First of all, let me say that I do not have first hand experience as a caregiver to a patient with dementia. I thought of this question because so many on the forum have parents with dementia and I am totally ignorant on the topic. I just know that I would not have done well as a caregiver to someone that I could not have reasoned with.
God knows, I am terrified of getting Parkinson’s disease because I cared for a Parkinson’s patient. Watching my mom deteriorate with Parkinson’s disease was horrendous. Thank God, her Parkinson’s was not accompanied by dementia.
Still, as challenging as it was being a caregiver to mom, I feel those who deal with dementia patients in their final stages has it a million times harder.
I could communicate with my mom. Yes, she could be difficult and stubborn at times but I don’t think I could handle some of the things that I see on this forum with dementia patients. I know my limitations and that would have been way over my threshold. It makes me wonder what I would do if my husband was diagnosed with it. I would be terrified.
I realize this is one of my ‘deep thinking’ philosophical ‘what if?’ questions. I often wondered if I had to live a day as a Parkinson’s patient, would I have felt differently as a caregiver to my mom and how would I expect to be treated? It’s interesting to think about. I did try to put myself in her shoes. I think at times she tried to place herself in my shoes too.
The reverse is true too. My parents were not caregivers to their parents. What if they had to walk in our shoes? How would it change them? Or would it?