Can you love someone when you hate their dementia? -

Can you love someone when you hate their dementia?

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My mom died of Alz. last year and she went through many stages. I hated the disease! It made my mom angry and even violent at times and I learned to recognized when she was getting ready to hit me by the look in her eyes. I still loved the person she USED to be and I pitied the one she had become. But it was the disease and not her that I didn't like. There comes a time when you have to realize that the person she is with the disease is not the person she used to be.
That is all part of this most horrible disease. She didn't know who I was and she didn't like me. But continued to be one of her caregivers for the sake of the mother I used to know. Don't be too hard on yourself for feeling this way...most of us do. Blessings to you, Lindaz.
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Of course you can. It certainly can be complicated at time - a lot of times. I think when it is a parent with the disease it can be especially complicated. We grow up seeking our parents approval and there can be so much baggage if the relationship was complicated to start with. My mom and I had one of those complicated relationships. My mom has always been self absorbed, argumentative and manipulative. Once the dementia really revved up mom became all the more so and then down right cruelty came into play - very tough times. Now mom is on hospice care and the dementia has morphed again. This round mom is not really talking much, sleeping mostly. So I think in a way, it's easier to love her now - more so than anytime in the past five years.
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Note, though, that dementia doesn't automatically make someone lovable who was not lovable before. A person who has abused you in the past, for example, doesn't get a free pass and the rights to your love just because they've developed a disease.

But assuming a loving relationship before the dementia, sure, you can continue that love while fervently hating what the disease is doing to that person.

My husband had LBD and we personified it, calling it Lewy. We could get very mad at Lewy. Lewy was the enemy. I could say, "Yes, honey, I know you could carry that tray. You've done it for many years. But we never know when Lewy is going to play tricks on you. Let me carry the tray this time. Can you carry the bag of rolls?"

In the middle of an episode of hurtful behavior it can be very hard to remember that this is the dementia and not the loved one. Sometimes you can make that separation in your mind better than at other times! But keep practicing.

I would say that if someone just can't master loving the person and hating the dementia it would be best not to have the day-to-day responsibility for hands-on-care. Visiting that person in a care center would probably be less damaging to the relationship.
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