Anyone dealing with both parents in mental decline?

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My dad has had a diagnosis of dementia for about 7 years. His decline has been gradual until recently when I notice changes monthly. My mom has been his caregiver until about a year and a half ago when they moved to assisted living. My dad is generally happy even though he has a hard time communicating. Random words just come out that make no sense. My mom has had some mood swings over the last year. The first was last July after the family reunion when she accused me of pushing her away and not letting her look at the reunion book and of being disrespectful. Didn’t happen. Over the last two months she has been very negative and complains about everything. The staff has recommended that they move to memory care so she can get more help with my dad. She is angry that they took her meds away from her and says they don’t give her any help. When told to push her call button she says it takes too long for them to get there. She has no patience with my dad and is the source of much of his frustration. The last time I visited was on my dad’s birthday. She was happy to see me at first but the next day she told me I irritate her and she barely spoke to me the rest of the weekend. I might add that I am the only child, live 5 hours away and both parents are in their 90’s. I could go on but you get the jest.

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I have been caregiver for both my parents with dementia and they moved to memory care this summer.

My dad started having dementia symptoms over 5 years ago. They moved to a senior apartment a mile from my house. Mom helped with Dad...at first. Then about 2 years ago mom got a dementia diagnosis as well.

I miss having my mom as an ally in caring for my Dad. Now they both gang up on me..where is the car? Why cant we go back to the house? They think the others at the memory care are worse off then them because they use walkers. (Even tho my Dad uses a walker and a cane)

Just today my mom said she was so glad her and my Dad are healthy and still have there mental ability. Then a few minutes later asks if i have heard from her deceased brother...today was a rough visit.

Mom lost her ability to see my Dads dementia like she did a few years ago...dealing with both together is a real challenge.

Its caregiving squared...lol.
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I have been both of my parents caregiver for about three years. they have dementia, alztimers, incontinence and much more. I also care for my husband for the last seven years with parkinsons disease and now we just found out he has prostrate cancer. I cared for all three of them in our home 24/7. it went from canes, to walkers, to wheelchairs and than bedridden. it was hard at times to handle the decline but at 92 years old I knew it was not going to get any better. I prepared myself for the worst which did happen recently. dad passed about two months ago and mom passed a week after dad.. I still care for my husband. being a care giver for a loved one or more is a demanding, painful, stressful, and draining job to do. it just wears you down. In my case I would say that thru it all I became so close to my parents than I had ever been.The love we shared just in that time out weighs any of the negativity I dealt with. I would do it again without any doubts. I miss them both so much....
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MA, no one in my family thought anything was wrong with mom. The geriatric psychiatrist who was treating her insisted that we her complete evaluation of her cognitive skills. a neuropsychologist, neurologist and psychiatric nurse practioner found that she had had a stroke, resulting in mild cognitive impairment. It explained a lot about her constant anxiety, and it got other family members on board with mom's impairments being real.
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We are. My husband is an only child. FIL has Alzheimer's - late middle stages and declining rapidly. MIL is in end stage renal failure and has dialysis 3x a week. She has no formal dementia diagnosis, but she definitely has some cognitive impairment (problem solving, judgement, etc.) Both are mid-80's. They lived 6 hrs away, weren't supposed to be driving, both needed assistance, and REFUSED to move to a facility. As is usually the case, it all came to a head two years ago during an acute medical crisis. At the insistence of the doctors, nurses, social workers, and my husband, the FINALLY agreed to move to our town.

They now live 3 doors down from us, and we've cobbled together our own DIY version of assisted living. It's working, so far. We feel they are safe and being well cared for. Our teenaged son drives her back and forth to dialysis each week and does their lawn maintenance. We hired a companion to take them to run errands and out to eat 2 days a week. We hired a service to come in each morning to help with morning routines, personal hygiene, breakfast, and light housekeeping. The maid comes every other week. I handle meds, finances, and FIL's medical appts. Husband is in charge of his Mom's medical appts, oversees home/auto maintenance, and makes any big decisions.

It's not easy, but we're in a good routine that's working for all of us. This would be almost impossible to manage if they still lived hours away. Moving them from their hometown was NOT ideal. They miss it. But in Reality Land, my husband couldn't keep taking time off from work to run back and forth three states away every time there was a crisis.

My heart goes out to you, MAFlatt. It sounds as if your Mom is no longer capable of being your Dad's primary caregiver. You're probably going to have to figure out how to take more control of directing their care -- whether that's moving them closer to you or monitoring from afar. Either way, your Mom needs more support. Listen to the staff at their facility. They are telling you that your parents need a higher level of care.
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Yep! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be caring for my 93 year old in-laws. They were pretty much self-sufficient until this past May after my MIL burnt her leg from dropping a pan of scalding beans on her. Of course we've been doing their shopping and taking them to doctor appointment. Now, we don't allow her to cook and we make sure they eat 3 meals a day.

Since the accident with the beans, they both have declined mentality. She gets confused and says the strangest things. (as does he) The two of them get into yelling matches on a daily basis. I feel like I'm taking care of 2 year olds!

Finding this website has been a life saver for me!! I am not alone in the struggles of a caregiver.
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Has there been any formal assessment of your mother's mental state?
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I think as our parents age there are issues... With both our all look them. My mom, stage 7 Alzheimer's, has lived with us for over 2 years. But we still worry and care to a lesser degree for my step dad. He lives 40 minutes away. We drag mom there once a week. I cook dinner, make sure to make a few things for him to eat for the rest of the week. We also talk to him each morning and evening.

He drives to our house, takes him an hour as he takes the back roads, once or twice a week. We do not like him driving, my husband offers to pick him up and drop him off, but he declines. His daughter comes from out of state once every six weeks. She says his driving is still fine.

We also care for my mother in law. She lives a block away from us. We check on her twice a day. We take her shopping, to doctors, etc. She doesn't speak much English and can not drive.

My dad passed away years ago, but I still check in on my step mom too. She is still very independent so I just check on her once a week. She lives 2 hours away, but has no children so there is only me and her niece that check on her.

Add all the elders to the mix with adult children and the grandchildren and we have very busy lives....but I wouldn't change it! I love having such a close family.
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I get it. I am a caregiver for both my parents... Both have started with dementia and don't believe me when I try tell them. Praying praying praying
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Mom does not have an official diagnosis of dementia even though she has recently been to her doctor. She is very good at putting on a good front for others but her armor is beginning to crack.
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Yes, there are folks on here in this position. Each family has their own way of handling it depending on degree of dementia, resources, significant other’s health, physical ability, logistics, and patience. Through trial and error you discover what works. There are pros and cons to whatever path you chose. From personal experience , my advice to you is to take care of yourself first no matter what is going on with the folks. If you start to get I’ll, over burdened or too stressed, then there will be 3 people in need of assistance. Again, whatever decision you make in the degree you can help will have pros and cons. You must do what feels right for you and your situation. Hugs to you. If your folks are ok with hugs, I’ve found that this non verbal communication seems to offer reassurance to your loved ones, especially when you don’t know what to do.
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