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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?

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Well, if you want to save your sanity and your health, you have to assert, gently, control of the situation.

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.
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By assuming a new identity as your parent in his/her right mind. You are not taking charge of your parent; you are acting on your real parent's behalf, as your real, unimpaired parent's representative, as that person's brain, hands and heart.

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?
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Strange enough, I found it easier to care for two people with dementia than I do one. My parents had each other, so it took a lot of pressure off of me to entertain them. Now it is just my mother and me, one on one. I'm in charge of everything, really, but she fights me each step of the way. Even though she has lost the ability to control things, she still wants to control them through me. Sunny said it well when she said mentioned choosing battles. If your parents are easy to get along with, there should be few problems. If they are like billy goats, though, you'll have to get prepared for some head butting. Usually there are ways to get things done and let them feel like they're still in control. Occasionally that is not possible and you just have to do something and let them fuss about it. Good luck!
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I have found that, in my case, the relationship just shifts naturally. It happened faster than I thought it would but I went from daughter to parent (hence my screen name Mom to Mom). It started out with my giving instruction for little things, then I found I was giving direction. At this point, I am telling her when and what to eat, wear, and do. Our relationship has clearly turned into a reverse parent child one now. She is unable to make big decisions but I know that she can make small decisions (to you want the red shirt or blue shirt today?) but she seems to prefer not to. She seems to really enjoy her childlike role and having everything done for her.

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 :-)
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Mm. Double trouble...

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.
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When I made the transition to step in and insert my judgment with my LO, although she's not my parent, it happened when it suddenly hit me that if we go her way, she's going to get really hurt or worse. I realized that this wonderful lady was not thinking clearly. She was talking about things that were completely irrational and dangerous. So....you have to step up then. It's like running to throw someone a life vest when they are drowning. You just know you have to save them. At least that's how it happened with me.

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.
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Dear CS,

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.
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I have medical power of attorney and we are working on durable financial poa. Each one does see what I am doing for the other, but each one resents when I try to do the same for them. As far as other family, none that will help too much. I moved in with my parents and rent out my home to one of my kids. When I need a sudden short term 'sitter' she does come help with that. But the rest is all me.
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I also think that it's often a personality thing. Some people are just not "take charge" people. They don't have a knack for being insistent, pushing things through or being the person who upsets someone sometimes. (You may not get approval in all your decisions with people who have dementia.) It's not their fault, that's just who they are. If that is an issue, I'd seek the help of another family member to give you support. I do think that people who really struggle with it, have a harder time. Still, practice will help.
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I care for my grandma. To be honest at times she still resists me caring for her seeing me as a kid. She will often call my niece by my name thinking I'm still little until we correct her as does Serenity that Serenity is her name. She always laughs it off saying she just can't remember that and is shocked anytime my name and me come up in conversation although she does see my younger sister as an adult with two children and doesn't seem shocked by this all the time.

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.
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