How can I get my Dad to accept responsibility and help me care for my Mom, who has Alzheimer's?

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My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 10 years ago and her decline has significantly increased within the past six months. She remembers how to do some things - like dressing herself and going to the bathroom alone. However, for the most part she is just like a 2 or 3 year old toddler and needs constant supervision. I quit my job last year in order to better care for my mother (85), my father (84) and my uncle(88). I am very happy with that choice and their state of health, level of care and quality of life have dramatically improved with my daily involvement. Whenver I try to take a respite, I am so concerned for my mother's safety and welfare that I cannot really enjoy myself. I keep counseling and advising my father that my mother is like a young child, but he seems so clueless as to how to interact with - let alone care for her......I know he is saddened by her decline (so am I) and I also acknowledge his state of denial, but it is putting my mother at risk.

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Your Dad’s more than saddened by your mother's decline, he's in denial and that's not likely to changed. My mother could never really "get" my dad's dementia and how best to interact with him. It wasn't for lack of love - she simply couldn't accept what his (overnight) dementia did to him. She really wasn't capable as his caregiver.

I, too, had multiple elders to care for over the course of many years. I know how hard it is to find just a few hours, let alone a few days, for yourself.

The only thing I can think of for you to do is to hire some in-home care. Because of the holidays I'd start lining something up if this is when you want to take time.

You deserve this time, so don't let guilt stop you. No matter if your dad complains or whatever else happens, just say this is how it is. Then do all the prep work you can and let a caregiving agency take over for a brief time. It may not hurt to break someone in ahead of time.

I realize that this is expensive, but your health is important. Please try to find a way.
Carol
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Thank you, Carol......I have tried to hire a private sitter before - bought all of their favorite foods and drinks, prepared their meds, introduced the sitter to them and discussed her coming in while I was away........but my mother and father kept telling her to leave. I will keep trying -
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I feel for you in this situation. It must be very challenging.

From what I have learned so far, it is really impossible to make someone, especially an elderly person accept or adjust in a particular way. It's pretty much what they do and we have to make adjustments to cover it. I agree that you have to reach outside for assistance to care for your mom. You both deserve it. Spending energy on trying to get your dad on board is probably not going to be productive. Just make the arrangements for outside help and let him adjust in his own way and own time.

Care providing can be overwhelming. Make sure you take care of yourself. I wouldn't count on your dad though. It's not likely he will be able to help you.
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my3elders, I think that generation of men consider any type of illness with their wives to be *women's issues* so they don't want to get involved.

My own Dad is that way, I ask him what pills is Mom taking and he has no idea, but if I ask Mom what pills is Dad taking, she can rattle them off, including how many each day, and the strength of the pills, and when Dad needs to reorder.

I remember one day my Dad called saying Mom wants to make a doctor appointment. Ok, which doctor? Dad couldn't remember but it had to do with "down there".... [sigh]. Glad I asked Mom later, she wanted to see her Urologist for her bladder.
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