By clicking Talk to a Specialist
for information about our privacy practices.
I advocate “freedom” to focus on other things besides struggling a walker into the backseat and navigating traffic to get three cans of cat food.
Focus on a strategy that allows for the best possible outcome.
Patience is a learned behavior.
It takes 'self patience' to learn to be patient. Although, often our learning curve time is very short, depending on the needs/issues facing us in the present moment.
Gena / Touch Matters
As in many situations when a person is losing their independence, a person may respond in anger (which masks fear) and fear, frustration, confusion (whatever feelings he needs to get out).
Listen. Non judgmentally.
Offer REFLECTIVE LISTENING (reflect their words back to them. This allows them to 'get it out,' talk more about how they feel.
You could say "I hear you saying xxx, is this right?"
You say: "yes, I understand. This must be xxx (hard, difficult) for you?
Be patient. This is a huge shift - one of the hardest as a person ages / or becomes unable to drive.
Be sure car is not accessible.
Some/many (want to) drive anyway - and do. (To my shock, Teepa mentioned in a webinar I took w her that there are 'many' people driving who have dementia. Another reason to be a VERY DEFENSIVE driver.
If he may resort to this:
- take out part in the car that starts the car (it is easy from what I've heard. You just need to know what that part is).
- change the car keys on his ring for an/other/s key so they won't work.
- Better yet, if you can, get rid of the car so he doesn't see it as a painful reminder (of course, it might be your car, too).
Don't go here:
1) talking about alternatives (XXX can drive you to XXX). This reinforces his feelings of his lack of ability to drive and be independent.
He isn't here / there yet. He needs to process the initial feelings of loss.
Be there with him, emotionally where he is (Reflective listening, patience, compassion).
- If he brings up going out (vs the focus on his independence to do so alone), then certainly provide options.
- He doesn't want to 'just' go out, he wants his independence (back) to go out alone. He needs emotional and psychological 'room' to get his feelings out.
Depression - Of course, not easy for you to deal with his depression. It's hard enough for him to deal with it.
- See if medication is in order although depends on his unique needs. I wouldn't be too quick to medicate - see how this moves (the depression). i.e., will he talk, eat, sleep 'okay' -
- Give him space to feel / be with himself.
- Don't push to 'help' him (depending on his personality type). I am not sure how/what I mean here - just allow him to 'be' and respect where he is in himself and let him know you are there when / if he needs you. This is so very personal to the relationship; trust you'll know what to do.
- Try whatever might help: music, movies, reading to him, he reading, watching tv/ God forbid watching the news...
Gena / Touch Matters
He likely won't be able to feel much JOY right now - no matter what. I mentioned meds, although I'd first give him the emotional and psychological space he needs to process through (as much as he can) first.
I find it surprising that he has been able to 'finds a way around it all.'
Sell his car.
It sounds like your dad needs more ... checks in place for his own safety.
Is anyone else around / able to manage his ability to 'buy a new car?'
Did he buy a new car on his own ?
No one went with him?
This sounds very shocking to me. When a person buys a new car, don't they have to show their license (to a car company)?
I wonder how you handle this - and subsequent issues / behavior?
It seems like he is quite intense on his intentions and carries them out (very well).
Is he driving?
Yes. There must be a way to 'keep him from driving." It is a matter of finding that out before he hits / kills someone or himself.
Gena / Touch Matters
It's hard for the men when they lose their freedom which is driving.
What you could do is get your dad a "Real ID". These are government issued ID's that also serve as a license, however, your father, should not be driving.
Many elderly are on blood thinners too. We have to keep them safe as well as everyone else out on the road. If they get into an accident, they can have a bleed out.
Just put the Real ID in dad's wallet and make sure he gets everyone he needs to get. He just wants to know he is not going to be sitting home looking out the window.
With your stress level from caring for a husband with dementia and getting ready to move, it's no wonder that you and hubby are fighting. OK, so maybe what you could do is always think first "he has dementia" and then cut him some slack. When my mom was in the MCI (mild cognitive impairment) phase, we used to argue and get mad at each other and not talk for a day or two. Once she progressed to the dementia level, I just had to give her a pass on her poor behavior and annoying/mean things she would sometimes say. Internally, I'd still be upset/mad but I'd just give some vague response and move on.
I just want to caution you about moving to be near family for support. Who is in NY? Your kids? I'm not sure what kind of support you are looking for. After caring for my mom for 7 years in my home, I am NOT going to ask my kids to do that for me. It is a lot. There are so many posts on this forum about siblings who do not help take care of the parent and one person gets stuck with most or usually all of the care. Other families do better and actually pitch in.
Best of luck.
"I am caring for my husband Jack, who is 75 years old, living at home with alzheimer's / dementia, anxiety, cancer, and depression."
"I am very new at this caregiver thing. Jack has Logopenic Primary Progressive Aphasia which is a variable of Alzheimer's. He has a lot of Alzheimer's symptoms to go with this and is about to lose his driving privileges. I am completely stressed over this because his life depends on going places. I have worked my entire life and have had to give it up to take care of the finances and other things. We are in the process of preparing to move from Virginia back to New York to be near family for support. We only have each other down here. I was hospitalized a few weeks ago and it opened our eyes to the fact that something could happen to me first and he would be left alone. I sm so afraid that I won't be able to handle all of this because I lack the patience required to be a good caregiver and we are fighting now where we never did before. I know it's the disease and I'm trying but I struggle with it. "
I had to take away the license of a relative. To lessen the impact I discretely asked other relatives, neighbors and friends to call her up and offer rides, or arranged for these volunteers to drive him to his appointments and errands, then I secretly gave them a gift card to her favorite place to eat so that the driver would then take her out for meal. This helped her because she really enjoyed the social interaction and it bought time at home with her being out of the house. Also, the volunteers felt good about what they were doing since, in these types of situations, they often don't know how to help in effective ways. I wish you all the best and hope your move goes smoothly!