Dad is 91. And if I ever show signs of being upset with him or being tired of ill my self he tells me he wishes he would die. I know it is to make me feel guilty but it is very hard to care for him at times when he acts that way. Because he is able to do some things for him self but won't.But if I insist he tells me that.
NOT AS PARENTS !!! I ACCOMPLISHED THAT OFTEN BY STANDING IN FRONT OF THEIR DOOR BEFORE ENTERING, TELLING MYSELF THEY ARE "PATIENTS" NOW !!! Both had severe health problems. Mother did @ times say "...wish I was dead.." ... My answer:..." then you would miss out on your beautiful great granddaughter ... she's coming over to see you this afternoon and we'd all miss you so..." Parents - even with diminished mental acuity, have feelings...and need to be told they would be missed....because they are loved..!!!. That statement they utter, which upsets you...is a question..."Do you still love me, even though I am cranky and old and need so much help...????? Geriatric Psychiatrists are not always covered by insurance... and often ends you up with feeding the parent medications that impose other side-effects...!! Try the personal route first... tell him you have to have a minute for something else you need to do... then take that minute to go play a game or 2 of Freecell on the computer...that game saved my sanity at times every day... because it completely occupies different braincells to complete that game, which is what is necessary to rest those braincells that have been coping with father's care... You walk away from the PC 10 minutes later, feeling able to cope again...It's like a mini-vacation...but it has to be a task that takes up your TOTAL concentration - that is different from the previous activity.- Then I would enter my Parents room with a positive smile and a joke... Caring for the very elderly needs more laughter, jokes, I even got my Dad 2 kittens, funny movies of the old kind... like ...comedians of the 50's and 60's...
and the grandkids came over often.... Depression can be combatted with loving moments.... without pills first... before you reach for the last resort of a Dr's help and medication... I did need them toward the end of father's life, as he was severely challenged with dementia.... and believe me the patient is aware of that condition in himself, and it does depress them to be in that shape.... I wish you God-Speed in your efforts !
I am 90 years old with a 90 year old husband. We have been married just over 70 years and have had a usual life with ups and downs and with four great children. My husband has vascular dementia. He can barely walk from spinal difficulties. We have his BP under control and he seems to have beaten CHF or it is under control without specific medication. My discussions with our FP indicate that nothing can be done to improve any of his problems. Of course he is severely depressed. I am his 'only' caregiver at this time and have a large property to care for, still mowing and removing snow from a 400 ft driveway, and enjoy doing that.
I understand his depression and am trying to avoid that myself and indeed Freecell has been a Godsend here - I have played thousands of times (can't get above 75% any more - used to be hovering around 92% - must be old age). But I digress..
My big problem is that he does not think that I am his wife - that the Army has sent me here to cook his supper every night, etc., etc. I find him crying over a long ago photo of us together with the comment that he wishes she would come back and is aghast when I say that is me in my outfit at his sister's wedding, etc.. Over and over on a daily basis we do this.
He does not believe any of the kids' declarations that I am indeed his wife and their mother. It is just horrible for him. The only thing that works is some humor and many hugs and declarations of my devotion to care for him until the Lord calls him. My biggest problem is the effort to keep an upbeat peace of mind and still laugh off the frequent changes of underwear due to his lack of control. I am thankful for Immmodium and panti-liners. Our mainstay...
It is so sad that he knows that he is losing it and feels useless. He is not interested in going to church though the pastor has been here several times. We are thankful for our special pet, Marley, a lovable, playful black Lab and our children who are here when needed - at wit's end, sometimes. We built our retirement home in a beautiful spot with good neighbors who rush to help if called - tho I am unusually independent to a fault, sometimes..
There, I did it and will submit. Any helpful advice is gratefully received. Thanks for reading this.. L
The highest road I am trying to take is to simply be present: as often as I can stand it. I help her empower herself by finding others to help her when I can't. I am no longer responding to her guilt bait. No longer defensive. I just listen and when she really goes over the line-mean, I say, "excuse me..." and draw the line in the sand, or leave if I can.
I do think that there is a natural inevitable withdrawal from life at the end...and I don't think it is a bad thing. Seems to be part of the big plan of life. If you are lucky to live long, you will be lucky enough to decide you had enough. But you still have to wait for the Divine Director to usher you off the stage!
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