How can I cope along with my husband, kids and father?


My Father is 62 years old and has dementia. He forgets when to take his medications and what day it is on a regular basis. He also forgets when he eats and is very repetitive. He also has become very excentric with religion - religion is a very good thing, but it is turning into a self-righteous situation, even though I know he doesn't realize it at all. My husband and 11 y.o. are having an extremely hard time tolerating and I feel like I am battling two wars. Please help. I don't know what to do. Yesterday I had a nervous breakdown and everything seems so bleak.

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I hope that you are doing better and that you and your family are getting through this tough time together. I know caregiving can be hard but you have he support of other caregivers all around you on I hope you can connect with other caregivers and can enjoy the positive in this caregiving journey.

Best Regards,
Karie H. Team
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Yes, my father does live with us. He has been in our home for a year and a half now. He has been diagnosed with cognitive impairment disorder, the neurologist has not been any more specific than that. I'd love for him to receive quality care, but due to decisions my father has made in the past, he is considered financially poor without retirement and relies 100% on veteran benefits as he was in the Vietnam war. My husband and I tried to get him on our medical insurance so he could receive better care, but were denied the opportunity due to red-tape and other logistics. Overall my husband and daughter try to let things roll off their backs but they get upset when I become upset - thus the ongoing cycle. I honestly did not realize that caregiver burnout could happen so quickly. I thought I would be able to maintain for at least 5 years. I agree with what you have said, there needs to be a level of compassion and tolerance thoughout the household. I didn't realize how tough it would really be among everyone. I suppose I will be heading to the library and holding some family meetings to boost everyone's moral. Thank you for your thoughts. Any reccomendations on how to better educate myself and them would be very much appreciated.
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How very difficult for you! You seem to be torn between caring for a loved one with difficult behaviors, and trying to maintain good relationships with other family members who are not supportive of your efforts.

Your father is not going to get better. Chances are that he is going to get worse. He cannot "learn" to remember what day it is or when he has eaten. His self-righteousness is beyond his control. What you MIGHT be able to do to improve his symptoms is to make sure he is being treated by someone very experienced and knowledgable about his particular kind of dementia. (Do you know what that is?) There is no cure for any kind of dementia, but their are treatments that can help relieve symptoms, especially in the earliest stages. That is a good thing for everyone. So getting expert care is worth the hassle, in my opinion and experience.

Father is going to continue to have dementia.

But your husband and your 11 yo have the ability to learn and change. They can control their behaviors. I think it would be very worthwhile for the entire family to learn about dementia, to understand what to expect, and to realize that poor Grandpa did not choose this disease and cannot help his behaviors. Yes, it is very annoying to have someone ask the same questions over and over, to want to eat 15 minutes after a meal, and to top it off, coming across as holier-than-thou. Sigh. It is annoying, but it is also a wonderful learning opportunity for compassion and tolerance.

Does your father live with you?
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