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How can I help my mom cope with my dads dementia?

My mom feels bad and cries Because she feels sorry for my dad who can't remember stuff like, the day or date and how old he is and who was at the house an hour ago. I know she is frustrated with trying to always be patient. I just don't know how to help her. She has to remind him to shower, make his bed change his shirt from the day before.
Status: Open    Aug 19, 2015 - 07:24 AM

Dementia

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Aug 21, 2015 - 02:58 PM

Your family is very lucky to have you, you are advocating for both their health by researching.

My experience has been that the spouse is in a tough spot. There are the physical demands of being a caregiver, not to mention the emotional toll it takes, all the while coping with the stages of 'grief and loss' associated with losing the life she was used to with your Dad. I truly believe that caregivers go through the stages of grief long before their loved one dies. I believe they are grieving the loss of the life they knew, the loss of their spouse (who isn't a regular partner or participator in the relationship anymore), the physical demands of being a constant around the clock caregiver, lack of sleep, etc. It piles on for sure. I often equate this stage as similar to caring for your first newborn but with an adult size person with similar needs.

The best thing you can do is ASK your mom what you can do to help. If she doesn't have any ideas I might suggest a handful of meals she can pull from the freezer and bake and/or reheat. Providing some 'respite care' for her, so she can go to the grocery store alone and wander the aisles and just turn her brain off for a bit. If you don't live nearby looking into a non-medical home care service that will provide a few hours a day a couple days a week. Maybe they can take over the 'bathing assistance', provide some help with light housecleaning, again while she gets out of the house for a few hours.

The "CARING" link on this page has some good ideas that might be helpful too: http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources/caregiver-toolkit It will be hard for her to accept the help at first, most likely, but it is very important for her own health too!
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