Started by

My dad, age 60, was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia a month ago. He's always been my guy. Always there to lend an ear or a hand. But he has changed so much. My friends and family are trying to be supportive, which is great but I'm having a really hard time being positive about any of it. I'm usually a very optimistic, happy, laid back person but lately I just feel sad and irritable. I realize this is going to be a learning experience on how to cope and dealing with change and I do sometimes have days where I can focus on all the things that are going well. My husband has always been really close with my dad but since the symptoms started he has distanced himself and not held back about being frustrated and annoyed with everything going on. I realize his feelings are justified it's just hard to hear and makes me not want to tell him things. My friends parents are all healthy so while they're incredibly supportive, they just don't understand. Typically in a situation like this, my dad would be the person I went to. I feel alone and I feel like I'm distancing myself from everyone. I'm just wondering, for those who have been in a similar situation, how do you stay strong? What has made this experience a little easier or brought comfort in these moments when all you can think of is slowly losing the person you love? We've had a run of bad luck lately but my fall-back has always been 'at least our family is healthy and happy.' I'm lost now that that's not the case.


When friends are staying away, and hubby is pulling back and you feel isolated, you really need to assess your own well being and emotional survival. We owe it to our parents to watch over them, but not to let them pull us over the edge. You stay strong by finding him proper care, you visit, you support and you keep your safe refuge of home and friends intact and separate.
I am 60, so I realize that you may be 30 or so. You have to tell your husband one time, "I need you!" It may take him awhile, but he might come around.

Is your mom able to help with your dad, because there is going to be several things that need done now, to deal with his finances. He may be able to draw a disability, since he isn't old enough to be on Soc. Sec., yet. Someone needs to become his POA.
Try looking at website for frontotemporal dementia, and a caregiver forum for people caregiving for FTDers, ftdsupportforum. This type of dementia is different from Alzheimers. Different parts of the brain are affected and judgment, manners and a whole lot of behavioral issues are exhibited. And he won't filter what comes out. Also look for the book "What If it's not Alzheiners", edited by the Radins. Sorry to hear of the diagnosis. You will find informed support and information on the ftd forum.
Your dad has always been there for you to talk to...maybe you should focus more on what you can do with your dad that you both will enjoy...looking through old photos, going places you know your dad would enjoy. A couple times a week of enjoyment together may help you to cope better and give you more memories of your dad.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support