How do you get past the fact that you now are telling your parent how it needs to be? - AgingCare.com

How do you get past the fact that you now are telling your parent how it needs to be?

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He is the parent and I'm still his child. My father is showing signs of dementia and we have scheduled an appointment with a professional to get further opinion. Until then I have to deal with him like a child....he complained about a sitter I had gotten him and that I had moved in to care for him....I got tired of arguing and got rid of the sitter and moved out but we still check on him everyday and give him his meds because he does not know the regiment of his medication. We wont let him drive until we have further understanding of his memory loss. He was quiet for awhile about this until yesterday...he called me at work demanding to know where his keys were....he wanted to get a sandwich.... I once explained about the driving and also explained he had a refrigerator full of food and reminded him he was not stranded or left ....but we cannot risk the lives of others with him behind the wheel. He yelled at me and is mad and it hurts....I know im so called protecting him but it scares me with his personality change. This illness has grown a wedge in our relationship it feels and I will feel horrible if the time comes and my father passes....he is mad at me for how i took care of him. It also messes with your mind because this is your parent and now you have to treat them like the child and I back down too easy....I almost gave the keys back and my husband is thinking clearer and wont let me. His social worker with hospice said he would play me since im his daughter and to hold up to my end....this disease makes them smart enough to play mind games but makes them not remember the day of the week?....

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When I witnessed My Mum Who's 86, loosing Her memory, asking Me the same question repeatedly, I knew there was something seriously wrong with Mum. It took just three minutes to decide that's it, Im retired. I packed up My job as a self employed plumber to stay home and care for My Mum full time / 24 x 7. Mum was diagnosed with AZ in mid 2013. People with Demensia or Alzheimer's should NOT be left on Their own. Our Parents cared for Us, now it's only fair for Us to take good care of Our Parents.
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Ugh, you poor thing. I don't know if this might help the sinking feeling when you realise you're being the boss of your parent, but what about contemplating the alternative? That you don't tell him what to do, you let him go his own sweet way and…

It's the lesser of two evils, isn't it. Unfortunately that doesn't make it feel great.
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Lab, I understand what you are going through... I have issues with my Dad with driving also... never had raised my voice to him until a few years ago when he wanted to get back behind the wheel.

Oh my gosh, I would have mini-break-downs whenever he would bring up the subject of driving. I knew it wasn't safe for him or Mom. They were just so use to going somewhere 2 or 3 times PER DAY while retired. Dad thought since I was a woman, I would love to go shopping.... NOT.

So now whenever my Dad says he is going to start driving again I tell my Dad that he would need to call the car insurance agent and tell her that he is now the primary driver of his car, and not to be surprised if his insurance rates double because of his age [he's 93].

Part of me thinks Dad brings up driving just to have a debate going since he isn't around anyone of his own generation in their subdivision... and Mom is now almost deaf so not much conversation goes on. How I wished they would have moved to a retirement village, it would have been a win-win for them and for me.
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Don't know how you don't feel bad and feel guilty...goes with this new territory you are entering and oh yeah, they'll make you feel like you're twelve again...

Educate yourselves by browsing this site, reading thru answers and getting many ah ha moments. Read "36 hr day" and some other great books on dementia and take time to view some Teepa Snow YouTube videos to enlighten yourself on the disease and expected behaviors.

Cognitive impairment in loved ones varies day to day and time of day. Some days and times are better than others. Relish the good and be patient on the bad. Learn great skills for distracting, redirecting and handling your dad. Pick your battles.
It's very scary and although they don't admit they have a problem or are slowly losing it...deep down and in most cases they realize it and act out in their anger and frustration of losing control and needing help, assistance and thinking of what the future holds. You will bear the brunt, they lash out most at those closest to them. Try not to take it personally.
Do the big things by helping them get documents in order, talk about their wishes for care, what if they have to move, where they want to go, finances, etc. DONT PROMISE anything like "you can live with us" or, "I'll never put you in a NH", etc.
Sounds like you already make sure his needs are met, make sure he socializes with others his age and develops interests, friends, etc. keep him active.
Let him make decisions and have a say in most things. Don't feel bad about putting your foot down when it comes to anything related to his health and welbeing. Remember he is an adult and unlike a child, has rights to make decisions and choices...even if they don't agree with yours or what you perceive as best for him.

Food luck on you and dads journey.
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One of the hard things about memory issues is that usually what goes first is the ability to make new memories, which means that they cannot learn anything new. My sister-in-law, who had had several neurosurgeries, used to call me several times int a row with the same question. One thing that was horribly frustrating is when she would repeatedly ask or demand something without realizing that there were good reasons that it couldn't be done, but she couldn't remember the reasons and kept nagging. Sometimes for hours. Once I had to completely walk away and ignore her completely; that may have been why I had a mild heart attack that evening. She lived alone, her daughter tried to have her but she kept "escaping" and trying to get home. We knew that she could totally not adjust to a care facility; her mental health was not good at best. She did pass away at home, which is what she wanted.
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Hi Lab, welcome to our world :).
This is a very tough time, and it sounds like you've got the main things you'll need: common sense, good judgment, and some support (your husband, and maybe others). You're going to need to be very kind and forgiving to yourself. There is no "perfect" way to handle things with your father that will result in your relationship not changing or maybe even disintegrating somewhat. It's very sad, especially if you were close, but the priority now is his safety and welfare. The dynamic of his being in charge is going to have to change, and you'll need to feel your way through it as best you can.
Yes, they are definitely still capable of manipulating, even if they no longer have short term memory. They cannot be reasoned with, so stop explaining, justifying, defending, and so on.
My mother was always very authoritative and domineering, and I was the "dutiful daughter." She was deeply resentful of my involvement, and I learned quickly that the best course of action was to lie if need be. She couldn't discuss or be reasoned with, the angry, circular discussions became a real nightmare. I started to handle things without involving her at all. I just took over her affairs, no discussion--which felt horribly "wrong", but the flip side of this was that she could save face. She didn't need to acknowledge most of what was happening (driving priviledges were the exception!). I just handled everything. If she tries to start an argument or become oppositional, or she gets moody/angry/feel sorry for herself, then I keep my responses as bland and uninformative as possible, and calmly distract, change the subject, and if necessary, cut my time with her short.
It's very hard, when for us, it's so important to cultivate as good a relationship as possible in the time left, but for them, the most important thing is their safety and well being.
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Your dealing with typical dementia. Hubby is right, do not give the car keys back!! This is one huge hurdle that you don't want to repeat. You can't reason or argue with your dad. There's loads of info on this site. Read up and drop the guilt. You have to do what has to be done for dad and for you. Don't let this destroy your life.
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