Follow
Share

My 79 year old father has moved in with me a year ago and since then has become very confused of what day or time it is he also is very forgetful and becomes very mean with me when he loses his keys (punching walls or throws things at me...yes he is still driving. His license was suspended several times because he was passing out while driving. His Dr has filled out the dmv forms so he can continue to drive. He is also becoming very argumentative with me over everything. He is not clean on himself or his surrounds. I can no longer work full time because he get upset with me if i'm going for any length of time. I am becoming very depressed because I feel I no longer have any control.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
vstefans, I like that line, "... the reality that you are the truly stronger one, or at least the more humane and realistic." That is a very good thought. I sometimes wonder how I was the one chosen for this job.
(0)
Report

InTheStorm, I can tell you kind of know this already, but if you are the one trying to do your best and provide full-time dementia care, you are NOT the one who needs to feel guilty. Some day it will be over. You will feel a mix of emotions. But among those emotions should be a little pride and a little peace because you will know you cared and did your best. You may have a hard time with second-guessing yourself, what if I had done this instead of that, but still, you cared and tried to do right. It is very normal to feel mad and impatient with a person for having dementia, a) because it is very hard, repetitive, and often thankless work and b) just because you wish so much that it wasn't so; and it is tempting to think that because they have moments of doing better or being more "with it" they could be better all the time...and the sundowning thing is extremely common in this situation as well.

Your siblings may just not be as able to tolerate or understand what is going on as they ought to be, as you are...not that it makes it fair for one person to have the whole burden, but just the reality that you are the truly stronger one, or at least the more humane and realistic. Many years ago I had a book called "The Secret Strength of Depression" and gave it away to someone who needed it even more than me...wish I'd kept a copy! And, maybe at least the sibs could spring for the cost of a little respite care for you though. You are in our prayers.
(1)
Report

PS
I understand depression too. I was the baby of 5 and my father (like many out there), was an alcoholic and abusive to me and mom. Then mom started to drink to cope, so I have really been taking care of her for a very long time.
(1)
Report

Thank you. I needed that. You are right. Do I continue to be angry or bitter or take control of what I cannot control? I am only two weeks in to realizing I am really alone. It was only two weeks ago my sister announced she was done, so, I guess enough is enough. This is a shock to the system to say the least. I remember back when mom and I talked about dementia and if and when it would happen to her. The stroke brought it on suddenly so I guess neither of us were prepared. Dear God I wish we would have had a better plan but there is no place that will be better for her than with family. If she were to really go away in her mind and require "serious" care, then is when I will face alternative care.

There is no winning in this situation, only guilt...I am guilty of being angry. I am guilty of upsetting my home and my family with my anger because I can no longer do for them what I now do for her...my husband is the best (he is patient and kind and full of worry that I might get sick), but imagine how my sister must feel. I wonder how she can sleep at night?

I just need that break, you know? When I sent her to my sisters, I would cry because I felt that I was doing something horrible--like dropping a frantic child off at daycare, but I knew that she would care for her (maybe not exactly like me, but she would care for her) and then I had time...time to get it together, go to a movie, eat out, walk the dogs without worry. I am just trying to cope so thank you. I will try harder.
(1)
Report

I feel for you. It is very difficult to deal with someone who is stubborn. I agree you need to talk to a physician. Have you tried a Natural Holistic Doctor? A proper diet and needed supplements can make a huge difference to improve health in general, including mental, emotional and physical health. We are what we eat. Let food by thy medicine are two very significant phrases that contain precious wisdom. As for you, you also need to learn to love yourself so you can take care of yourself. Unfortunately we cannot change the past, circumstances or other people but we have absolute control of how we respond to all of those. It is not easy and it takes work, but even waking up 10 minutes earlier in the morning to meditate and reflect, to breath and stretch can set up the stage to calm ourselves down and begin the day in a positive note. I am working very hard myself to do this and it is making a huge difference in my life. I rebelled for the longest time against my destiny (taking full time care of my elderly and disabled mother) because naturally we all want to live our lives free of the responsibility of caring for another human being. That is why there are alternatives for the people who can afford it financially, but for those of us who are not financially able to use other alternatives, we are basically stuck with the responsibility and we have two choices: Get bitter about it or try to make the best we possibly can to work on our own responses to our circumstances. Easy to say and very difficult to do, but it is possible. I have suffered from depression practically all my life and yet I have found the way out of the dark tunnel and it is an every day battle against myself to continue to conquer the depression. Not easy, but possible, sometimes one minute at a time.
(3)
Report

Yesterday, my mom said, "I am no trouble to you."

If you were my mom, you would be very happy in your older age in my nursing home within my home. I wake up and you are sitting on the side of your bed waiting for your pills and coffee. Next, you get a hot wash cloth, your hair combed, your clothes changed, and a hot bowl of oatmeal, juice, prunes & toast. After breakfast, I warm up your coffee, make your bed, and then...I get a sip of my coffee.

Before you know it, it is lunch...you get a cup of hot soup, half a sandwich, more pills, and a cookie. Then you get a cup of hot tea. By then, I may have had time to take a shower and check my emails and "attempt" to think of what I need to do for my full-time job of which I work from home. After lunch, if you are my mom, you get to sit snug in a easy chair and watch old time movies with a blanket and wait so that if you see me pass by your room, you can ask me the same question you asked me 4 times already. I try to have patience. Some days are better than others, but it is the anger that grabs me in the back of my neck as I envision my retired sister and retired brother going about their day, coming and going without worry, that takes my breath away.

If I am lucky, mom takes a nap in the afternoon. It is almost exactly like when you raised your baby except you have to make sure her oxygen is hooked up properly, her blood pressure is within range, her oxygen level is where it should be. You have to pray she uses the bedside commode if she gets up as you happen to step outside to grasp a breath of fresh air or in my instance, run upstairs to throw in a load of laundry. Daily, multiple times, she asks, "Do you have a bathroom in this house?" The bathroom is just a few feet away and my floors are marked with painters tape with an arrow showing her which way to go, but she forgets to look for it every time. And when we actually get to the bathroom, she says, "Is that the toilet?" But then there are those lucid times when she knows exactly what is going on--that is what trips me up. That is when I stop and think I am going to go crazy. During the early evening hours, confusion really sets in. She becomes agitated, she wants to go home, why don't I let her go home, she talks about her childhood, she thinks she is my sister (she is 84). After her breathing treatments and 3rd round of pills, I try to get her settled in bed knowing that if I put her in bed too early, my morning will be destroyed but I really really just want to sit down and watch a movie with my husband. Last night I got her to bed but she woke up at least 4 times during the movie asking me if she took her pills, she has to go to the bathroom (the commode is 1 foot from her bed but she forgets), can she have a snack (even though I set a cookie at her bedside with ice water that is always fresh)...and then the next day, it starts all over again. We have family...but they use the excuse that they did not want to bother me which is why they do not stop over or call.

I know I am repeating myself, but the deal was that my sister took her for a month and we would trade off...but mom isn't happy with my sister. My sister knows that and maybe she made my mom unhappy for a reason...hmmm, so just another excuse as to why she cannot help.

One of the happiest days of my life was my work agreeing to let me work from home and now it is a nightmare because after all is said and done with caring for mom, I work into the wee hours of the morning to get my work done. Do I ask to return to work? Will it call my sister's bluff and she will step up to the plate and take care of mom to save mom's precious savings account? Because I think that is all she cares about.

They told me to put her in a nursing home but if I am the one that is taking care of her, it will be ME that puts her in the home. She is in my home, under my care, and I am the one who gets to face HER face when I walk away from her.
(4)
Report

Hi "notwellmyself",
Dad was in WWII and he has SS & military pension and combined that is probably too much to apply. Unfortunately he won't allow any of his family to do anything on his behalf. He adamantly believes he is absolutely fine. He believes that I am the cause of all his problems and believes that I was in league with the first doctor and now with the nurse to tell people he is crazy. While he is okay at home, we don't talk much. My brother said just to let him do what he wants and only step in when the actions or behavior get too weird. Your advice sounds great!

What I do is try to do little kindnesses such as preparing the coffee pot for him, set place setting out for his breakfast and have his newspaper ready for him. I will bring home little treats or treasures or games/puzzles he might like but none of that is recognized. We have tried to do fun things together but he is a great complainer and has to be critical of just about everything. His social filters are gone so he makes disparaging remarks about other races and ethnicities so I have told him I don't like being out in public because of the way he behaves. He also takes small gestures from women at church or other places as flirtatious overtures and drives potential friends away. I still try but some events have too much stimuli and he zones out for a few minutes and then come back to himself and move on like nothing happened. Additionally, he has nervous energy so he races through art shows, museums, etc.

I am afraid I will have him at home until he passes or have to wait until he is so far diminished that I will be able to do something.

Anyway, thank you so much, everyone! I love hearing what others go through and the ways they handle situations and cope. I have to work more on helping me and keeping me healthy and that will be better for him too. We shall see... one day at a time... :) Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
(1)
Report

My husband became very ill about 5 years ago and is no longer able to do the things he once did. He has always been a "volatile" person, but when his depression over the situation got worse so did his anger. It became a regular fight and with my health issues and caring for my parents I wasn't sure I could take much more. Now, when he starts yelling, I just tell him he can not talk me that way. I am not mean or argumentative, I just tell him he can not do it. Admitedly, there are times he hangs up on me when we are on the phone, but he is fine when he gets home. He might walk out of the room, but when he comes back, he is over it. On the rare occasion that he continues to yell, I'll remind him a few times. If he does not stop, I leave. It takes two to argue & I can always go for a walk. Thus far it is working. Might try that. Good luck.
(4)
Report

Stressed StPete,
Was your father in the military? If so, at his age he probably served during the periods where he can get financial help. It is base on needs vs income. It is different for more current veterens than it is for those of WWII and Korea. I don't know much about it because my father makes too much as military retired to qualify, but someone on here may know more about it. You may also find someone at the VA that might can tell you something about it.
To both of you, we will all be pulling for you.
(1)
Report

inthestorm,

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. Have you tried counseling for yourself? As for your sister having POA and not wanting to help, I would suggest you getting POA yourself for your mom if she doesn't want to help take care of her anymore. I mean, you should be the one with it anyway if she doesn't want to take responsibility for your mom's care, and you are the one doing all the work. It makes me angry too when family doesn't help, but they sure as heck don't mind telling the caregiver what to do. That's messed up. If your sister doesn't want to give up POA I would tell her flat out, "Okay, if you are so worried about keeping it, then you need to step up and help out with mom." I don't think it is unreasonable to want some help. If she still insists on keeping POA and not helping you out, then I'd get a lawyer and see what your options are from there. Just explain that you are the one who has been solely responsible for your mom's care, and you would like some say so in what happens to her. I feel your frustration with the situation, but if you are the one giving up your life to care for mom, then I feel you should be the one in charge of her medical and legal decisions. That's how I feel about it anyway. Best wishes to you and your mom. I hope you will seek out help for yourself too. You won't be able to help your mom if you aren't healthy enough yourself. Believe me, I've been there! Have you tried hospice or other caregiving agencies in your area for respite? It sounds like you need a big break. They can be helpful in giving you one. (((Hugs))) and prayers going your way.
(3)
Report

My mom lives with me. I am very depressed. Very angry at my siblings (retired sister no longer wants to share in her care). My depression affects everyone. When I can leave the house, I don't want to, I am too depressed. I work full time from home. Mom can't find the bathroom and it is only a couple of feet away. She should be in a home, but she won't even discuss it. All she says is, "take me home." She thinks if she gets home, everything will be ok. My brother is retired too. I cried out to him for help but I have given up. No one cares. They just want to live their lives. My sister has POA. I cannot make any decisions.
(1)
Report

AZcaregiver, thank you so much for the information and the link. I am definitely going to start the process. Best wishes to you and your family!
(1)
Report

StressedStPete,

I am sorry you are going through so much, and you have definately come to the right place to vent. You asked about how to get the medicaid process going. When we applied for my MIL, we were able to fill the application out for her because they knew her state of mind. We got her on long-term care, and believe me it has been a God-send! It pays for what medicare doesn't cover, like prescription costs, for example. Here is a link I found that can help answer any questions you have about getting your dad covered. http://www.longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Paying/Public_Programs/Medicaid/Apply.aspx
Trust me when I say it is totally worth it to check it out, especially if your dad's finances are limited. My MIL is also on United Health Duel Care Complete, which is an extension of long-term care of sorts. When applying for that, they send a case worker to your home and meet with you and your dad to determine if he is eligible and the extent of care he needs. I even get paid through her insurance, which in turn, goes through a local caregiving agency here, to take care of her in my home. It's not much, but it was the only way I was going to be able to afford to stay home and give her the care she needs. I hope this helps you. God bless you and your dad too.
(3)
Report

Oh jlm0423, I so feel your pain and I am almost in the same boat and I want to get off. As some of the responders know, my 90 year old father moved down here two years ago and we have a house together. He is in mid stages of Alzheimer's. He got angry in October and revoked the POA from my uncle and myself. None of the family can get any information from his doctors and it is so crazy frustrating. His license was revoked as the doctor who made the diagnosis wrote the State Medical Review Board stating he should not drive. He is determined he will get the license back and will not let me sell the car. He is angry and frustrated with how his life and health has become that he swears a great deal, slams his hands on a variety of surfaces and has thrown things but not many and not at me. The scariest is when he threw a knife in the sink and I have no idea why and neither did he. I am a depressive person at best and having to live like this is draining me dry. I know he would be happier in a ALF where there would be other people to talk to and activities to engage in. He is isolating himself more and more and is getting more depressed himself. We have virtually nothing to fall back on financially and I don't know if he brings enough in with retirement to afford an ALF.

I know I didn't give you an answer but I want you to know that I truly do feel your pain and wish I could help. Like others here have said, you are not alone.

IsntEasy, how does one start the Medicaid process? Can I start it without him?

Thanks everyone for your comments!
(2)
Report

On one hand you love him, that's why he is with you. He knows he isn't young anymore. He is angry. Have you tried to really talk to him? Or does he just walk away? Isn't Easy has a good plan, but it can be oh so hard to carry out. Were you and he close all along? Is this just recent? I will be praying for you situation and for your dad.
(2)
Report

Everybody is telling you the same thing, and I agree! Your Dad clearly has dementia and his physician is endangering us all by keeping him on the road and by not diagnosing his condition. Protect yourself by drawing boundaries and stick to them. By giving up some of your income, you have already put your own future at risk. Get your life back. You will have to have a conversation with your dad (and other family members if they're involved) and spell out specifically what must change. If the changes can be made with your father living with you (ON YOUR TERMS), then fine, if not, he MUST move out. If he has the financial ability to so, find an assisted living community for him. If not, start the Medicaid application process. Start now.
(4)
Report

Here is a link to different types of dementia. http://dementiatypes.org/ The Alzheimer's association website also has valuable information that could help you understand what is happening with your dad. One of the things I found that helped me out was learning all I can about Alzheimer's/dementia. It helped me to take my MIL's behavior less personally, although I know how it does still hurt even though it is the disease affecting them. God bless you for your good heart toward your dad. I hope you get all the help you can for not only him but yourself too. It is a journey that not all people can deal with because it is just so hard to deal with. Another thing that helped me was to get some counseling for myself too.
(2)
Report

I also agree with the above comments. Personally, because of the the fact that there is so much violence involved I would see about putting him in a home where he can have the specialized care he needs, or if you don't want to do that you might be able to get him switched to a doc who will give him meds to help control his outbursts. (((Hugs))) going out to you.
(0)
Report

I would agree he needs to see someone who can specialize in his care. There are psychiatrist who deal only with geriatrics or at least have a strong background in geriatric medicine. I would look into it. If a solution can't be found, I would say it is time to consider out of home care... Like a nursing home. I would also have a talk with his Dr and tell him your concerns about him driving. He should not keep making excuses for him or giving permission if he is not safe. Would the Dr like to explain to the family of someone your dad kills while driving why he (the Dr) kept allowing him to drive when he simply is NOT safe?? Take it one day at a time, one step at a time for now... but when is enough enough? He could really harm someone driving or just throwing the wrong thing in a fit of rage. Something to think about and take seriously. Be safe.
(2)
Report

You should check into a geriatric physician for your father. It sounds as if his current dr. is oblivious to the dementia. A geriatric dr. will be more qualified to deal with the issues related to the elderly and dementia. You need to remember that it is the dementia that causes your father to behave the way he does. This does not mean you have to live in an abusive environment. It may be time to have your father placed in a facility that is trained to deal with these behaviors. You should call 911 when he becomes like you described above. They will place him in the hospital and evaluate him. This is really the best thing you can do for him and yourself. None of this is a reflection on your ability to care for him. It is the disease and it becomes out of control for the majority of us to continue to provide 24/7 care for our loved one. Please take the time to read on this site under caregivers forum the discussion by Southlover, More violent outburst from dad, taken to hospital today, plans for nursing home on release. Your situation is not unique, it is quite common with dementia. Please keep us up to date on your situation, Hugs to you!!
(6)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter