My 79 year old mother has ALZ and lives at home with my 82 year old father as her primary caretaker. The last year is when I knew something more that just occasional memory lapses was wrong with mom. Along with memory, there were personality changes, social withdrawl, inability to cook meals she once enjoyed, and she can no longer comprehend what she has just read. She has lost place and time and called friends in the middle of the night thinking it was in the afternoon. She has hallucinations about animals in the backyard where there are none.
She fell several months ago and broke her pelvis and has difficulty moving around without a walker.
My father is in denial about her cognitive issues. A few of their friends have called me with concerns, asking for me to get involved to help her and help dad. They've expressed concerns that they don't think my dad is aware mom has any cognitive issues that otherwise seem very apparent to them. I've told them I will look for a neurologist and other specialists as needed. I have made a number of appointments for mom, but each time she keeps cancelling because she doesn't feel well enough to actually go.
Dad takes good care of mom and loves her more than anything. However, his denial about her cognitive status is making some things more difficult. For example, he keeps correcting her when she gets details wrong or cannot remember certain events, rolls his eyes, and talks about her in the third person when she is sitting right there. I've tried to explain to him that mom's brain is working differently now, and to PLEASE stop correcting her. However, he keeps going right back to his old patterns. He thinks he can fix her.
I now am feeling in my own life that I've lost that spark... that "it" that kept me going in my own life. I am tired, drained, exhausted and my mind is mostly preoccupied about what is going to happen next with mom & dad. I feel like my dad has caregiver burnout and won't do anything to balance his life so will eventually have a heart attack. That will leave mom alone and I'll have to put her in assisted living. I feel like this situation is only going to get worse. Oh ya... and my husband has been battling cancer the last year.
Having my mother move in with me is not an option because my husband does not need the stress of having her around as it may impair his condition.
I have found a support group that meets once a month at a local hospital and I've attended a few times and found it very helpful. However, I still feel like the spark in my life is gone. Each time I have a memory lapse about something, I think I'm getting my mom's disease.
Does anyone else feel this way and what do you do to cope?