How can I lesson the burden on my Dad?

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I'm new to this. I am an adult child and caregiver to both my parents I suppose. My mom has dementia and is approaching the mid stages now. She was diagnosed officially almost two years ago. My dad is her main caregiver in their home and I go there several times a week to help with what I can. It's taking a toll on my dad. He seems as tho he's aged ten to twenty years over the last two years. He's not very kind or patient with mom at times which breaks my heart. My mom and dad were a very young early 70's couple when this nightmare became real. I am fortunate that I was able to take a voluntary reduction in work hours when my employer was facing financial trouble a year ago and at this time only work Fridays every week plus I am "on call" for additional hours which technically I can refuse and I often do. I want to be there for my parents. I told them I will be with them thru this time in their lives. I live half an hour away and I have two brothers who are of no help. I do most of the cleaning and lawn mowing for them, my sisters in law have helped with some meal prep. I take my mom to her weekly hair appt and attend doctor appts with them. What else can I do to make this easier to bear for my dad? I feel like no matter how much I'm there it never feels like enough. I worry about them constantly when I'm not there. My dad is still quite capable if taking care of most of the day to day things but I think it's the constant supervision and direction my mom needs plus the isolation since they are not able to get out and about to socialize like they used to that's wearing my dad down. What else can I do for them???

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Sandra, it could be that your Dad is afraid to wander too far from home just in case his wife needs him, even though you are there to help. I feel that same way with my aging parents, even though they are still living on their own in their own house, and me in mine, I still feel like I have to stay within minutes of their house in case something happens because they are in their mid-90's.

Yep, my hobbies are gone... my friends are gone, except I have a new one who has aging in-laws so we do chat a lot about that, we found each other through volunteer work at the hospital. We meet once a week for a couple hours doing volunteer work... it's like a mini-vacation for us :)

It's sad because this isn't how your parents had planned their retirement years. And this isn't how I planned my retirement years, either.
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Thank you all for your suggestions and encouragement. Not alot of sibling support. One brother is going thru a divorce right now. I'm going to have to be more specific with the other brother. He only lives 20 min away but sees our parents maybe once or twice a month and calls just as infrequently. He says it's too hard seeing them now. Like he thinks this is easy for me?! My dad has made comments about putting mom in a "home" so I know it's all just too much for him. I do have POA we took care of alot of that legal stuff right after mom was diagnosed. The thing is my dad doesn't have any hobbies anymore or things to do even when I'm there to be with mom and he could go do whatever he wants. It's like they have both just given up on the lives they had. Up until just two years ago they were still traveling with their motor home but my dad sold that, his boat, mom's van. My dad doesn't even care to drive anymore even to my house, or after dark. Like I said he's really slowed down too since mom's diagnosis and I'm convinced it's mostly due to stress. I realize he prob had alot of hopes and dreams for the future which all changed when mom became ill. It saddens me that their many family, friends, former co-workers, neighbors, etc never call them or stop by to visit. There is such a stigma or something with dementia that makes people so uncomfortable with it. I guess I'm going to have to really put the pressure on my brothers and be specific about what I need from him. Idk if it will help. My parents do get out every day and take their dog to the park, visit the farmers market and things like that so I'm grateful they still are able to get around well physically. I have started taking mom out for the afternoon occasionally to give my dad a break because as I said even if I'm there all day he doesn't take advantage of the opportunity to get away. I just don't think he has any idea what he likes to do anymore. Besides he and my mom did everything together. Perhaps I need to take him out for the day and find someone to stay with her?
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Sandra, there comes a time when we need to downsize. I know, easier said then done. But if you parents have the resources, maybe move into a 55+ community where one still owns/rent their house, but staffers take care of the lawn.

Or one buys/rents a large condo in a senior community and part of the monthly HOA fee includes dinner each evening in the restaurant at the complex. That would help solve your parents from feeling isolated. Mom could even take part in whatever is offered at the community. Your parents are too young to hide away in their home.

Some complexes even have on-site a memory unit for when the time comes that your Mom needs a higher level of care... that way your Dad could walk to that building and still feel apart of the community. Nothing better than to have a lot of friends on your journey.

That way you and your siblings will once again be "their children" instead of a "caregiver". There will still be things you can help with, but at least Dad and the rest of the family won't feel drained.
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I have been through this, watching Dad be Mom's full time caregiver through over 10 years dealing with this awful disease. You are fortunate that they live only a short distance away. I live in RI and Mom and Dad in Florida. No matter how I tried to make him understand that he needed help, he was determined to do it all himself. He was unbelievable in his care for her (they were married just short of their 65th anniversary). Up until a few days before her death he still managed to get her out socializing. I made several trips over the last few months after she fell and suffered a concussion and was in the hospital and then nursing home for a month (that was harder on him than caring for her at home) he felt he needed to be with her as much as the facility would allow. He did get a case manager to convince the doctors to let him bring her home and did finally get someone in for a few days for a few hours (but had mom dressed and ready when she got there). Mom passed away in April rather suddenly and he did have hospice and my brothers and I were there for her and him. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to take away some of the burden. My dad is doing wonderfully with great support where he lives. He knows he did everything he could for her and has made peace with that.
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Listen to your instincts. YOU say they're isolated because of mom's condition. Alzheimer's doesn't have to mean isolation. Take them both out . . . For lunch? A walk in the park? A movie? If that isn't practical, at least take dad out. . . Either paying someone to stay several hours with mom or enlisting another family member. Have a family potluck at their house once a month. Have a movie night with them, a rented movie and popcorn.

You can't change MUCH, but you can make dad's life a little richer. That's what I'd try to do. Dad's beat up, tired and heartbroken. See what you can do.
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Think abut everything it takes to run a household. Add in 24/7 caregivng and it's easy to see why Dad is aging rapidly. If there are some financial resources, consider paying for the 'worst' tasks.

Be specific when seeking help. Enlist your sisters-in-law (SIL). Could they help with some of the laundry? If they alternated, they could bring it to their house or do it at your folk's home. Who helps with the food shopping? Consider supermarket delivery services or perhaps you and your SILs can alternate. Can you ask your brothers to take Dad out for a few hours? They could watch a little league game, go to a movie, fish, golf, or whatever. Someone would have to be on Mom duty during the outing time.

Do you have a med dispenser of some type? If so, can you or someone fill it for your Dad so he has a check on what to dispense next. (Make sure his and hers are in different containers. Make sure Dad gets his medical appointments.

Does your Dad have any siblings? Perhaps they can help. I urge you not to be shy about seeking additional help. BUT be specific. Waiting for my brother to step up to the plate and do things was the moet frustrating part of caregiving. BUT if I gave him some specific task he was able to do it. He just couldn't see what had to be done on his own.
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Do you have Power of Attorney for financial and medical. Have you and your dad talked about what he wants to happen if something were to suddenly happen to him? Things with your mother will only get more complicated as time wears on.

If you were to become medical POA, your father could take the day off when you take your mom to the doctor. That would be one less thing for your father to stress about. Could you get someone to sit with your mom one day so that your dad could get out of the house to visit friends or enjoy a hobby? Sounds like he could use some R&R and find time to destress.
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