Mom has dementia, Dad doesn't want outside help but seems unable to grasp her limitations (gets angry). What's my appropriate role?

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I moved in almost a year ago to help and dad ended up in hospital for nearly 3 months. Im not sure if his own thinking is blurred by that, or age, or just denial but he doesn't seem to understand that correcting my mom isn't effective and makes her very upset. I spend most days entertaining her, taking her to exercise class when she'll go, watercolor class, etc and if I don't, she's left to wander around the house unless he watches a movie with her. All he seems to want to do is practice piano. I worry that if I'm not doing activities with her, no one will and as a result, I'm kind of stuck here. I also worry about his temper when he gets impatient and she goes to her room sobbing. I also feel strongly that his collapse last year was a result of the stress of caring for her. I suggested a caregiver for a few hours once or twice a week but he's unwilling to let anyone but me help out, or suggests she can spend time at my brother's, even though he says it's not fair to me and only suggests bringing her to my brother's if she can be useful. (he wants her to do useful activities, which to me seems to be completely missing the point of what's happening to her -- i just want her doing things that will keep her stimulated and "usefulness" doesn't even come into it, but maybe I'm totally wrong, I don't know, am I?) I'm not sure how much control I should try to take at this point - not only with the caregiver (really just a companion and preferably a Mary Poppins who has fun things to do) but with his temper. Do I intervene when he starts questioning what she's doing or force him to apologize when he loses his temper or just deflect or what? What is my proper role as the daughter? How much am I supposed to intervene?

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Thanks, everyone. I will pursue a caregiver helper for me, for now. I didn't want to give the impression that my dad is an ogre. He's usually very sweet and kind, and I'm not sure if the impatience is due to his perfectionist personality or if he lost some of his own mind after prolonged anesthesia (as we were warned might happen). On one occasion I did ask if he had forgotten what her condition is, which could be partly the case, or it could be he simply can't accept/understand what it's like to be inside her brain. But whatever it is, I imagine starting small with a little weekly help for me, will be beneficial whatever unfolds in the future. Thanks for your help and I won't shrink from intervening when I think he's being unreasonable.
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I'd have dad seen by a doctor. Being a jerk is not a normal part of aging.
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I have the same question as Garden. Is this new behavior for Dad? Could it be dementia? My Dad has mild to moderate dementia. He's always been the sweetest guy on earth. Since the dementia he occasionally snaps at Mom, sometimes even with a little profanity. Two minutes later he's forgotton all about it but it just breaks my moms heart. I'll gently remind her that it's the dementia, try not to be upset.

If my father was acting like yours and did not have dementia I would confront him in a minute. It would be ugly but I couldn't allow my mom to be treated in such a way. Do you see signs of dementia in your father?
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Cato, I might be totally off base here, but based on personal experience, I see something else going on.

Was your father controlling and verbally demeaning to your mother before his 3 month illness? If so, I suspect there's a longer period pattern of behavior, and of domination and control of your mother.

If not, and I hope this is the situation, then something must have changed his ability to interact with your mother while he was ill.

Either way, I would definitely intervene when he's verbally critical or abusive, or any other time you feel he's out of line. Don't allow him to use her as a verbal punching bag. It will, believe me, demoralize her and cause her to lose self esteem and self confidence.

And in years to come, you'll regret not intervening to support your mother.

You're really in a difficult situation, having to go between your parents, but your mother needs emotional support and your father needs to learn, or relearn, how to interact properly with his wife.

This is not an easy situation; it wouldn't hurt to read up on controlling and domineering behavior so you can see how your father's put-downs are destroying your mother's self esteem.
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If a senior already has a short temper, caring for a dementia patient is not going to go well, IMO. I would ensure that he isn't left alone with her, just to be on the safe side. If you are questioning your dad's judgment, then there is likely cause.

Depending on how realistic it is to keep providing the care for your mom alone in the house, I would seek outside help regardless of what he says, assuming you have POA authority. As freqflyer said, you can say the help is for you and not your mom, but my concern would be for making sure that mom gets the attention she needs, you are not burned out and that dad is not pushed beyond his limit. He doesn't see how that makes sense right now, but that tells me he's not seeing things clearly. So, I would make my plan on how to handle it.
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I believe there are times when our parent's middle name changes to denial. And there are time when a parent is angry at their spouse for becoming ill thus disrupting their retirement dreams.

Since you are living with your parents now and your Dad doesn't want outside help for your Mom or for him, try making it sound like that the help is for "you" and not them.... see how that flies. Just be up front that you need some help with the meals and cleaning because you are spending so much time with Mom. But bring in a caregiver who is familiar with dementia.

My Dad has caregivers and it is working out great, and they have Dad under control such as he has to use his walker. Prior to the caregivers, if I told Dad he must use his walker he would just ignore me. And Mom was no help as she refused to use a walker herself, and both were high risk for falling. I didn't live with them, it would have driven me crazy.

What happens is the dynamics change whenever a grown child moved in with their parents. It goes back to you being just the "kid" who has no knowledge of how life goes even though you might be a senior citizen yourself.
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