Our children and grandchildren will be coming home for the holidays. LO is becoming less and less social, won't shower/shave, wants to eat when he wants too, sometimes saying inappropriate things. I know this is part of the disease. I am with him all the time. I want my children and grandchildren to stay at our house so I can enjoy as much time with them as possible. LO has a room he can "retreat" to whenever he wants. Want to be respectful to him, but want to be with my family for a few days. Welcome thoughts on this one.

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Have them stay and if he gets ornery ask him to go watch TV in his room.

Also, great teaching opportunities for the young ones in this.

Happy Holidays!
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

I know how you must be looking forward to this, and you shouldn’t have to forgo the joy of having your babies and grand babies close-by. You need to be prepared for all scenarios and how to deal with the stresses they may bring. You’ll need to keep a lid on getting annoyed with your husband for his behavior and keep telling yourself he can’t help it. You will need to run interference for him and your family and enlist their help as well. It may just work out that hubby will decide he needs to shower and behave for his guests. As far as meals, one of your kids is capable of making their dad a bologna sandwich.

Your plans sound wonderful. I hope the great time you're sure to have will do wonders for you! Happy Holidays.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

If your husband doesn't already take an anxiety tablet, ask his doctor if he could have a prescription so that he doesn't get so anxious when you have your guests.
My mom (no dementia but always anxious after she got older) could take a half tablet and she was a different person. I would ask her if she wanted a half or a whole tablet. When she said a whole one, I knew she was really rattled. My aunt, who we think has vascular dementia, does well on a half as well when we have a doctor appointment. I can tell she is nervous because she will begin to ask me the same question over and over which she doesn't normally do. With the half tablet, she settles down and enjoys herself.
If you could get him started with a bathing aide, he might readily adjust. They are so adept at getting the job done. Try the tablet before hand and see if it makes life easier for you (and him). If it does you might be able to have an aide to get him cleaned up for the party. Do you have a son who could help bath him? Maybe an electric shaver would be easy? Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
MamaChar Dec 3, 2018
Could you tell me the name of the anxiety tablet your doctor prescribed? I think this might be a good idea for my Mother.
Thank you!
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I’m feeling very concerned for you and for your grandchildren.
Of all the Christmases I remember from the days of caring for my grandmother until caring for my mother, the first Christmas after my mother’s dementia diagnosis was by far the worst.
I had two sons, one a college freshman and one a high school senior, I’d lost my job, she’d been started on a medication and had not fully adjusted to it, I was sleeping on the floor next to her bed to keep her from attempting to climb over the bars on the sides of her bed......we all were trying to “make the best of things”, and the effort served to make matters significantly worse.
After a failed attempt at a “traditional” Christmas Eve, she wound up in the hospital early the next day.
We had to transport her by ambulance and spent the entire day at the hospital, leaving my sons without Mom and Dad and Grandma for their Christmas Day.
Can you be comfortable simplifying your usual holiday routine, no matter what your husband is doing?
How old are your grandchildren? Are their parents comfortable with explaining to them that grandpa will be different than the grandpa they’ve known in the past?
My own memories of three of my four grandparents are so bitter sweet, because of their loss to this illness. Even very young children can sense differences. I was ten.
Have you considered having a “different” holiday this year? Would it still feel special and joyful to plan a holiday with activities that were not your old traditions, but a “new” celebration that wouldn’t be as great a contrast to the past?
I hope you will forgive me for sounding discouraging, but the advice I’ve extended to you is something I wish someone had told me before I experienced those sad Christmases in my past.
My hopes for you are for a peaceful, cozy, comfortable holiday for all of your LOs and for you yourself. And for all of us who are caregivers as well.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to AnnReid

All I can add, is keep explaining to them all that it is a disease that is destroying his brain. And that both of you just need understanding and patience.
My husband started having bizarre behavior when we were just 30 years old. Our kids were very young-10 and 5. It turned out he was bipolar. I just told the kids that their Dad had something going on in his brain that caused him to act completely different that he wanted to act. And to come to me anytime they were scared and worried-we would work through it. I think family should be educated and taught how to be steadfast. They know if someone is trying to “protect” them and that might be scarier than the truth.
Just my 2cents worth😘
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to PrairieLake

I think you should absolutely do this. Give it a chance and see what happens. It’s important your kids get to see their dad even if it’s not the same dad he once was. It’s important for you to have their support and to understand the extent of his decline. If it’s not the picture perfect Christmas then that’s just life. Enjoy some time with your family. Also, the idea for an anti anxiety pill for your LO is a great idea. Maybe get one for yourself.
Happy Holidays
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to LightFoot

You may want to treat Dementia as any serious illness. If your LO had cancer, etc., you probably wouldn’t host the holiday. Adding extra people into your home isn’t likely to make the situation any easier. There are alternatives that would allow you to spend time with the rest of the family. (Air BnB nearby comes to mind, along with a hotel that has a pool or water slide for the kids.) A homecare service in your area can send someone to watch your LO when you want to spend time with the family. If financial constraints make these options difficult, ask your family to forgo gifts this year and maybe use the $s to give yourself/ family a caregiver.

Also, addressing another issue you mentioned - a caregiver will help with personal hygiene...they are no-nonsense people and will get your LO on a schedule for showering and dressing. We brought my father-in-law into our home and I don’t think he bathed for a month. The caregiver had him in/out of the shower the first day. The cost of the homecare service is $35-40 per hour, but you can also check out for independent people at $15-25/hr. We’ve had good and bad caregivers from both sources.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Happyinthesnow

Most like he will see "lots of commotion" and retreat to his private room. YIPPEE!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Compassionate5

Adjust your expectations and try to make your holiday as stress free as possible.
Ask you family for assistance with hubby. Have them run out for food pick up. Ask them to make soup and sandwiches for dinner. Ask for bathing, shaving, dressing assistance while you clean the bathroom or vice versa. Check out some in home help while your family is visiting. Go out for the day with your family while a trusted caregiver sits at home with hubby. Get some sleep and let another family member get up with Dad during the night. My hubby gets a bit anxious when people are in the house and his schedule and routine are changed, but he just mainly gets quiet and more withdrawn until the comotion is over and our home returns to "normal". Try to breathe.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to wnewton

It’s actually quite easy, when you think about it! All it requires is a change of perception and managing your and your family’s expectations from your loved one. An understanding that the capacity of your loved one is diminishing day by day by you and other family members is of utmost necessity to reduce one’s expectations. Educate them on the disease and ask for their support and understanding. Hire a nurse or help to give you some quality time with other family members. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Lightbeing

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