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Due to a fall, Dad had an CT scan of head done. It showed some abnormalities that prompted an MRI which showed brain atrophy leading to the diagnosis of mild Alzheimer's. He always needs something, has tons of Dr. appts that I take him to, gets into everything that he has no business touching, doesn't clean up after himself, and he stinks. I try to keep his diagnosis in mind as I deal with him but sometimes I fail. The other day was such an example. It was my son's 16th birthday and we planned on spending the day together. My father didn't remember the many conversations about it - that's ok. The irritating part was, he didn't care. All he cared about was what he wanted to do. He began name calling and lashing out at everyone that lived in the house. He was so nasty. At times like that I find it difficult to not become angry and give it right back to him. That day I walked away feeling resentful that he ruined another day. He did it again today. Dad literally would eat non stop and put me in the poor house doing it. . . He was heating up his lunch tray and while doing so he ate about 20% of the small birthday cake that was on the rack cooling. There was no time to bake another before the party. His only response was don't worry about him, he already had his piece. His attitude is Very Frustrsting! He ruined another day. How do I keep from feeling this way?

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Dear Goldilocks,

What a loving and kind daughter you are to care for you dad with Alzheimer's. We are all human and its only natural to lose our patience or feel frustrated. It's really hard. Sending you hugs, my friend. But if things get to a breaking point, I hope you will talk to a social work and explore all your options. I didn't even kids in the household and I found it just continued to escalate till I got so angry and resentful about the basic things.

Thinking of you on this Mother's Day! I hope you are able to do something just for you.
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Goldilocks, kudos to you and your family for trying to provide your dad's care needs. You probably can't help your feelings of resentment, frustration and ruination. It is a difficult situation for everyone, including your dad. Either there hasn't been enough time for everyone to become fully educated and adjusted or there has been sufficient time and it just isn't going to happen. One thing that is pretty certain is that your dad's "mild Alzheimer's" will worsen over time, as will household dynamics, unless something changes, e.g. everyone becomes more educated about the effects and progression of Alzheimer's dementia and how to cope with it and/or you find your dad a different living arrangement, most likely in an assisted living or memory care facility as others have suggested. Both for the sake of your dad, as well as for you and your family, you should not let the current situation continue indefinitely. (My primary regret in helping care for my dad before my wife and I moved him into our home and became his full-time caregivers, is that I let him stay for too long with siblings who were his primary caregivers but whom were not able to adapt to his needs and behaviors -- the situation had deteriorated and was no longer good for his well-being or theirs.)

Your profession in special education and having been your son's special caregiver have probably helped your understanding of some aspects of caring for and adapting to someone with dementia. But caring for a parent with dementia is different -- for most of us it's an obtrusive and difficult role reversal with no expectation for things to get better. Your dad forgetting and then not caring about your son's birthday party are both symptoms of people with dementia -- they can't remember and the world in which they live gradually shrinks into themselves.

While I'm not an expert, I do have experience with Alzheimer's dementia and the need it creates for education about the disease and how to cope with its progression. I've found that adaptability, flexibility and extreme patience are valuable coping tools that not every good person has and, I suppose, not even everyone can learn. That said, participating in one or more Alzheimer's support groups, in addition to giving you an additional place to vent, can help with understanding the effects of the disease on your dad and adaptations your family can use to help cope. This website forum is also good (e.g. freqflyer's UTI tip), as is the Alzheimer's website, and there are lots of other educational resources -- one that I recommend as a self-help starter on the Alzheimer's caregiver journey is "The 36-Hour Day."
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@freqflyer
Thanks for that tidbit. It has not been checked. He hasn't complained but I have noticed some urinary issues when doing his laundry.
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Goldilocks, has your Dad been tested for an Urinary Tract Infection? Such an infection can make someone older act out, be nasty, and down right rude. The test is pretty easy and can be done in your Dad's primary doctor's office or even at an urgent care.
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They get qualified for Medicaid.
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How do you find a facility when they have no assists only Medicare and ss?
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"We don't get a second chance at raising our children."

So true!

What do you think about putting your father in a facility?
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Happy Mother's Day Goldilocks, it must be so hard raising underage children, and having your dad sick and in your home also. Bless you for trying.

It sounds like you are very frustrated with your dad's behaviors, this will definitely make the whole house feel upset. This will lead to a lot more ruined days.

Personally, I am not able to hide my emotions really well. If I am upset, mad, or frustrated I cannot hide it. This will affect the whole mood of the house like a black cloud. On the other hand my brother is able to take things in stride by laughing it off and simply going about his business enjoyably. I sure do wish I can do that.

But if your dad's Behavior affects your mood that much, I agree with Barb, it is time for Dad to be in a facility. We don't get a second chance at raising our children. Good luck and God bless.
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You can't help feeling your feelings!

It's like having a 2 year old. He needs more supervision than you can give alone, doesn't he?

You either need caregivers, or he needs to be in a facility.
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