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I live in South Africa in a small town at the coast. Even if you just talk to me it will be ok. I feel desperate. My mother has very serious Alzheimer's and my dad serious dementia. He has no short term memory. I can visit them in the morning for a few hours and late in the afternoon he will come out of the bathroom and ask me if I have just arrived. His logic is also gone. My mum is seriously ill, physically and mentally and he denies it. He is extremely stubborn. When my mum tells him about all the "terrible people" that are threatening them inside and outside the house, he goes along and believes that it is ghosts that he can't see, but that they are haunting the house. Telling him that it is part of my mother's illness is to no avail. Everybody is in some way a threat to her, even me. I have helped them through the years. But now it is getting too much. They have no friends and hardly any family left. I am a single mum with a teenager threatening to leave the country if I don't distance myself from the situation. Staying with them is not an option. My problem at the moment is that they don't want to open the gate and house for me at times. I nearly had the police breaking down the doors last week. My dad changes the locks on the gate on a daily basis, really. They double bolt their doors in the house from the inside. They don't answer their phone. They need help but fight me and everyone that wants to help. They are at heart very dear people but my dad's stubbornness and my mum's very critical outlook on life has now taken its toll and intensified in their illnesses. Their personal hygiene is .suffering so is everything else. It is a constant and daily battle with them. I feel that I am letting them down, yet my other self is saying that there is no much more that I can do if they block me this way. In our country they have got the last say. Making peace within my heart seems the only way. Please talk to me. Thank you so much.

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Thank you freqflyer Give a Hug, for your advice. Sincerely appreciated.
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Dear Eyerishlass Give a Hugg and ba8alou Give a Hug, our health system works differently (when it works). I am a member of the Alzheimer's Association of South Africa (the only organisation that exists in SA for Alzheimer and Dementia). We only have one social worker for our whole province. She is very kind, but her time is limited and it is not supported by government. My mother's doctor said that if she had to go to one of our government hospitals for any emergency (my parents are not on medical aid) they would put her in a straight jacket and send her to an asylum because they are not equipped and trained to handle Alzheimer patients in our government hospitals. Ouch. That really hurts because our national health system is in dire straits. If you have a medical aid, you can still perhaps survive the ordeal, otherwise you are at their mercy. My dad at a very mobile 85 does not want to let go of his house. I can only move them with their consent or have a court interdict to have them certified (incapable of staying and looking after themselves) then they will be taken to a place that government decides on under the new constitution. Previously her doctor was able to give consent that the family can intervene. Now only government can do this on their terms. It is ridiculous, but I am positive and with the help of all around me, I will make it. Just you wonderful people listening to me and talking to me, means the world to me. It is a very tricky situation and I must learn to take one day at a time and let go. If they open up and allow me to help, that's fine and if they decide not to open up that day and not to answer the phone, that's also fine. Letting go of things I can't change, I believe that is what God is teaching me. No control, just absolute trust. Thank you so much for talking, caring and advising me today. To all the caregivers out there, all over the world, may God's Love Light and Strength support and carry you through. You all are doing such wonderful work. Be strong and know you are not alone.
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How I wish we would all easily lead our parents into a safer environment where they could follow us smiling and eager to go.

AngelofPeace, sounds like your parents are feeding off of each other when it comes to their memory issues. I think the only way you can take them into a nursing home is when one or both parents have to go into the hospital, and from there transport them to memory care facility. You are doing the best you can, you aren't letting them down, your parents just keep blocking the way.

Even if you can get past the front gate, then what? Logic isn't going to work with your parents, their mind won't register. And you definitely can't carry them over your shoulder to a memory care home.

Your son sounds like he has good insight, you really need to distance yourself from this situation.
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Angel, you poor thing! In my world view, when parents become unreasonable in their demands, it is time to step away and let whatever authorities take the steps that need to be taken. Amazingly, the most stubborn obdurate parent who fights you tooth and nail will sometimes behave as sweet as a lamb for others--police, professional caregivers in a facility, whomever. Just not for us! You need to inform the powers that be (whoever that is in your part of SA) that your parents won't allow you to give them proper care and that you're afraid for their health and safety. And then follow their advice, if it is doable. I have a more sympathetic view of your son; I think he's trying to save his mum's life and sanity.
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I heard a beautiful accent when I read your post.

You can no longer expect your mom or your dad to make rational decisions or to behave rationally.

I don't know how it is in South Africa but if you were here in the states with this situation I would advise you to call the Division of Aging (it goes by several different names but it all means the same). I would advise you to call your state authorities for seniors in trouble. This is too much for one person to deal with and you need help.

You said if your country "they have got the last say". You mean your parents? The elderly have the last say? If that is the case you have 2 options. You can continue to try and care for them which would put your own health and sanity at risk not to mention your own family or you can call the authorities and walk away knowing that you have done everything in your power to help your parents.

You can't force your parents to accept help. We can't force anyone to accept our help. And it doesn't sound like your parents are even asking for your help. Their dementia has made them irrational and they can't be expected to act rationally but it sounds like you can't even get close enough to them to assess what kind of specific help they might need.

If these were my parents I would call Division of Aging. This problem is way bigger than you and you've hit a wall. You need some outside help.

I'm so sorry that you're going through this with your parents. You have a teenager threatening to leave the country? That's what you need, more pressure. Being a teenager, your child is old enough to understand that this is something you need to deal with. Don't respond to an ultimatum, you have enough on your plate with your parents.
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