My 94-year-old dad has been diangosed with dementia. I think his doctor doesn't want to use the A word around my parents, but he is treating dad with Aricept and Namenda. Dad's dementia has been coming on for several years--at least 3 to 5 years, maybe longer. He was finally diagnosed when my sister and I took him to his doctor four months ago and asked for some answers.
My 90-year-old mom is the primary caregiver, although my sister and I have been there constantly (taking turns) for the past 4 months, as my mom was in the hospital much of that time. Now that my mom is back home, she is caught up on dad's diagnosis and treatment. However, she cannot or will not treat him like a person with dementia. She scolds him for forgetting things, she belittles him for repeating things, and she constantly replays all the things he has done wrong, such as backing the car over a bush or driving into the garage door.
When I've talked with her and tried to explain that it's his dementia that causes this behavior and he can't help it, she says oh he's never paid attention or listened to her. That's not true. He tries very hard to please her, but it's hopeless. She gives him very complicated and confusing directions, asks him complicated questions, and then gets angry when he struggles to figure out what she wants him to do.
My sister and I both live many states away from them. As I return home today, I am worried that without my sister or me being there to temper her anger and remind her how to communicate with him, she will only make things worse for him rather than give him the support, patience, and understanding he needs.
He is very sweet, cooperative,and good-natured, and wants to be helpful and useful. She recognizes some of that but constantly points out the things he can no longer do. She is really playing the martyr here. What can I do?