Calling all guys out there! Anyone transition from alpha male to compassionate caregiver lately?

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I don't consider myself a classic alpa-typeA-aggressive type guy but for most of my working life I was sort of the lead dog, giving orders and having it done my way. I'm now 60, recently retired and due to tragic circumstances have become the sole caregiver for my parents. I should clarify that currently, I'm keeping up with things long distance and making the ten hour trip to my parents as various issues and crises develop. I make no claim to be a caregiver in the sense that many others are, living with their elders or taking elders into their homes. I've had to learn lots of practical stuff and also change my lead dog attitude. Dad with his dementia just doesn't respond well to me barking orders. Mom with depression over dads dementia cries a lot. I'm making changes in the way I relate and understand their many problems but I still have a ways to go. Any thoughts out there? Similar situations?

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Then we are going to get the carpet cleaned...........yea, right. If I could get dad out of the house for even one day I could really ripp through the joint, but other than going to krogers he won't leave mom at all. Plus I'd have to be there to direct any projects. I've had to accept some lower standards at the old home place. I ain't no Martha Stewart but I like to get the Stanley steamer guys in every decade or so. I tell myself the place doesn't stink yet, mom and dad still pass the elder sniff test, they have food, heat, ac, working smoke and canon monoxide detectors and I've installed every grab handle and assistance known to mankind. But ya know, it bothers me when I get wind of some totally unhelpful neighbors making comments about that son who lives in MI not taking care of m and d. These same folks are always full of advice. They live 75 feet away but they're just too busy to check on m & d once in awhile. Sorry....Kinda got to ranting there.......
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Windy, good luck with getting a new sofa... my parents wanted to see every sofa in every store on the east coast :P
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Mallory, the mattress has been replaced. I went to mattress warehouse and ordered one to be delivered. Dad asked why that big truck was driving up. I said that's the new mattress you ordered for mom. He said he musta forgot that he did. TaDa! New mattress! Now for a new sofa.
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THANKS TXCAMPER...
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20 year old . mattress ! Ewwww! Tell him you sold it on Craigslist and the new one is coming same day?
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via,
im not or was ever a captain but i did spend three years as a soldier in coldwar germany . ( us army ) 1976 - 1979 . i do / did not like the military life but i sincerely appreciate the medical care that the va affords me now . its extremely good care despite a few bad stories coming out of a few va hospitals .
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Tx camper. You hit the nail on the head! You are right. Every day is a new day.
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No, Scott, we all get mad and want to scream, so don't feel snakebit. It's just that some of us have learned methods to deal with it, whatever works. It's not the same for everyone. Some of us roll our eyes and smile, some of us walk away for a minute, some of us drink probably, and some of us complain about it on here and get sympathy and good advice whether we want it or not.

Every dementia sufferer isn't the same or needing the same level of care. There is a saying that when you've met one person with dementia, you've met one person.

I wish that we could turn off our emotions at times. There are times when I want to cry because it's not fair that my dear, sweet, loving mother in law is now this angry, forgetful, sad faced, incontinent shell of her former self. There are times when she doesn't want a shower but she needs one that I want to just hurry through it businesslike to get it over with. There are times when she puts her unwashed hands in the cookie jar or plate of food that I get frustrated. Sleep should be a blissful end to a stressful day, but instead I'm listening with one ear open for her to get out of bed and go to the bathroom (in case she falls). It's just so undignified for her. We love her so much, and at the same time dread the days ahead.

Oh, to be a robot. But mom doesn't need a robot. She needs a loving family to help her navigate this part of her life. And we are striving to be just that. But we are human, and what worked yesterday doesn't necessarily work today, so everyday is a new day. Gosh I didn't mean to go on and on, I must have more feelings about this subject than I thought. Thank God for friends and family to help keep us sane, even if getting together is twice or three times more work and not always a happy ending. Sending love and best wishes to all of you!
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WELL I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL AS IM IN YOUR SAME POSITION.MY MOM IS UP ONE DAY AND DOWN THE NEXT.I HAVE LEARNED TO TRY AND ADJUST TO MY MOMS TRAIN OF THOUGHT BUT ITS HARD.MANY TIMES I CATCH MYSELF GETTING MAD AT TIMES WHEN SHE WONT EAT WHAT I THINK SHE SHOULD EAT BUT I HAVE TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND SHES OLDER AND HER STOMACH IS SMALLER THAN MINE.I SOMETIMES GET SO MAD I HAVE TO SCREAM BUT THEN FEEL SORRY FOR MY THOUGHTS LATER.THOSE THAT TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD NOT GET MAD HAS NOT BEEN IN THIS POSITION OF DEALING WITH THOSE WITH DEMENTIA.PEOPLE ARE HUMAN AND JUST CANT TURN OFF EMOTIONS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.THE BEST YOU CAN DO IS WORK DAY TO DAY.AS FAR AS YOU BEING 10 HOURS AWAY THAT SEEMS LIKE ALONG WAY.I WISH YOU THE BEST.ITS GREAT TO ALWAYS HERE FROM OTHERS IN THIS SAM BOAT.
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I have a friend who is an AF veteran. He and his wife live in an assistant living in Washington state. I haven't seen him in years, but we kept in contact via Christmas cards and now Email. I met his wife when my first husband was stationed in Tacoma, WA and he was stationed at McChord, AFB. We were always just friend, so his wife became a friend too. He tells me that the place is not too good. The food especially. As much as he is paying, his retirement and VA benefits, it should be top notch. I don't know what someone can do once they go into an assistant living place and it is not to their liking. Any Idea?
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