Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia in one.

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i don't know what came first but my mom got hit with a double whammy. her memory is horrible, movement is slow but okay. doesn't fix herself anything to eat, says she isn't hungry but will eat if we give her food, forgets what to do in the shower, doesn't pick out clothes, can talk fine but can't really remember past 5 minutes at best. my parents moved in with me recently. the worst part right now is that she has frequent urinary accidents. then, once she pees, even though we finally got her to wear depends most of the time, she doesn't seem to realize she did it and doesn't change. the urine soaks right through the depends many times and her pants are all stained. she doesn't notice that either. its becoming much more frequent. i know they make medicine but what good will it do if she doesn't know to change. we don't have an aide yet because my dad is very slow getting out of denial and they have no money but his frustration is getting out of control and he is yelling at her all the time to change or go take care of herself. last night she wet the bed because she forgot to put a depends on and he went off yelling at her. he awakened my husband, who has to get up for work in the middle of the night and that became frustrating for him. i feel bad for my dad and can't imagine what he is going through but i can't stand him treating her like that either. i don't know how to help. I am still raising my own children, working and juggling my marriage and life. it's getting more difficult to live with them. she is peeing all over my house which obviously smells and he is yelling at her all the time. I want him to seriously think about assisted living so they can get everything they need but he won't hear of it at this point. I'm stuck and don't know what to do.

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PS Often the kind of dementia that accompanies Parkinson's is Lewy Body Dementia. That doesn't mean she couldn't have Alzehiemer's, but since the treatment plans can be somewhat different, I wonder what he doctors are saying about her diagnosis. Is she seeing a dementia and/or a Parkinson's specialist?
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Oh dear. Poor Mom. Poor Dad. Poor Husband. And especially, Poor You!

You are right. Dad has to stop yelling at Mom about things she cannot help. Does he not understand the nature of her diseases? What would be the most effective way to educate him? Is there a caregiver support group you both could go to? Call your local Alzheimer organization, to see if there are local resources for caregiver education. Have you had a heart-to-heart with him? Are there any non-family members he would respect, such as a clergy person, lawyer, doctor, golf buddy, even a barber? Anyone who you could have a few words with and who then might gently help him be more gentle with his wife?

Mom may need a little closer supervision for the incontinence problem. Reminders to wear disposable undies at all times. Help in the bathroom. Help in changing when needed. Also experiment with different products and brands to find was is least likely to leak.

Do your parents have financial assets and income? If so, that needs to be used to get in-home help now, and to pay for ALF if that comes next. If not, you need to take steps to get her qualified for financial help, even if Dad is still in denial. If they are going to stay with you, get assistance such a someone to help her bathe, perhaps a housecleaner, and definitely some respite care so you and hubby can leave and so Dad can go out, too.

Explore the options for placement. Can they afford Assisted Living? Would Mom still fit into that setting, or does she need Memory Care. If she needs more care than Dad, how would that work? It is better to spend some time considering these things now and never to use them than to be making hurried decisions in a crisis situation.

1. Get Dad some help, so he can be helpful to Mom.
2. Find ways to deal more effectively with the incontinence problem. Accept that it may take more supervision.
3. Get in-home care now. If necessary start the ball rolling for financial assistance for health care needs.
4. Start exploring options for placement.

Best of luck to all of you.

In your spare time (ha!) a book you may find helpful is "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia" by Pauline Boss.
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