Is this normal dementia behavior?


Call me sensitive, and I know it's probably futile to get frustrated with my Dad, but AAAARGH!!!!!

I've learned to tolerate the mindless chatter and constant repetitions, but it irks me to no end to hear Daddy demean other elderly people...that he's in the same boat as.

If someone in the AL breaks a hip, they're clumsy
EVERY resident is elderly
Dementia patients (like himself) are dumb and annoying

He NEVER seems to have a good day. He gets stuck on whatever negativity he chooses (usually complaining about the children he abandoned and how they were a complete waste of a **** fill in the blank) - repetitiously

Oh yeah, and EVERY woman WANTS him and his money. If a woman smiles and says hello, they want him.

I'm not even going to get into how he tries to determine a person's ethnicity and relate to them (Seriously, he was trying to speak Spanish to his Middle Eastern doctor. He calls a very tan white nurse Mexican (as if they're aren't a multitude of Latin American countries that speak Spanish besides Mexico)

...and if you're an ounce over 125 (his current peak fighting weight), you're FAT, and he will tell you. I hear it EVERY day.

It's not only frustrating, it's EMBARRASSING!! I just reported a nurse for racist comments, and Dad isn't much better. Isn't that a little hypocritical?!?!

I dunno. I think I just need a break. The last weekend I took off my second job was for Dad's birthday. I have not had a "Dad free" day since the great "Family" meltdown in February.

I just get so tired of doing this by myself, and I can't afford respite care.

OK...VENT OVER... I think...

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Yes, I think that in caring for your dad, you may want to establish that it's important for you to stay healthy and available. He needs you for sure, so by overdoing it, you may be placing your own health at risk. So, it's not beneficial in the long run. All that stress plays havoc on your mentally and physically.

What I do, is ask myself if something is reasonable. I have to resist doing things are not reasonable. It's not productive, imo. It takes practice, but I have to learn to be more pragmatic. And to take the lead. My cousin didn't know what was reasonable anymore. She had no concept that I had a job and that I couldn't be there for her 24/7. Her memory was gone, so she had no idea that she had called me 5 times that day. I had to step up and set the schedule, boundaries, contacts, etc.

Also, there is no need to be upset by multiple phone calls. The facility can contact you if there is an emergency. I'd address that, as it could have a major benefit to not have that continued stressor.

Okay. Wait. YOU are paying for "services" the VA doesn't cover? How come, honey?

So, on backbones. Let me tell you why i have one, at least with regard to parent care...

When i was about 12, my gradma, then 82, fell and broke her hip. It was surgically repaired ( this was in 1965) and my grandmother told all her friends " I'm going to be an invalid; my daughter will take care of me".

My mom was that daughter, with 3 kids, including my not yet 2 year old brother. There was this thing called " rehab" (Medicare had just been passed). My mom told grandma "I can't take you home unless you can walk. I don't have the wherewithal to care for an invalid".

My grandmother was livid. She went to rehab, and never forgave my mom for "subjecting" her to that. Gm returned to her own apartment for a few years before falling again, rehab again and lived with us until her demise.

Sometimes, Tiny, you need to know how and when to say " no", even to your parent.

I was in therapy, but had to take on an extra job to help with the expenses that the VA won't cover, so I stopped.

...and yes, Sunnygirl... It is hard to let go sometimes. I am working on it (he's been on the AL side of the community since May).

I'm sure I'm my own worst enemy here, and I can definitely feel the pressure building up.

Right now I visit three days a week for an hour or two, and I take him to breakfast EVERY Saturday morning to his favorite hole-in-the-wall diner. Sometimes I would be grateful if I had someone to just to that a couple of Saturdays a month so I can sleep in. I don't get off the second job until 2 AM the Friday before, and if I'm not at Dad's room by 7:30 AM, there's H*** to pay or incessant phone calls.

One step at a time.

Does anyone have a backbone I could borrow or some Guilt-Be-Gone?

There is a transition period for the Caretaker once the dementia patient is in AL. The daily needs of the patient are being taken care of. You can be there to comfort and provide love and advocacy, but it sounds like you may not be able to relinquish those old duties. I would set that as a priority.

I found that when my cousin's behavior was bizarre or awkward the other residents and staff realized it was due to dementia, so they overlooked it and tried to be kind to her. This was before she went into Memory Care. They all learn how the other residents are and that they may be rude, but can't help it.

I might ask the facility to keep check on him with that regard and let you know if and when he may need Memory Care. If you sense that he is really pushing the limit where he is now, I'd look into Memory Care just in case you need it later on. Maybe, that will give you peace of mind.

I would keep in mind that keeping all that stress on yourself is not healthy. It can damage your health. I have seen it first hand. Take care.

How many days a week are you visiting and how long do you stay?

Tinyblu, do you really think your visits are "good" for your father? They certainly aren't good for you!

Why do you keep putting yourself in this very uncomfortable situation?

Tiny, remind me, are in therapy? If not, are you willing to attempt some deprogramming?

Maybe Dad did a great job of "programming" me (my therapist's word), but I feel so sorry for the folks who only get a once a week visit if any visits at all from family. Though the facility is lovely, I still suffer with guilt

Be reminded, I took care of Dad ALL my life... seriously. He's been legally blind since I was born and I had to pick up the pieces between his MANY relationships - sometimes repairing their black eyes and busted lips.

So... even though I intrinsically KNOW that I haven't "put him away", I feel less guilty by visiting him a little more often... then complain about it. YUCK!!!

Tiny, just to point out to you... you're NOT doing this by yourself. Dad is in care. If he can't make it in AL without your being there, then he needs Memory Care or a NH.

Tiny, Dad is in AL, yes? So, do you really need to be there?

Mom, in Independent Living, needed to be someone who was affiliated with the "staff" because she was so far above the folks there who needed care.

It's the disease talking.

Show up once a week. Stay for an hour.

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