Before I took over her care, she lived in a not so clean home, ate mostly frozen dinners, and junk food. All that changed when I took over. She is also very cheap, for example, I replace sponges at least once a week because she had sponges that were over a year old and she fights me when I change it. She allows her cat to drink out of the same cup she drinks from. This is just a beginning.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Are you being paid and were you hired by your friend’s family? I’m just curious because somehow I got the impression you were just helping your friend out.

There is a happy medium. Filth is unhealthy to live in. But everything doesn’t have to be sanitary and perfect. Eat a good diet with a treat now and then. And giving the cat a sip of your water won’t hurt either one of you! Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)

My mother's wonderful geriatrician often said things like this to Mom: "Jean, I'm not going to tell you to change your diet. You wouldn't be this old if you were doing terrible things to your body. But I am going to suggest that you drink more liquids at this age, and I am going to ask your daugther here to help you with that. Is that OK?"

Your friend Lois is 88 years old. Obviously drinking out of the same cup as her cat has not killed her so far. She got by on frozen dinners and junk food just fine, thank you. Coming into the home of a person with dementia and making all kinds of changes is bound to upset them. (Probably would even if they didn't have dementia.) Upsetting the person with dementia unnecessarily is cruel.

Could you buy a dozen identical sponges so Lois won't notice when you change them? Or, if there is a dishwasher, throw the sponge in there every time you run it. Try to work it so she is not upset and you are still doing what you think is best.

Don't interfere in her relationship with a beloved pet, unless there is something dangerous to the cat or to Lois. I assure you, she did not get dementia from sharing a glass with a cat.

Does she like the meals you prepare? Could you serve her her favorite frozen meal once in a while? I hope you did not stop the junk food cold turkey!

It took me a while to figure it out, but once I understood my goal in taking care of my husband through his 10 years of dementia, life got a little less stressful. My goal was no longer to help him extend his life, but to help him maintain the best quality of life possible for him under the circumstances. We had always eaten fairly healthy (except for portion size!) so that was not a big issue. But I stopped caring about a "heart healthy diet." I encouraged him to do his exercises because keeping strong enough to transfer into bed had an impact on his quality of life right now. And that was my criterion for most decisions.

Is giving up junk food going to cure her dementia? Absolutely not! And drinking healthy smoothies isn't going to improve the quality of her life, at age 88. But fighting over what she should eat is decreasing the quality of her life right now. Weigh the pros and cons. Buy her a donut once in a while!

Be sure that improving the cleanliness of her home does not come across as criticism. Avoid "Wow this carpet is filthy! I don't see how you could stand it." Just quietly get the carpet clean, perhaps for your allergies if she doesn't think it is necessary.

It is impossible to care for someone with dementia and not upset them sometimes. Keep those times to an absolute minimum, and save them for when it really matters.
Helpful Answer (4)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter