< Back to article

How can caregivers watch their parents decline right before their eyes?


My mother is to turn 90 in February. I learned something recently that I think is important to all us caregivers in dealing with dementia. Mom had begun to talk to people who weren't there and to ask me questions like, "Did the children get off to school together?" or "Who was that lady who just left my bedroom?"...We 2 people live in a 2 bedroom apartment...nobody else is here but Mom & me.

At a subsequent doctor visit I was informed that the reason for my Mom's hallucinations was that her thyroid hormone levels were almost non-existent. I was ignorant & embarrassed to learn that thyroid meds should be administered first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for proper absorption by her body and that she shouldn't eat anything for about 20 minutes or so.

There was an almost immediate return to normalcy after that.

Please seek an Alzheimer's Support Group. I am enormously grateful for the wisdom, insights and coping mechanisms learned and shared in group. We met once monthly and I strongly urge everyone in this type of sad situation to avail themselves of the collective wisdom and powerful strength through this support group. It helped me cope with my mom's decline and I have urged others to seek this invaluable help. Call your local Alzheimer's Association or public library or local senior center.

By being in the group, I met brave, gracious and heroic people whose words and deeds were inspiring and of great help.

Best wishes to all of you.

You and your sister and your parents are lucky to have such a loving and caring family. Be grateful, which I am sure you are.

Thankfully my sister and I do a pretty good job of sharing the responsibility of sharing the caring of our parents. There have been times when she has had to carry more of the load and there are times when I carry more of the load but in the long run it works out.

God bless you and all of us! It really is a special honor that we ended up our parents' caregiver. I used to get so very angry at my siblings, because they were so selfish and thought they were getting away with something by staying away and letting me drive myself into the ground. I don't get AS angry any more, and I don't drive myself into the ground any more, because that is not what it is about. I still get angry at times, but it is almost to the point of feeling sorry for my siblings now. Really, I don't think I could live with myself if I were in their shoes; but, then, who knows for sure? And who cares, all we have to worry about is our feelings and the person/people we are caregiving. When I; feel unappreciated and taken for granted, I thank God that I have the health to be where I am! I am not doing it for the glory, anyway, so I look at the real picture and everything falls into place. Thank you all for being here and sharing your experience, strength and hope.

It hurts all of us to see people that we use to think of as a tower of strength, love and support for usand watch them detioriate. I cared for both my parents because I absolutely refused to send them to a home. My mother had heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis and my father had dementia, and very painful aggressive small cell cancer. I feel that it is my honor and privilege to take care of them and make their last days here on earth enjoyable and peaceful, as much as possible. They provided for me, they worked for me, they sacrificed for me, they gave me shelter, food, clothing, toys, college, birthdays, alot of love, hugs, kisses and Im going to get angry because now I have to return the favor? NO...thats not what you do. As far as siblings fuggedaboutem..Take pride in the care and love that your investing in your aging parent. God is the one who will bless you in the end. Not your brother and sister. When they are aging probably no one will take care of them, but when you are aging maybe someone sweet, kind and patient will make your last days on earth peaceful. In their last days they want to be surrounded with family and they want to know "did I do a good job, was I a good mother or a decent mother?" When my mother and father died we let them know "its okay if your tired and you want to go..its okay..youve done your job - go in peace knowing that we love you, you were a great father/mother and thats what its about. Then my father took his last three breaths and died in me and my sisters arms. Thats what its about..to be held by someone who loves you til your last breath.

Hello Mo,
I know the feeling. I have two other siblings who have children that are grown and do not offer to help me in caring for our mother. They only come to surface when money is involved. I have a son who is autistic and that take some patience, so can you imagine what my days are like, but let me tell you this. Keep strong, read the bible. Read Revelation Chapter 21 verses 4 and 5. These verses are for encouragement and will let you know that all these trials and hardhips will pass away. Keep the faith. If you are not spiritual person, read the Bible and not just any Bible get a Bible from a Jehovah Witness, we are not bad people at all, we just let everyone know the real truth about the Bible. I am a Jehovah Witness and when I found out the real truth about heaven and hell, I was relieved. Trust me, I was against the Witnesses until they showed me from the Bible and I read things for myself. Trust me you will be refreshed.

Thank you for your comment. I feel like it is my duty to care for my mother because she cared for me when I could not care for myself. Take good care of your loved one and God Bless you also.

My mom is declining and it is hard...especially when I am doing a very large percentage of the care-giving. The thought of putting her in a nursing home is soo very hard to deal with, but in the fall, I will be the only one available to care for her and I have a family to raise still living at home.


to heck with the siblings . theyre worthless . i wouldnt even try to lose my sleep over them at all . they;ll come around when they feel like it . dont even bother say anything to them cuz it only hurts u more .
it hurts when they dont call and ask me how is dad doing ? nothing . i just count my blessing that i am a good one out of the bunch . i am a blessing to the lord s eyes and my dad s eyes . wink xoxo
youre a blessing for decidein to take care of your mom . bless your heart !