Why does dementia seem to take over not only the patients life, but loved ones around also?

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Caring for a loved one with dementia is such a trying experience. It has all but consumed my life for over two years. I'd do anything for my mom, and I've done alot. Sometimes it just gets so exausting, and I crave a life of my own to raise my little boy, and have more time with my family. It's so rough, but I know I'm the only one my mom has to look out for her so I try to remember that this disease is what causes alot of her actions, and behavior. Just let nagging comments go when ever I can, I see other people on this site are also going through this. My heart goes out to you....Hopefully it will all work out to a balanced way of life so we also get the time we need, and deserve. Family is family however so just moving or leaving them just isn't a option. Our moms gave us life, and we have to remember we would not even be in this world without them. So give, and take, and live, and love. XOXOXO

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Top Answer
I can not stress this enough.... you will have to MAKE time for yourself and your family, you will not GET that time.... now is the time for you to start having some back up, to plan some time away knowing she will be well taken care of.... I am so burned out, I can't think straight most of the time... am planning changes in my life and have to follow thru, I am lost in Caregiver Never Never Land.... please take care of yourself... all the love in the world for your mom will not replace the energy it takes to do this job.... you are in my prayers...
Sigh, I will have to agree with ladee. My Mom has been in a nursing home for over 2 1/2 years. She has other health issues besides dementia. I was unable to care for her 24/7! It would have KILLED me to say the least. I have a full plate as it is. My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 2 years back. Now as far as she gave me life,yes ,but I am sure if she were not in this state she would not think I should give up my life. I would be no good to her or my husband if I did. TAKE TIME FOR YOU AND BREATH!
I have been my husband's caregiver for some time, with some help in-home and daycare some days. I am now getting to the point where his delusions and the physical strain of caring for him are getting to me. I think we all reach a point when we say, I can't do this any more. Now I have to decide whether I get more help in-home so I can do some things and have a life, or send him to a foster home and visit as often as I can. We have to decide when the balance tips between caring for the LO and caring for ourselves. It will be very wrenching when I have to send him away, but I have heard too many people say how they wish they had done it sooner, because then the LO is well cared for, you can live your own life but be a part of theirs in a more joyful way.
Because the person suffering from dementia is now defenseless and has no "voice" so any family or loved one has to become that person's advocate, and they have to do so 24/7.....no different than having a 2 day old baby. Luckily for most of us, our babies at least slept. I have had preemie twins, one with CP, a paralyzed father, a husband who had a heart attack and 5 knee surgeries and a mini stroke....and now those events all seem like a walk in the park compared witnessing what my poor mother has to endure thanks to dementia.
Your mom's condition must NOT consume your life! My husband & I have been caring for my 88 yr old dad for the last 3 years with him living in our home for the last 6 months. We basically have had to give up our own lives. We can't do it any more. My health is declining from the stress. I'm choosing to care for myself & maintain my happy marriage of 33 years. Dad is moving out. I love my dad dearly but I love myself & my husband too. Do NOT choose your mom over your family! Do the best you can for her, but have your own life. I also cared for my bi-polar mother from the time I was 18 until she died when I was 43. I've started attending a caregiver support group & that's been such a help. We have no family here to help & moved 3 years ago to be near my dad. 2 months after we moved my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is ok now, but it was hard caring for my dad during my husband's treatment. You are a loving & caring daughter. I wish you the best.
In the mean time my husband has had a nagging, hacking cough for going on three weeks which I picked up and it manifested itself in my lungs. I am wheezing and coughing, my head is stuffed to capacity and I'm weak. Sorry...but her ever so slow decline is taking us down with her. We're not good for anyone like this. We are taking steps to get her into a hospital today so she can be in the care of professionals. What will happen after that is anyone's guess, but we've been caring for her for over three years....we're done. She will be ninety-four in July, she doesn't want to be here anymore. She says is all the time. We are kinder to animals when they are at the end. We don't let them suffer on and on. Of course we love her, that has nothing to do with it. She wants to go...and I really don't want to hear any self righteous comments from anyone. We all have our limits, she's reached hers and so have we. No need to hang on any longer, time to let it go...it's the humane thing to do.
Way too much self sacrificing is going on here... seems like you have the need to be needed more than anything else. But it's your life. I've been living with and caring for my mother-in-law for three years now. We had a very good relationship for seventeen years. At this point she is ready to go and reminds us of that fact every day. She also has trouble swallowing and is afraid of just about everything. She has degenerated into severe dementia and frankly, I'm over it. It is SO debilitating being around her that our relationship has become strained, our home, which was once our sanctuary from the insanity of the world, has become an insane asylum. My husband and I want to live our lives again while we still have good years left. Her time is almost done. And although it is difficult we are looking for a place for her and she knows it and is okay with it. The problem is she is not really sick...her mind is going. Her decline has been painfully slow and could go on for years yet. I don't have years to spend on helping her achieve her goal. My goal right now is to LIVE, not to DIE. My time will come and when it does I will not expect anyone to sacrifice themselves for me...I would never do that. If you love someone you set them free.
Yes, to your first sentence. They'll unwillingly or unknowingly pull you down with them. Therapy, self care, respite care is imminent. When the plane's going down, put the oxygen on yourself first. AND no one can take advantage of you unless you LET them. Let's make sure too that we vote properly so that the elderly are not forsaken over the abuse of people who don't work/pay taxes. Some states are doing drug checks as employers do. With children on welfare being taught not to work but to accept welfare, we need to make sure we vote properly so that they get help at an early age. When we know better we do better. Good luck to you, and get help for your Mom. She doesn't understand, but your little boy will remember the memories of your getting help, and this in itself is a good lesson for him to learn. Don't wait til you become sick to say: "I should have hired more help". Take care and a big hug.
I so understand and yes somedays you just want to scream, I have been taking care of my mom with dementia for 6 years but I do it because I love her, many hugs and prayers for you
They might have given us life...but we didn't ask for it. My mother-in-law has lived with us for three years. She's now 93. I've known her for 18 years. We had a great rapport, no "mother-in-law" problems at all. Her husband died three years ago and she came to live with us. At first it was relatively easy, but she ever so slowly began to slip and she has now been diagnosed with severe dementia. My husband and I are ready to pop. Our living situation has become chaos, our once happy home (which we both considered our sanctuary from the daily grind) has turned into an insane asylum. Her constant repeating, forgetting, repeating, forgetting, complaining, whining, repeating and forgetting (you get the picture) has taken us to the breaking point. We are at the point where we no longer have a life of our own. We dread each day and there is no peace. Yes we love her...but that love is turning into resentment and frustration that is getting harder to manage each day. I've taken to spending a lot of time in the back yard just so I don't have to hear her voice. My husband is caught in the middle, he loves the memory of his mother (as do I) but he see's the effects it is having on the household and at this point it's self survival. So sorry, I know she didn't ask for this end, but we don't want her end to become the end of US! So we are look for a place for her. In America (unless you're wealthy or made plans for the future early on) there not many options that are humane. So we are torn and in despair about it. If it's not one thing it's another....either the insanity of living with her, or the guilt of putting her "somewhere". I must say that thankfully we have no children to torture. We are planning as best we can for our own end of life without having to take down everyone around us. I always felt that having children was basically a selfish act...now I'm sure of it.

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