I am my husband's (76) only caregiver. He has Parkinson's, starting dementia, and is starting to not listen to me and tell me to go away. Any advice?

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He walks with walker, leaves it everywhere. Lots of confusion. I am seeing a lot of change. He always wanted my help, now is being very difficult to deal with. We have no extra income, need help but do not know where to turn next.

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Katy, Dad had PD with dementia too. It's such an ugly, cruel disease. My advice is to try to get ahead of everything in terms of planning. The decline can be slow or very rapid, and it's hard enough to take care of them, but only worse when you're chasing the problems. I'm thankful that your children come and call. I will point out that Dad seemed to leave his walker everywhere when he lived with me. I think it's that his judgement was off, and he always thought it was closer than it was--just part of the dementia. Best wishes.
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Thank you for feed back! I will consider meals on wheels & snow canceled visit to doc. am going again soon. My children do come come when they can, call daily lets me vent and to give helpful advise. working on getting help. Friends are a big help!
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Has your husband seen his doctor recently? It's always prudent to report any changes in health or mental status to the doctor.

Dementia is progressive. Now would be the time to put a few plans in place. You don't want to be making major decisions while under more stress. Have you considered home health? They can come in a few days a week and lighten your load considerably. They can help your husband get showered, fix him a meal or two, change the linens. It's something to consider. However, it is expensive.

Do you have family support? Adult children? Perhaps you can encourage them to come by to visit their dad more regularly. Maybe for several hours on a weekend. This too could ease up some of the pressure on you and hopefully put your husband in a better mood. At the very least, let your children know that their father's health has deteriorated. Moral support is better than nothing.

You may want to look into Medicaid if your husband has to move to a skilled nursing facility. Many people embark upon this task on their own but I've always believed in going down this road with a social worker who can assist you in what you need to do. I would think that your husband's doctor's office can refer you to someone.

Meals-on-wheels is a great resource. For a small weekly donation (usually $5) they'll bring you 2 meals around noon. Many people eat them then but others save them for dinner. It will cut down on cooking and the people who bring the meals are volunteers and are so nice. Google "Meals on wheels" and your zip code.

When your husband tells you to go away, go away. It's not a nice thing to say to ones spouse and I know it's hurtful however unless he is endangering himself give him his space. People with dementia are often prickly with a short fuse. It's not you, it's the dementia. Try not to fuss with him or flutter around him. If he says he can do something, let him do it. For instance, if you're helping him button his shirt and he becomes irritated just stop and let him do it himself. If he misses a couple of buttons so be it. Unless you're going out it doesn't really matter. If he doesn't want your help with something and he's not in danger of being injured leave him be.

Find something for yourself that you enjoy. Going to church, curling up with a good book, crossword puzzles. It could be anything. Indulge in something you enjoy doing. It's good for the soul.
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