following are true stories sent in by today's caregivers:
father is in a stage of macular degeneration of the retina, which
is causing him to go blind. He stopped driving at night
a year ago. Then, he stopped driving during the day upon my Mom’s
and brother’s request about six months ago. They gently told
him that his attentiveness behind the wheel wasn't what it used to
be and with his eye condition worsening they thought he should play
it safe and not drive at all anymore. He did stop driving completely
and even sold his truck. He didn't give up his keys to their second
car though, and my Mom was too afraid to ask him to give them up. He
can be stubborn. Luckily he never attempted to drive again, even in
their second car. Today he suddenly and angrily told my Mom that the
family has a conspiracy against him about his driving, and he is going
to drive again and no one can stop him. He also stated he will take
a driving test to prove that he can drive just fine. At this point,
does my Mom take the car keys off of his key chain when he's asleep
at night, or approach him and tell him she wants his set of car keys,
because he's just not going to drive? Both of these options would really
make his blood boil, but my Mom just doesn't know what to do? Please
advise if you can.
Thank goodness for websites like this, my siblings and I need this
kind of support right now with my aging parents.
I am a 40-year-old
from India with an 81-year-old father and a 79-year-old mother. My
mum has Alzheimer’s and has been in this stage for
almost three years now. Initially they refused to let me help them
or keep someone to look after them. The progress into the disease hasn't
been rapid. But last week my dad, who had a severe chest congestion
and a neglected case of high diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood
pressure had a fall and was too weak to pick himself off the ground.
My mum didn’t realize the gravity of the situation and didn’t
bother to call me. I live about a 5-minute walk away. My brothers have
moved to Canada and Australia and don’t offer any help at all.
The Canadian has severed all ties with us. At least the Australian
sends some financial help as and when he can.
I look after my
parents physically, mentally and emotionally. I called that evening
just to chat with them and then she mentioned, "Oh
Dad has fallen on the ground I called him for lunch but he didn’t
respond so I didn’t bother!" I rushed over to find him conscious
and slumped on the ground. Mind you this must have been a good seven
hours after the fall. I have no idea if he had passed out and if yes
for how long. This alarmed me. I rushed him to hospital and he has
been there for a week now. I couldn’t keep my mum alone at home
so left her at my aunt’s home; she was totally disoriented and
couldn’t recognize my uncle, thought he was my dad and in the
hospital thought someone else was my dad. She has been really restless
at nights and kept going to the bathroom all night and talking to herself.
However, now that they are back home, she seems more relaxed, but tends
to talk about her past and her childhood all the time. My concern is
how do I handle two sick and aged people together. It’s tough,
cooking, cleaning and taking care of them and yet trying to hold onto
a job for the financial support, which is desperately needed. I get
very tired and depressed. My day starts at 7 and doesn’t end
till past midnight. Running between two homes and work is not easy
I would love to hear from you if you have some advice and help on
how to manage this situation. I am one tired person.
am about to turn 18 years old in December, a time in a person's life
when they "become an adult." But I feel like
I have been an adult for a long time. I take care of my father who
has Alzheimer's and have been taking care of him for the past six years.
I live with my mother and my brother. We all share the responsibilities,
but I feel that I am usually the only person in the family with enough
patience to talk to my father when he is in a mood about something.
My father is now in the last stages of Alzheimer's and now in the mornings,
I usually wake up to a puddle of urine scattered variously throughout
I love my father, but sometimes it's so hard to handle him. For example,
on the fourth of July last year, he threw a chair through the living
room window because he said there were bad people outside. I am not
looking for pity, just hopefully, teenagers out there that can relate
to me. See, I have tried to go to support groups, but they have all
adults there. I would like to find teenagers that I can more easily
relate to. I feel that the only way that I have stayed sane throughout
this whole process was through God, and God alone. I thank him everyday
for my father still being able to recognize me every morning. I don't
know how much longer it will last, but I do cherish it now.
husband, 60 years old, diagnosed in February 2004, but showing signs/symptoms
since 2001, was treated for pituitary tumor
in March 2004. He now has permanent memory loss and is disabled. TI
As and seizure diagnosed after his tumor was removed. He was in an
rehab and LTCF for rehab until july 2004. He has good days and bad
days, mostly fatigued, but able to do his own personal care.
I am working full-time, we have two children, a 16 year old daughter,
a 19 year old son in college. We also have a caregiver. I need a support
group, education and information for caregivers who care for someone
with memory loss.
There are several problems: (1) Not knowing what to expect and plan
for. I don't make definite plans only tentative ones. (2) Dealing
with the sudden mood swings and repetitiveness — I ask him
to answer his own question or re-evaluate his last comment (3) Trying
to work full-time and meet the demands of his medical care. I'm still
working on this one. I do have a caregiver, but I'm with him the
most time and feel I need to be at each appointment to tell the doctor
what he asks and needs to know.
I am a 43-year-old, single African American female who
has been caring for my 69-year-old mother. My mother was diagnosed
with MS over 15 years ago. She is in a wheelchair because the greater
damage has been to the loss of muscle usage in her legs. She has minimal
use of her hands and, takes a great deal of medication. In addition
to these physical problems are her mental issues. She's become paranoid,
abusive and threatening to me. Although I have a brother and a sister,
neither lives with her as I do, nor do I receive any assistance form
them in the care of our mother. My sister is taking financial advantage
of our mother and, I can't do a thing to stop it.
I'm the eldest daughter. One could say I've always been the most dependable
and responsible of all the siblings. My parents divorced, quite bitterly,
over 25 years ago. In April of 2004, I was involved in a serious car
accident. My back was severely injured. Even so, everything that needs
to be done for my mother is done by me alone. I cook (even though she's
sometimes convinced she's being poisoned). I grocery shop, clean the
entire house, wash laundry, change her linen, bathe her, clean her
up after she's used her toilet, change medication patches as needed,
drive her to and from doctor's appointments and anywhere else she has
to go. Everything she needs and wants I see to. I do all of these things
at the same time suffering her persecution on a daily basis.
I and others are of the opinion that my mother is slowly but surely
losing her mental faculties. She's forgetful. She doesn't pay her bills.
Her bedroom is consumed with papers and unopened mail. Nothing I do
is good enough. I've endured the embarrassment of having police officers
called to our home by my mother with claims of abuse. Let me state
now that no abuse has ever occurred and the officers realize that.
I endure almost daily, listening to telephone conversations my mother
has with people from our church, friends, as well as other family member's
referring to me in some of the most derogatory, hurtful ways imaginable.
She keeps a .38 caliber gun under her pillow and a shotgun beside her
in bed. She locks herself in her room, sometimes not coming out an
entire day. In desperate need of help, I've contacted Adult Protective
Services, Genesis, Department of Aging, her doctor and countless others,
in an effort to help me in some way.
She recently filed
for and received a judgment for an "unlawful
detainer," forcing me to move out with no place to go and no means
of going anywhere. I've exhausted my savings in order to stay home
and care for my mother. My health is failing and I am told that if
I do not remove myself from this level of negativity and stress, I
may very well have a stroke or heart attack. I ask you, WHAT CAN I
DO? Where can I go for support and help?
I'm praying that someone will step forward to assist me or, advise
me on how to deal with this situation. How to SAVE MYSELF?
mom had a major stroke 2 1/2 years ago. She has lost her speech and
the use of the right side. She can feed herself and
wipe herself with her left hand. She understands what you say to her
but at times we have trouble figuring out what she wants. She has had
tons of therapy but not much has changed. She walks with my assistance
to shift her weight from side to side and with a hemi-walker. Therapists
told us if she would fall to that right side she would go down like
a tree, because there is no use of the right arm and the right calf
and foot are in the plastic brace which she wears all day.
have tried the use of pictures, a wipe-off board, flash cards and
but she will not use them. My parents are still living
in their home, which is about five minutes from my own house. My
dad is 82 and a diabetic and mom is 73. I have found a caregiver
in while I am at work because mom cannot get out of bed herself and
get dressed by herself. She is pretty much paralyzed now from the
did everything around the house so dad is pretty much clueless. My
problem now is I want to move them into my house with
and me. Our kids have recently moved out leaving us with three
empty rooms. One got married, one bought his own house and the other
away for work. My sister also lives about five minutes away from
our parents but she has two teenage kids who need her. My brother
lives about 15 minutes away and he has one young son and one teenage
daughter and he will not take mom to the bathroom so he helps dad
a lot with maintenance on their house.
husband does not have a problem with moving my parents in with us.
My brother says it is
going to tie us down. I can't see where
going to be any worse than the running back and forth that we
are doing now. My sister and I take turns putting her to bed every
night. I get
her up on Saturday mornings and give her a shower and also get
her up on Sundays. I am getting tired of running back and forth,
to take them food, which sometimes ends up in the refrigerator
for weeks, trying to scrub their kitchen floor and clean the
The laundry could be done right along with ours.
people have told me don't do it, but I can't see where it can be
any worse. I'm
torn as to what to do and I know it must
to leave your house after so many years there, but I don't
want to be driving in a snow storm at 10 to 11 pm at night any more
mom to bed. I have tried to talk to mom and dad saying that
something were to happen to dad, mom would have to move out
right away. If
mom passed away dad could maybe live there but he does not
know what to
do. He kept hoping that mom was going to be back to where she
was, but it is not going to happen. Thanks for listening.
goodness for this web site. My mother is 83 years old and in overall
excellent health, thank the lord. She is a retired CNA and up until
recently (June) worked as a companion in the elderly housing she
resides in. The two"friends" she took care of died in March
and June and that is when changes in her started taking place. She
became withdrawn and isolated. She was also confused and forgetful.
I felt it was age-appropriate but my sister felt it was more -- maybe
early stage dementia and my mom agreed with my sister. I later found
out during this time a doctor at her clinic prescribed Zoloft for
her and a sleeping pill which she became very dependant on and she
was taking her medications incorrectly.
a multitude of tests, i.e. head scan, geriatric assessments, it was
concluded that she had no signs of dementia or Alzheimer's; It was
a mild case of sadness due to the loss of her friends. After my becoming
very involved with her doctors and plan of care, she is now off the
Zoloft.The nurses at the clinic were very helpful and we have enrolled
her in an adult day care center, which picks her up and drops her
off at her home anywhere from two to three times a week to daily
visits. Through the local agency on aging we have a home care nurse
come to her home to fill her medication box for her each week, which
has helped her immensely. There is a lot of assistance out there
if we keep searching and asking questions. Bottom line is we really
need to advocate for our parents because we know their true personalities
and can help their doctors to better understand them in order to
diagnosis and treat them properly.