How do I deal with my grandfather who insists on caring for my grandmother with Alzheimer's?

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My grandmother is in her mid 80's and has Alzheimer's. She's to the point now where she refuses to clean herself and is very combative. She lives with my Grandfather who is also in his mid 80's. My Grandfather is very old fashioned and very stubborn. My mother and I live within 30 minutes away and are eager to help. He lets my mother do some cleaning once in a while but almost nothing else. We've tried to get him to allow professional to come in and help with bathing, daily chores, etc. But he refuses. Part of the problem is that he is embarrassed by my grandmother. I'm not sure what I should do or what I can do if anything.

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Expert Answer
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Offering choices can have amazing benefits! Aging people lose so much control that they will often fight what is best for them. But if you can offer choices to give them greater health and safety, but still maintain some control, everyone is ahead. Try to put yourself in their place as much as possible. Sometimes we have to force things, but if possible - present choices.
Take care,
Carol
Hi jnleavitt, I know the worries of taking care of a grandparent, I took care of my grandmother for 2 and half years before her death full time. I understand the power of independence to them, oh my goodness they dont want to give that up. But as a good caregiver you have to do what is right for them and no the wont like it but stand firm and say this is how it has to be. you have to inforce it and keep reassuring them that it is best for them. We had hospice in the last 2 years and when her bath aid would come she would sometimes say she didnt want a bath, I gave her an option she either got one now with her aide or she got one that night after supper. I made it her choice some times the aide would do it and some times after dinner while my sister cleaned the kitchen I gave her a bath. Assure them that even tho they are getting help does not mean that they cant be independent its just added help. I some times had to get firm with her when I knew it was going to harm, or not santitary to her. You have to do what is best for them, if you do it in a concerning voice but a firm voice. I hope this helps you.

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