that are actively involved in helping with the situation and 2 that are not.
My mom and I are at a point where we want to put him in an assisted living home. But the 2 siblings that are involved are hesitant. Most because they know that there dad will not be happy there. I am sympathetic to this because I agree that he probably wont be happy there either, but my mom is not happy with how things are now.
Other alternatives I have thought of are her moving downstairs in her house to a separate room to give her some of her own space. Or moving closer to me so she has a place to go to get away from the craziness.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time reading this.

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Old 06-25-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for advice

You are right that it is part of the disease but it does not make it any easier to deal with on a day to day basis. The constant paranoia and anxiety is taxing.

Everybody is hesitant to place a loved one living with dementia in a facility of any kind. It is not what we want. It is not what is going to make them happy. Yet in some situations it is what needs to be done. This is not all about Dad! This is also about Mom. When you come down to it, it is truly her decision, as spouse (responsible party) and main care giver, to determine the next step. So please listen to her.

Someone right here on this board told me (years ago) that I would be ready to place my parents (both had their respective dementia) in a care facility when I was ready... that Mom and Dad were past ready. It was me that didn't want to make that move. It was me that thought they would be unhappy but in reality I was the one unhappy with what was. It was me that was wrapped up in the emotional turmoil and guilt of the moment. It was me that was hesitant and dragging my feet. When the move was finally made, it was a blessing. As difficult as it is we have to take our emotional baggage out of the equation and look at what our loved ones living with dementia NEED! Notice I said NEED and not want. They want to be healthy, at home, living without this disease but we can not do that for them. So we have to do what is NEEDED.

This is one of the most difficult decision you will make for your Dad. Talk to Mom. Make a comprehensive and realistic list of pros and cons. Weighing the benefits and negative to both Mom and Dad. Then see where you are The decision will make itself evident you.

Love, deb

Old 06-25-2014, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for advice

Sean do not hesitate. I am also living with this situation. The head knows what has to be done but it is the guilt and feeling of betrayal. Days I can cope with but dread nights when the aggression/abuse/threatening behaviour kicks in. Complete opposite of the man I knew. Your siblings do not have to live with this and if your mum has been able to make this hard decision support her and give your step dad the care he needs. I know that my health is suffering and I do not want to face the days. I have a supportive son such as you and I am slowly taking the steps that have to be taken for the wellbeing of both my husband and myself. I wish you well.

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