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My Dad and Stepmother swear they don't need help. Even though Dad doesn't drive much anymore, they say they are just fine. If they need help, "we will just hire someone." That in itself is so disrespectful, as I am the only one of all the children to give up my life and job to help them. One minute they have "no money" and the next, "we can hire someone." I have 1 brother and 5 step siblings. I tried to telecommute, but that didn't work very well. My brother absolutely refuses to entertain the idea of them paying me. I don't really know any of my step siblings. They all are very dysfunctional and are always calling and asking for money from my Stepmother. I have started planting seeds with my parents about money, but it always ends up the same way. "If we need to, we can just hire someone." With both slipping more and more into the first stages of moderate Alz, and my brother's attitude, I am really stuck. The biggest issue is that neither of them accept that they are slipping. I could gain control of my Dad's Trust (I am first Trustee), but I don't have the money for an attorney. The Trust provides for succession when Dad is deemed incompetent.

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Have they been medically diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease or are you going by what you have observed?

You might begin by going to their doctor's appointments with them, and I mean into the exam room too. Get to know the doctor and let him get to know you. The beginning stages are usually pretty moderate and they should be able to continue doing for themselves with some light assistance. I agree that your mom might agree to a little help with the occasional heavy housekeeping and gradually work into more help. Take them some small portions of freezer/reheat friendly food so that they don't always have to cook from scratch. As we age, our appetites get smaller (for a lot of people, amazingly mine is increasing), so small portions would be best. Perhaps Meals on Wheels or something similar could be arranged.

What I'm suggesting is to gradually insinuate yourself into their lives, rather than just barge in and take over. They will be more likely to enjoy your company if they think it's just for company and not for taking over. See what I'm saying? Help them figure out the taxes this year, before you know it, they will see you as trustworthy and will ask you questions about money situations and eventually you can help them by paying their bills. It just takes baby steps. They are not "disrespecting" you, they are trying to hold on to the modicum of independence they have and they know they will be losing. They just want it to be later, rather than sooner.

If my daughter pranced in here claiming I need help with housework, I would send her scootin'. If she came in and visited and said she'd been at her house vacuuming behind the couch and telling me what all she'd found and "while I'm here, I'll help you move your couch to vacuum behind", well that's different. I would enjoy that.
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Yes, I think it is normal for them to think they are just fine. In their mind they are fine. It's very hard for them to have to ask for help therefore they will continue to try to do things for themselves even though everyone around them can see they need help. Maybe you can gradually introduce things to them like hire a once a week housekeeper just to dust/vaccum or when they need to go to the grocery store you can take them instead of them driving themselves. It will take time but gradually they will come to realize they need help.
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It is Very common for the older generation to 'cover' for one another. Also denying they are not 'just fine'. Something about them thinking their independence will be taken away. Well, nature has already done that and they are in denial. My folks were that way. However, there are 4 of us and we worked together to get them into Assisted Living and even then it was not easy,
I would suggest that you check out places they may be able to go to.
Then after the work is done, you present to them 'the plan' and you have back up! Without sibling backup, I suspect you will need to contact the Area Agency on Aging? I am not adept at all the agencies out there. I know they are there.
Someone else can chime in and be of more help!! Will be praying for you. and your folks!
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Helpforlife, I was also considering what you need. You need to be able to support yourself, and it looks like the only way possible is to get a job. We do have to take care of ourselves before we can help other people. That was my greatest concern. You can still help to care for your parents, of course, but you have to take care of yourself first.
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The other question is, what does it take for them to see the danger? Dad already fell and broke his hip and has fallen numerous times.
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Thank you for your response. It is a different way of looking at things. I apologize that I wasn't clear about their mental state. They don't think they need help, though they truly cannot get through one day without it. They both refuse to acknowledge the fact that they cannot live on their own anymore. My Dad does very little for himself and expects my Stepmother to accommodate his every wish. She is frail and just cannot run a household alone anymore. But, having said that, they both say they are just fine. I have eyes and can clearly see that their health is at risk without someone hovering. .
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I dont mean to sound negative but i can see my parents saying we will just hire someone IF we need help to just to put me off. Yes i think it is normal for someone with dementia to downplay their needs. Will they actually hire someone if needed?

My dad with dementia does not want help even tho he can do very little on his own now. Both of my parents think they need much less help then they actually do.
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Helpforlife, your parents sound like a blessing. You can keep an eye on them to make sure that they do hire someone if they need it. Maybe you can find them some good resource people that they can call on. This would allow you to go back to work and take care of yourself. Not having any money of your own is a very vulnerable position for you. I don't see their saying that they will hire someone as disrespectful. I see it as a blessing they are giving to you.
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