Both my parents have some form of dementia and each one is a different type. They both deny they have it but both can see it in the other one. I am used to submitting to them as parents. How do you change from submitting to controlling?
The hard part is over.
I'm matching you with one of our specialists who will be calling you in the next few minutes.
You may have to tell some therapeutic fibs ( we're going to lunch today, and oh, I just need stop at this medical office for a sec); you may need to get to think that something was their idea, you may need to make what is almost certainly a permanent situation a temporary one ( Assisted Living is just until the stormy season is over).
What you can't let happen is let a dementia patient drive the bus.
With two parents to cope with, unless they were normally of one mind, you are going to end up feeling a bit schizophrenic. On the other hand, each should recognise what you are trying to do for the other.
Do you have power of attorney for your parents? Do you have other family to help?
It felt kind of weird when I first realized that I had become her parent but it just feels normal now. It helps that I am bossy by nature though :-)
Two parents with a variety of dementias is too many for one person. Heavens! - just one can be too much!
Hadn't you better start looking now for a continuing care facility where they can be together in due course? Unless they have the means to fund really substantial in-home support, this could quickly get out of hand. And don't let the grass grow with the finance DPOA. Is this being handled by an experienced elder attorney? Perhaps that person could also be a useful source of advice and recommendations for other kinds of assistance and care options in your area. You need to develop a good support network of health and social care professionals, so that you have reinforcements to call on. And not only for practical help, but also - given the natural emotional inhibitions - for reassurance when you're facing those difficult decisions.
I think that when it's a person who doesn't really have dementia or it's the very early stage....then, it's a bit more tricky and you have to pick your battles and really practice your diplomacy skills.
I agree with those upthread who voice concern about caring for 2 people in the home with dementia....oh my. Do the research, read a lot here and explore your options. It's very challenging.
I know its hard going from being the child to being the parent but we must. We must be our parent's advocate as they age especially with their medical situations. I know its not easy. If possible I would consider talking to a therapist, counselor, social worker or joining a support group about this new phase in your life.
Having people around you with dementia makes them need caring. It's a fact. With my grandma it naturally fell into my lap that I had to be assertive with her and help her. She needs help in everything she does. I usually just offer to help her, explain and use the word Doctor says, a lot. If she's in one of her moods and I'm her sister (in her own mind) I go along with her saying her mom says so. I just work with what I'm given at any given moment in time. I don't think of it as taking over but instead helping her to go about her day safely and do what is necessary. Otherwise if she had her way, she'd probably be laying in a bed unchanged in filth forgetting to take any pills and eat while yelling at everyone. That's not a life at all.
See All Answers