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I'm new to this sight and I think divine intervention led me here today! It has been a particularly bad day dealing with my 92 year old father who has mid-stage dementia, diabetes and congestive heart failure. He's become so dependent on me and lately has been asking me to do things that I know he's capable of doing for himself. Tonight I had had enough of his demands and blew up! I even told him if he wasn't happy here to find someplace else to live! I felt horrible after I said it but he's really pushing my buttons lately. My husband was understanding and backed me up because he hates to see my dad make me jump through hoops all the time. Is it wrong to insist that they do things on their own and only offer assistance if I know he can't do it? I don't want dad to feel like I don't want him here but I don't want him to become totally dependent before his time. How do I back this up without feeling so much guilt?

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Welcome msssarge - Wow does that sound familiar! Your mom and my dad could be twins! My husband gets home from work about 4:00 and sometimes I need to run an errand. If I am out of his sight for five minutes, he sits and looks at the door until I get home. He just wants all the attention on him all the time. If I serve my husband dinner before him, he acts hurt and pouts and wants to know "where's mine". I think they must all get very self centered and jealous if we give any attention to anyone else but them. I had another little blowup with dad yesterday over his shower. I asked him to undress while I prepared the bathroom and he said "aren't you going to undress me?" Now this is a man who every night goes in, undresses, and puts on his pj's by himself so I know he can do it. His aides spoil him too and I'm going to have to talk to them about that because now he expects it. Sometimes I just do it so I don't have to listen to him complain but most times I just let him do it. I don't have brothers or sisters. It's just me so it's left to me. I love it that family members always are quick to criticize and judge yet do nothing to help out! The guilt will pass - mine has and now I just realize that I'm doing the best I can with a difficult situation. We are only human. We do what we do because we love our parents and don't want them in a nursing home. I get through one day at a time with alot of prayer and the help of a wonderful husband and daughter. I praise God for them!! Hang in there!
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I am fairly new to this sight. but as i was reading your post i couldn't believe that i too just yesterday had a blow up with my 85 year old mom. wow guilty is not the word for it. i too push my mom to do things i know she can but there are days i have come to accept shes not going to do it. she has home health aids that come 4 days a week for 2 hours to give her a shower and dressed for the day. i don't feel real comfortable in my own home when they are there so my husband and i leave for a little while and come right back. if we would go to lunch or just anything what took us so long. after the blowup yesterday i set with mom today and told her just how i felt. i have 4 sisters and 1 brother all live within 10 miles except one who lives in tenn. when my mom asked me to mom in because she was not feeling to safe at night and being i was the one taking her to most of her appts. and visiting her i said yes why not think of myself. wrong they haven't spoken to her since april of 2008. walked away and left my mom and i to figure it all out. well we have she is doing as well as can be expected for 85 with sugar, arthritis, copd and low blood. she has improve health wise alot. the only correspondence i've had with my siblings was 2 nasty letters of accusing me of being a thief and neglecting my mom . she has nothing but social security and no savings and we live in our home not hers. they don't know anything about us and for now just content trying to make things work here at home. my mom has her aids right where she wants them. they definately spoil her and just the other day they called and said i was needed to come home as my mom was having pains in her chest. got home shes in her chair no shower didn't eat all her breakfast. bp was good and so was her pulse. she was on a strong antibiotic for uti and it gave her heartburn. i gave her a nexium she settled right down and when they left she went to bed where i might add she goes every sat. afternoon for 4 hours. my mom is real savy with her meds and she knew to try and nexium but she was upset because i left in the morning because we had bad weather and didn't want me to go out. just drama. right now nothing i can't handle. just would like to spend a little r&r with my hubby overnight break would be nice. but right now feel to guilty. thats a terrible word and i wish i didn't have to use it.
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hi Kelleybean,
for sleep, I use "seroquel" for the Alz. patient which works great and we both can sleep at night, which is wonderful ! It's what the his doc (who is geriatric specialist) said is best of elderly people.

And, b/c of teeth issue, we use NuNaturals stevia, which is a really good sugar substitute, but not chemical gross things, but only natural - it comes from bark of a tree in S.AMerica and the people down there have been using it for 2000 year.

Best of luck with your Mom ;)
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Dahuser--I agree the pills help me a lot esp. the husband stopped all his physc meds about 2 1/2 months ago he is luckey he did not have problems stopping cold turkey and even our son scoled him last night- but he is an adult so it is up to him I will get out more as soon as the wheather gets better and for now I have my room to go into and days the aide does not come I let him sleep late and I go to bed early I will take hin to church once and if he acts up someone else can take as I asked months ago for them to do- I was all set to put my wedding ring but won't for a while-I will not go back to being a stepford wife again.
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This is a wonderful idea! The library here is a great resource for old movies and musicals. They also have DVD's and books on tape. Sometimes even childrens stories or short stories are easier for dementia patients to follow. My dad is losing his sight but he can still listen to old musicals if I turn them up loud!

Also, I went to see my doctor last week and he took one look at me and my blood pressure and prescribed a mild anti-anxiety medication that I take at night. It helps me sleep and also takes the edge off during the day. I've been in a much better frame of mind. I'm not saying that drugs are the answer but be aware that there are some wonderful new medications when we get over-stressed and overwhelmed!
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For folks that can't follow a tv show or movie anymore, think about shows that are entertaining at any given moment even if you don't remember what happened two minutes ago.

* The old classic musicals are great - the music and dancing can keep someone's attention even if they can't follow the story at all. The Music Man, The Sound of Music, anything with Shirley Temple, etc.
* Classic comedians like Bob Hope, Red Skelton, the Three Stooges, etc. can work because the jokes are short and include funny visuals. Plus, even if an older person can't name the entertainer, there's often a recognition there that adds to the attraction.
* There are DVD's or videos available featuring familiar musicians, too. You can find great Perry Como and Lawrence Welk videos at Amazon.com.
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Thank you so much for alerting me to this book. I'll see if I can get a copy. I think it always helps to have a professional opinion on these issues. As a daughter, sometimes I have to take a step back and look at this more clinically. I try to understand what the brain is going through rather than just focus on the behaviour. I think we tend to forget the underlying causes of this dreadful disease.
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I just finished reading a new book "MEMORY LESSONS" - by Jerald Winakur, a geriatrician. He eloquently and poetically describes the challenges faced not only taking care of the elderly, but also in taking care of his own seriously failing parents.
It explores both at home and institutional care, but does it in a very personal empathic way. As a psychologist who deals with the elderly and their families, I found this beautifully written and very helpful.
Dr. Charles Merrill
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i went downstairs and never got to ask her if she knew anyone! she listened as i talked etc and got to giggling over dahusers little people under the furniture and picking battles. she didnt know that my mom has dementia and she visits a man who is in early stages so i was just telling her little things to come if she decides to stick around. i might go back down after my mom gets up in a little bit. she normally wakes up around 1:30a.m and starts banging around the house and needs direction.
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No, I think it's a great idea. It gets you out of the house and away from your own problems and situations. It's always easier, at least for me, to clean someone elses house. It's funner to. It gives me a little extra money. I clean 2 days a week. Depending on what someone wants you to do is how you charge. However, you have to take into consideration their income and willingness to pay what you are asking. I have friends who clean for 3 hours and ask for about $25.00 to $30.00 and hour. I clean for this couple for $50.00 for three hours. Here in the midwest that's not too bad. Anyway, I at times look forward to cleaning. Because this couple is older, they usually want to talk. And, I get to vent and they listen and kind of give me there perspective on things. It would get you out of the house and able to talk to a few people. I think it's a great idea, yes, even in your emotional state it may do wonders.
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i think you just gave me a really good idea, joal.. im going to go downstairs and ask the front desk lady if she knows anyone who needs their houses cleaned or something.. or is that a bad idea in my emotional state right now? or maybe she knows some other ladies in the building who might enjoy someone coming in and visiting for a bit..
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My mother goes to my sisters maybe one weekend a month. Which usually consisits of about 1 1/2 days and 2 nights. My sister is so calm and sweet and spoils my mom and tells me what a delight she was . . . And instantly I think I'm a bad person. Mom is never this happy when she is with me. My sister's the good guy and I'm the day to day no relief stressed out bad guy. However, occassionally my brother-in-law will talk to my husband and ask how in the world we do it with 2 small kids. And we just laugh and smile and say . . . we just do.

Also, I clean for a lady and her husband who has alzheimers. I used to work for this womans daughter in the doctor's office. Her daughter asked if I would be interested in helping her mom as her dad has alzheimers and her mother is starting to get more forgetful. When I go over there I am there for 3 to 4 hours. Kelley you wouldn't believe how nice and understanding I can be. I really love and care for them. But, I don't have to live with them or feel responsible for them. I am there for support and to help however I can. It's differend than with my mom. However, she often tells me how aggrivated her daughter (the doctor) gets at her. It's funny I am living both sides. You know there is a difference between living with it and just visiting it.
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mitzi, my mom thinks she is in complete control of everything.. its not me not informing her or taking stuff away from her, its her not comprehending that she has no clue what she is looking at. She will sit for hours and go over her "checkbook" (which she is not allowed to be near). What she looks at is a piece of paper that she has scribbled all over. she sits and screams over her insurance readouts "oh my god look how much i owe!!!!" when its written in HUGE block letters, 'this is not a bill'. all this while i sit and balance the real checkbook and pay the real bills. which wed have the $$ for if she hadnt "lost" the extra cash. I HATE saying it.. but i really do think she gave it to her companion. i mean, she gives her bus fare money..she gave her our christmas fund money, why not this?
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oh i exploded alright. its how she came to call me a maid and i ran into the bedroom closet to cry. she asked me why i was so mean and never had a nice thing to say to her. i was cooking her favorite meal, i had laundry in the wash cause she peed the bed, and had just got done scrubbing the bed and floor(all with a really good attitude, which i was proud of and we chatted and joked while i cleaned). thats when i exploded.. i said i was sorry if im not happy go lucky all the time and didnt she realize i was tired sometimes etc and what did she think i was, her maid, because i had not received one thank you, EVER? said "yes thats what you are my maid and be greatful i let you fix what you want to eat" yeah thats when i exploded and did a run down of everything i did for her without thank yous of any kind.

people can get tired and no its no excuse to treat people a certain way(unless its an actual disease). but it just took me back to the week after thanksgiving when i had just come from surgery and she wanted me to take her to walmart and got mad at me when i said no and immediately threw up at her feet...even then she didnt comprehend what was going on.. she was SO ticked i couldnt "get off my lazy butt" and do something for her.. the doctors had told me that if i had waited one more night to go to the ER, id have been dead..

rant over.. the moral of the rants are.. why such an emotional detachment? but people they rarely see, they have more care for?
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I think its part of the disease. The thinking we're taking away their ability to be an adult and make rational decisions. I don't always know if its on purpose. My dad with the Alzheimer's could not help destroying things and I cringe doing this years taxes.

I also found that mom was giving to dear friend's (I'm finding out there money hungry little grubs) of theirs approx $500-$1,000 a month at random and for things that I just get to furious thinking about. I believe in the end it may be about the control for whatever level it means to them. In my case mom tries to find ways to make me take control at times and then to back off. Its a very old game and dance that I no longer play to. There are consequences I've decided on, and I implement them if necessary.

It makes a tad more work, but much more peaceful in the scope of the past comparison. :) Hope this helps
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why must they rummage? i nearly cried thinking of all the cleanup id have to do when my mom got into some old paperwork a few hours ago. do they think were hiding things or does it make them think they are actually in control since they hold the all important tv guide renewal notice?
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Kelley, I am fine. My heart is breaking for you. You were fixing her favorite meal and she said that to you. I would have exploded. Is she having a bad day and taking it out on you? What was your mother like before all this? By the way Kelley I am 45 now.

You are such a great daughter. My mom told my Aunt the other day that she didn't like any of her children. I was hurt, but when I reminded her of that, she of course denied ever saying that. I've told my mom a couple of times that I don't care if she like me, but what I am doing is for her good. But, it still hurts. They don't know what they're saying. They don't understand all you're going through. And girl, you have a lot of stress and pressure on you. I sure wish I could help. But all I can do is type words of encouragement and tell you that somehow you have touched my heart. The night I first logged on and typed my little vent . . . you just don't know how you encouraged me. You're a wonderful person. Hang in there and know that not only are you making a difference in your mothers life, but you made a difference in mine. And I want to say thank you!!!!! Hang in there okay.
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((((KelleyBean)))) its tough. There is always a light somewhere. Sometimes it takes a while of stumbling in the dark with a few stubbed toes or nose to get there, but it will be okay.

Now that you know mom takes things.... its a new level of turning it up a notch. I know when I was staying with my dad while mom was in the hospital for a while he respected my purse. I could hide the keys to the car there. D'OH one day that just totally switched and I saw him rumaging... I was like, "UM, excuse me.... may I help you with something?" As I promptly removed the keys from his hand. I told him "NO ONE touches my car" (technically his). He asked me how I could afford it, and I told him OH DO I MAKE the money! and he smiled with a sneer (HA ... not even close)

I say that to say they are going to rumage, find and like a 2-yr old find things you could not even expect them to discover. Keep one eye on them and we'll celebrate exhausted birthdays together by toasting a nap to each of us! LOL
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joal *hugs* how is everything today? =)
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thanks, mitzi. i think im feeling very lonely today, it all seems to be crashing down all at once. i think of all the things that we have to go through day in and day out. on top of that, im filing bankruptcy for myself, my mom has destroyed her finances in fell swoop which i cant see where she did it or how(she "lost" the money my brother gave us for bills at christmas an gave away $100 i had stashed for xmas gifts). so i feel its all my fault that i didnt get to the bank fast enough to deposit it etc.. but after she admitted that i was the maid and her VERY part time companion meant more to her.. i just feel very heartbroken and destroyed tonight..saying all this while i was cooking her one of her favorites meals, on top of that.. *sigh*
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Kelly I didn't get married until I was 32. Had my daughter at 37 and my son at 40. Keep dreaming.
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KelleyBean, Its not selfish of you. My mom has begged me for 4 years that I need to quite my job and take care of her. Because she's been so miserable all my life and we've never gotten along, I don't feel that obligation, however, when my dad had his stroke 4 years ago, it just kind of fell in my lap unexpectedly.

In my case I have no children, but I am married. This month I will turn 40 and I'm exhausted. I've been 4 years of emotional drain. My mom is a pure fledged controlling b* and works at trying to find anyway to get a hold on my life. Dad let her have her way for 50+ years. I do not need to lay down my life. I owe the to be cared for, and that's what they are. They are in a beautiful assisted living facility care of my father's hard work, and the caregivers and attention they get can't be beat. It works easier. They have the training, knowledge and techniques to handle what I cannot and am not able to do.

My parents don't realize what's involved. My dad and mom both agreed with the attorney to have me as a power of attorney to care for them, but anytime I assert that with dad due to his Alzheimer's, he gets furious and belligerent. I just end up having to walk away while someone distracts him. Its part of the old school Greek that a man provides for his family and as his daughter I'm being insubordinate. He still sees me as that little girl and when he shakes his finger at me.... OH MAN!!!

How will it effect your relationships? You may find that someone could help you enjoy life more or you will go for someone younger. :)

We're here and we understand!!
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Something to remember, dahuser, is i dont quite think your dad planned to grow old like this. But i will side with you on that. I was thinking just about an hour ago as i was crying in the closet, i am never going to do this to any of my family members. stick me in a home and leave me. a problem they have is that they have no concept that they CANT do it anymore. mom doesnt realize that the entire house smells like pee. i find soiled clothes hidden anywhere and everywhere she deems me worthy of picking it up from. my concern is..how will this effect my personal relationships in the future.. ill be 32 on the 27th i dont see why i still cant dream..or have my own family..i realize it wont happen with me taking care of my mom 24/7 and not getting out.. but later on..im scared of those thoughts.. ive already spent most of my 20's taking care of her and who knows how long this will go on.. is that selfish of me? i do realize there are people who have taken care of family members etc for a lot longer..
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Amen KelleyBean!! What is it about not wanting to bathe? Today I finally got dad to change his underwear after he had worn them for a week and probably peed in them too. This from a man who used to change his clothes twice a day!! Can they not smell themselves? He told me he only needed a bath once every two weeks. He said he doesn't sweat so he can't smell!! Give me a break!! Dad won't participate in anything either. We have a senior center but he refuses to go unless I go with him. But it doesn't surprise me. He never wanted to do anything unless my mom did it too. I'm feeling less and less guilty. I think this could all have been avoided if dad had made some friends and put himself out a little more. I think the dementia partially came from isolating himself and having no interest in anything. It's sure opened my eyes to how NOT to grow old!
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Bernardine, i often wonder the same thing. i hear stories of how id go into the pantry and take all the labels off the canned fruit and veggies or climb into the kitchen sink and pour a gallon of milk all over myself. is that at all comparable to running after my mom when she refuses to wash herself after shes peed all over herself? shes awake all throughout the night and refuses to respect that the livingroom after 11pm as its my bedroom also. she refuses to go adult day care.. i hated going to school. she has no consideration for anyone(like any teenager) and admitted tonight that i am her maid and should be greatful for allowing me to fix the food i want not what she wants. of course in only fix her favorites and dont let her get away with eating just jello. its hurtful, but at times like that... i dont care when i was at my worst in my childhood.. this is nothing compared... shes a grown woman..

there should be NO guilt on your part, bernardine, for doing anything without your mom is she refuses to use the resources available to her in order to do them too. Id remind her of that next time.
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Kelly Bean I wish I could do that but my mom refuses to use those electric carts,and gets very frustrated if you ask her to,moms hip is gone she is 89 and the dr. said her bones are dead in her hip,but she refuses pain meds thinks she will get addicted,Im sorry I didnt mean to ramble,I wonder if it was this hard raising me as a child.Bernardine
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i bet it is frustrating. i live smack dab in the middle of a big city and I'M frustrated haha. I really miss my home down in TN. so quiet etc. there was more my mom would be willing to do there than here. cant make her move though *sigh*. Getting you upset like that about your husband is something he wants. he wants people to be just as miserable as he is. he needs to know that its not acceptable, but you've tried yelling. that rise he gets out of you makes him angry too. he doesnt feel depresed or lonely or whatever at that point. its just a different emotion. he needs to know there are other ways.
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I hear you KelleyBean! Dad and Rick have never gotten along. I don't think dad ever liked him. Never mind that Rick has been gracious enough to let dad live here and continues to pay the bills. Unfortunately, I live way out in the country and public transportation is unavailable here. It's a small farming community and there are very few resources near me. I tried the talking to dad also and it ended pretty badly with hurt feelings on both sides. It's a problem. I'm trying to learn to just walk away and avoid a confrontation. I'm not a confrontational person but lately (especially when it comes to Rick), I just blow up. This is so frustrating!!
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Nemo and Bernadine, can your moms go anywhere on their own? my mom is the same way as yours. shes BORED. but hers is of her own making. she wont go back to the adult day care center. there is a program through aging care with a local cab company here. for $2.00 one-way, they will take her where ever she wants to go. they send all wheelchair accessible vehicles to pick her up at these times.
larger malls and stores normally have power chairs available if you need one. call ahead and if yours provides one, maybe mom could join you "meet in the food court in an hour" or something to that effect. you still get some alone time without the hassle or guilt of having done it in the first place when you get home.

dahuser, WHY dont you go to lunch anymore? perhaps the "bus" system could help you also. you wont have to worry getting him situated and, well the drivers HERE, do so much to help that i just stand back. my mom used to call people "whats their name"(she has issues with my dads family for some reason) i'd ignore it and say "oh LESLIE is just fine today, thanks!". firm rules need to be laid down about your husband. i was talking to someone about our parents daily 'emergencies', if it isnt a real emergency and they just want attention it will have to wait. your dad will have to learn this. you firmly tell your dad that you need to spend time with your husband(stress that). I could say you should have a talk with your dad, but i tried that with my mom and i ended up getting us both upset. im trying different ways these days. ignore the attitude and she sees it doesnt work with me, she stops.
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Bernardine and Nemotoo - I know what you mean about taking them someplace with you. Dad asks me every day to take him someplace. First of all, the weather here is cold and snowy. Not great for taking him out in a wheelchair. My social life consists of my daughter coming over a couple of times a week and hearing about my husbands day. I used to go out to lunch with friends at least once a week but no more. Also I have noticed lately that dad seems jealous of my husband. It's like he wants all my attention all the time. I find this a little creepy! It's almost like I'm a substitute wife! Ewwww!! He calls my husband "what's his name".
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