Follow
Share

He has dementia and if left on his own, his hygiene is non-existent, lies about eating (say he ate when he hasn't), pretends he didn't hear us give him a directive, SAYS he will when he does hear and doesn't move. (The latter is what makes me want to hit him - I don't - I just walk away and vent to my husband)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Hi Joy. Thanks for updating us. When you have time, as your father progresses, I'd look up more of Teepa's videos. I just recently watched the one where the parent doesn't want to shower. She made me realize WHY they don't want to shower - cold, modesty, etc... I feel bad. Before mom got bedridden, it was a struggle to shower her. Father literally dragged her into the bathroom and I bathed her in the middle of the bathroom. She kept struggling, and he had to hold her with both hands. When I watched it, I remembered how mom had always covered her privates - even when she could no longer talk. Sad when you do things out of ignorance. I'm soooo glad that you and hubby are pro-active.

There is a book that I've read over and over on this site that people kept mentioning. It helps you understand dementia, getting medical help, characteristic behavior symptoms, daily care, etc.... I bought the paperback book and the words were so tiny. I ended up buying the Ebook version.

The 36-Hour Day - A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, other dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life....by Nancy L Mace and Peter V Rabins.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you...ALL of you...sunflo2, madeaa, bookluvr, cqfollansbee...This is what I have been looking for: More information. Education. Learn how to respond to the situations that arise. Understanding exactly what is going on in his mind.

I just watched all 6 parts of the "Making Visits Valuable". Got it added to my favorites. I will need refreshers daily I think. Just last week I found, hidden in the "Calendar of Events" in our local newspaper, there are Alzheimer Caregiver support group meetings on the second tuesday and the third thursday of each month. My hubby will be coming with me. Hoping this will help both of us have a better understanding and give better care to my Dad.

Next, book hunting. Thank you all again for your very valuable tips, suggestions and help on setting me on the path. I used to think I was the most patient person but caring for my Dad has shown me otherwise. I will remain teachable.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When I first started posting here on June of last year, I was struggling with caring for 2 bedridden parents. Father used to be mom's main caregiver until he had a stroke the previous year. I was drowning with both parents and decided to Google "How to care for bedridden." Found this site. For months, I kept seeing Teepa Snow's name and her videos by other posters.

ONLY this year in April or May, I Finally decided to look it up. Darn it! If I had just looked at it last year, I wouldn't be sooooo angry with father. Like you, Joy, he was really pissing me off! When I started watching those videos nightly, it was hard for me to take it in. I've been a nerd all my life. So, I went and got a notebook. And played Video 1. I then took notes. Lightbulb moments!!! What I was watching all those nights were Finally Registering in my head as I took notes. When I was only watching the video 1 - I saw only 1 good tip. When I started taking notes, I found several good tips on that video. I've been meaning to continue with the videos. I think I stopped at video 4. Her videos are really short but you can get a Lot of Valuable tips from it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Many thanks to bookluvr , she has helped me through some tough s***t. I know it has now been 18 months for me. When I first came to this site, I was blindsided. I was so FREAKED OUT. I won' t go into what happened to me, but let's just put it this way, when I started out my profile, it said "caring for my mother with general age decline" well it is not general age decline, wow. All I can say right now to you again, this is is a very hard road to hoe, first and foremost, realize this is a disease, they are competent yet incompetent in the beginning, manipulative yet not, you have to really know how to talk to them, you can't make them feel like children, even though some on this site continue to say this, they aren't. You have to treat them like they just do not remember what you just said, for real, they don't. It is so hard, it can make you crazy, you think that they are really playing with you, but they aren't, well for the most part. So, take book's advice and google teepa snow, it is a real eye opener, you can see how it is to talk to dementia people. You can not make them feel stupid or ashamed, I have done all the wrong things. I am going to try to breath and remember that my mother really is not playing games with me, yet sometimes she does, but she is really out of it. Take a deep breath, through your nose and exhale through your mouth, really this is true, I see the cortisol on my stomach when I don't. Breath and try her techniques, don't end up being arrested for being so overwrought. Take it easy, please
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

The Teepa Snow videos are wonderful!! Thanks for sharing that info Bookluvr!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Try reading The DEPARTURE ZONE, very humorous and so true describing the life of dementia.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi Joy. Bookluvr gives good advice! I can relate to your situation. My mother lives with us in our home and has always been task driven. But since this is our home, she can get into trouble really easily. lol She has put more things "away" that may never be found again. So I have to monitor her carefully. It's exhausting. And she's feisty...has even slapped me (carryover from my childhood).

Learn as much about his condition as you can and stay connected here and other places where you can vent.

I am visually impaired but I read what I can on a regular basis. It gives me food for thought and tools to help me cope. Not everything I read applies to our circumstances but I gain insights.

It's great that he goes to the Senior Center daily. We have Mom go to one but it's only a few days a week for a few hours at this point. So.... I'm jealous of you. ;-)

There are two books I go back to on a regular basis. "Create Moments of Joy" is one and the other is "You say Goodbye We say Hello". The chapters are short. I keep them in my bathroom where I often find my "me" time.

I can only repeat over and over, learn as much as you can. Your father is still in there. You are talking to a disease, not the father you remember. God bless and take deep breaths! Bee
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

thanks bookluvr, I did google teepa snow and found other helpful videos too, always good to have more information, and good of you to share.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi Joy. I think you may need to learn more about dementia so that you understand what is happening with your father. I’m NOT saying it will make it all fine-and-dandy. It won’t. There is a YouTube video of Teepa Snow. I strongly recommend that you watch her videos. The ones that I watch is broken into several parts and not one very long video. It will help you tremendously on understanding WHY his hygiene is non-existent, and the “lies” that he already ate. Google YouTube for : Teepa Snow – Making Visits Valuable.

Please give it a try and let me know if it helped you like it did with me. I tend to talk fast and change subjects. I learned NOT to do this with father. She will help you to understand hygiene, raising our voices and their reactions to this, food/taste, hearing, etc… I hope it helps you!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I sure understand how you feel, it is overwhelming at a lot of times. Venting is the best for me, I just need to let off steam. Sunflo gave you some great thoughts. It is so difficult when you live with the person, it makes it a true mine field sometimes. Vent vent vent, thank God you have your husband, this is a true help for you and he sounds supportive and that is a blessing. So I hear it said that God gives us what we need to get through it, your husband is there for you. Watch out that the anger does not take you someone you don't want to ever go, like jail. Be careful express it and don't stuff it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you "sunflo2" for answering my plea. :)
I live with my Dad. I have him going to the Senior Center Monday thru Friday (seems to be under duress though he complains only to my hubby).

He has always been a task driven man - can't be idle, must be DOING. His domain is the outdoors. Socializing is NOT his thang. What makes him happy is seeing a weeded garden with his plants growing. Working together also makes him happy.

He has said that the upkeep of the yard was difficult so I started doing it. I can see that he wants to do but can't. He will walk around the property, come back in shaking his head and say again that he can't do....daily. Everyday I tell him that is why I'm doing it. You don't have to. Just leave it. Don't worry about it."

Heartbreaking! Heartbreaking to watch a once tough man give in to his frailty. Heartbreaking to see the chauvinist within him wish he could do what he used to do so his daughter wouldn't need to work hard.

What's funny, my Dad used to run away from my Mom by doing anything and everything outside. I'm doing the exact same thing.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is so hard to let go. And from my experience, that is all you can do. Is he living with you? My mom is same but lives on her own. I HATE IT!!!! I try to help, try to get her engaged in activities, move to AL or somewhere where she will be watched, cared for, fed regular meals...on and on. SHE REFUSES all help (even hired in-home help for her, but she called the cops and legally, we couldn't force her to keep the help. So, I just had to let go and allow her to make bad decisions...I HATE IT; but that is the reality and legal reality we face unless doctors intervene and direct she enter care or have care. (I've not been successful yet in getting doctors to help here).

I know you are looking for advice. The frustration, bitterness, guilt will eat you alive; I've been there. How to find peace?
1. Come to this forum; it has been my saving grace.
2. Luckily you have your husband or trusted friends to vent to -- keep doing it.
3. Hire some help if you can - in-home caregivers a few hours a week and make it their responsibility to make sure he is bathed, shaven, haircut, etc. Also, let them be responsible for feeding him (monitoring that he consumes a nutritious meal) on the days they are there.
4. Give up on the meals and just have some healthy snacks available: Ensure, protein shakes, protein bars, cut up fruits and veggies, yogurt, cheese cubes, 1/2 sandwich or 1/4 sandwich, peanut butter crackers, etc. Let him snack with several small meals a day vs. forcing the other. I've found with my mom, that if we go out to eat; she has a healthy appetite. If we are at home; she barely eats -- and a full meal is just too overwhelming. She does better by "grazing" all day.
5. Get him out of the house to senior center a few times a week -- you'll feel better that he is doing something other than sitting around driving you crazy.
6. Try to do one activity a week with him that will make you feel "successful" and non-stressed so you can have one "happy time" with him:
A walk (with a nice milkshake --add protein to his!)
A picnic lunch out in your back yard -- a lawn chair, picnic basket, tablecloth -- "a real picnic" for a change of scenery. Just enjoy being outside, watching the birds, gazing at the flowers...little talk; just quiet.
Happy hour - one evening a week; you have wine, he has a small glass of wine, cheese, fruit, crackers. Or if you don't drink, make it ice tea or other special non-alcohol beverage.
An outing to a park where you can walk, sit, have a snack -- change of scenery.

I hope this helps. I limit my time with my mom (I live far away) and when I'm there I try to do small things with her that brings us happiness and not stress. I've learned to let go and stop trying to control her or make her live how I want her to live. I am slowly learning (and it is day to day) to respect her decisions even when they aren't healthy or good ones.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Ok...I read the article written by Cindy Laverty. Thank you. I have tried mowing, weed wacking, taking down trees, cleaned the house, rearranging the kitchen, living room and my home office and stayed away from the source of my angst. I even made my husband take me fishing for a couple of hours - no fish caught though. Maybe I need to go fishing again!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.