I am sitting here crying as I write this. My mom is 79 with mild to moderate dementia. My brother who lives with her is the primary caregiver. My other brother stays Tuesday and Wednesday nights and either my sister or I are over everyday to help.
I suffer from bipolar disorder and during June and July was so depressed (over my sons death three years ago) that when I did come over I wasn't much help. Have changed medications and am feeling much better. I am now over to help most every day except Saturday - when my sister can't do Saturdays I try to.
I know I can only imagine how hard it is to be there all the time and try to let my brother know that.
He has bipolar (unmedicated) also... I have tried to help him with resources to educate himself about dementia ( this site and others) he apparently (according to my sister) thinks that I am all of a sudden being a know it all.
By telling him that moms behaviors are normal.
Today he BLEW up at me. Saying he is now just going to be a warm body who will call 911 when she falls. He truly believes that he can "train" mom to take care of herself before she takes care of her dogs--by withholding her dogs from her until she takes her meds and eats. I guess this is okay but it is his belief that she can be trained and that a lot of her behavior is an "act" that concerns me.
Her dogs are the focus of her life, not her own safety.
Can someone with dementia be "trained" like you would with a child?
It is of no use to try to talk to my brother when he blows up -so I just listen and try to have empathy.
I left with my Mom today as I was afraid to leave her there with him. My sister will pick her up after work and take her back.
My brothers work is on and off and when he isn't working I think it is harder for him to deal with moms behaviors.
How can I communicate that I can only try to understand his frustration as I am not there 24/7 and at the same time get him to educate himself about dementia.
I feel like I am being punished for being more involved now and my input is discounted since I was so depressed I wasn't around much or when I was I wasn't much help.
I want to suggest a family meeting but am afraid it will decompensate into a screaming match. He does his screaming at me in front of mom and it confuses her. She isn't sure what she has done wrong.
Do you think it is fair that ONLY the primary caregiver has any say in what happens with the dogs and with this belief that mom can be trained?
I have decided that until things calm down I will go get mom and take her to my house during the day - she doesn't need to be subjected to any more yelling.
Any advice is appreciated.
My brother is determined that mom not go to a nursing or assisted living home as he wants to "keep the house in the family" but I don't think we can continue especially with this belief that mom can be trained.
Help please! Jenn.