The outbursts and episodes with dad are getting more frequent. He has had two fits this week. It is very hard to listen to mom describe them. Dad acts like a child throwing a temper tantrum, only it has so much more effect on you when it is an adult. We seem to be in some type of limbo, not quite serious enough to commit to more frequent care and yet we need to plan our next step.
I plan to visit with the supervisor of the home health that we currently use to see what the next level of care is. We really need someone with some experience with dementia so that they can offer mom more support and guidance. I would really love to hear how some of the rest of you are coping.
I don’t have any great advice here. Is your mom determined to care for your dad at home — at least for now? When my mom and dad moved in, I went to several local churches seeking a caregiver or even respite help — something beyond home healthcare that would help me go back to work. That’s what my parents did 25 years ago when my dad’s folks needed help. But I found nothing. Much different times (I haven’t gone back to work). Many people pushed me toward adult day care, but in our case, I think it would have caused more problems. A steady routine and common surroundings, I find, has helped maintain peace. Disruptions in that bring chaos. So if you can afford to bring in more help — and find the right help, that may be best. We are very lucky. Our primary home healthcare worker (she comes for one hour five days a week) took care of my aunt during more than 6 years with Alzheimer’s (she died two years ago). The worker clearly has dementia experience, but she’s sort of part of our family now. We even went to her wedding this summer (among only about 50 guests). I hope you can find that kind of relationship with a healthcare worker. Trust is so very important.
Also — even though I wouldn’t do daily day care, I would definitely do a long weekend respite at a memory center for your dad so that your mom could clear her head. Maybe once every two months. Living it daily without a break (or even without knowing that there is a break on the horizon) is crushing.
Best to you and yours.
I recently placed my brother with dementia in a nursing home. My husband was ill from a near death experience with meningitis, and after caring for my brother for two years the stress overcame me. The biggest problem now with my brother is violence. I certainlly know your Mother probably needs a break. I truly hope your Father does not physically hurt your Mother, if this happens, it will be because he does not know better any longer. Talk to those at care centers, assisted living, nursing homes, they can tell you by observation whether your Father is ready to be placed somewhere. My Mother and all 3 of my siblings had and have dementia.
I had to deal with mom and one of my brothers and believe me I thought I was going to lose my mind. The stress was 200% God bless you in your decision making process.