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As my stepfather's Lewy Body dementia progresses my mother increasingly pulls away. She's going blind and is always on her iPad, usually with headphones on so it's impossible to communicate. They're both in mid 80s. I always worry that my stepfather might be scared, depressed or lonely. I discuss it with him as is appropriate. He's a wonderful person and rarely in a bad mood. Now my mother wants me to sleep in the bedroom occasionally so she can sleep in the guest room. She's irritated by the television volume or him asking questions during the night. I'm okay with sleeping in there (2 twin adjustable beds) occasionally. If I begin a specific duty it becomes expected of me. More than anything, I want my stepfather to know he is loved by mother. It's hard to take care of two people and be asked to provide the only source of stimulation for my stepdad. It's difficult to occupy his mind because he was introverted prior 2 dementia. He's not going to do puzzles, etc. He's shown interest in the birds and squirrels outside of his window so I'm going to have feeders installed. I show him family albums and YouTube videos that he may find interesting. There's so much more to this story but I'll leave it here for now. Thank you for any feedback. My life sucks. Any advice?

Is your mom okay? She may be too tired or too sad to deal with your stepdad. Do you think that she's thinking clearly?

If step dad seems depressed, I'd have him evaluated for depression. His doctor should be able to help with that. It's not uncommon with dementia.

I'd research what to expect as he progresses and determine if you are up for it. It's a lot of work and is stressful. You can read stories about people who do it around here.

Will she allow outside help to come in, because, you'll need help. Perhaps bath aids, respite care, etc. I'm not sure how to make her more invested. It's frustrating to live with some of the behaviors, so, I can understand.

Is mother open to other options? I'm not sure how old you are, but, I'd keep in mind that you may have your needs to pay in retirement, health insurance, social interaction with your own peers, etc. Those are pretty important.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Your stepdad is lucky to have you. In her mid 80s Mom probably doesn't have the energy to care for anyone. Were they a loving a couple before? Even if Mom has no Dementia there is still a decline. Have you told her Dad is not your responsibility that he is hers.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Oh my. My parents have been married for over 50 years. As my dad progressed into dementia, my mom pulled away and actually became very cruel. She was totally unwilling to change anything in her daily routine or her household to accommodate his needs. She was also irritated by the television and eventually forbid him from watching TV, so of course he just sat in a chair all day in silence (she hates music, also) which sped up the progress of the dementia. She refused to prepare food for him because, as she said, she wasn't hungry and didn't think she should have to obtain or prepare food for him. Eventually I ended up placing him in a memory care home (at only age 78) where the staff is kind to him and he gets good meals and daily activity. The ugliness of the whole thing (years of it now) has totally changed me and my opinion of my family and my roots. I've removed and/or destroyed all of the family photos that were visible in our home. Mentally this will grind you down, it is heart breaking. Do what you can but step away as much as possible for your own sanity. My parents moved on my street about 14 years ago, before all of this started. If I could do it all over again, I would make sure I was far, far away from them so I didn't have a front row seat to all of this mess. Yeah, my life sucks too. Our situation has been declining for about 5 years now, both parents are still alive and likely to continue on for many more years (living separately, of course).
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Reply to Upstream
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I have a memory from years ago about tourist places that had set up an inter-net linked camera to film themselves -endless film or people coming and going etc. It was real time, so day/night specific to the location. It might be worth researching to see if there is a place that might provide a background of something happening, that would be of some interest for your father if he is bored. The birds and squirrels would be better, but it is hard to make them perform all the time. How about Times Square? Or a zoo’s petting place for children? If your mother is ‘pulling away’ it is likely to be impossible to change her behaviour, and you then can’t realistically aim for making your step father ‘know’ that she loves him. Giving him something to be interested in may be a better aim. And I would provide ear plugs for mother rather than starting a habit of sleeping in her room.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I do a lot of the same things for my parents. My Mother loves the birds and Dad likes Youtube and biographies. We walk a sort of tight rope don't we. We never expected to end up this way. Don't lose yourself in all of this. Make time for you and the things you enjoy. Spend time with friends, get out of the house. If you find yourself slipping into depression (and that's a possibility), all the more reason to find time for yourself, You can't care for them if you're not well. Sometimes I need a laugh and I find something on Youtube. Last night it was "the x-factor judges get the giggles", After about 5 minutes, I was laughing with them. Pretty pathetic - but it felt good. Good luck to you and take care of yourself.
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Reply to dlpandjep
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shad250 Sep 7, 2018
Lol If that is what it takes.
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