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Old April 23 2015, 07:03 PM   #1
Peach Wookiee
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Advice needed...

Guys, I'm posting this in Miscellaneous on the chance that you all might have some good advice.
As some of you already know, I'm the co-caregiver for my mother who has severe-stage dementia. My dad does the heavier stuff because he's strong enough to roll her and get certain things done. And so I'm worried about him. He's clearly depressed and I want to cheer him up. He says he's fine and doesn't need help, but I know that's not the case.

So how do I help a caregiver who seems reluctant to be helped?

Your suggestions are much appreciated.
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Old April 23 2015, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: Advice needed...

I don't have any good little tricks or anything, but as someone who has been in the position of caregiver, I learned that no matter how selfless you want to be, you can't care for someone else if you're not caring for yourself. I don't really know how to advise you on accomplishing it, but I think you need to work towards convincing your dad that his health, and that includes his happiness, is vital to continuing providing care for your mom.
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Old April 23 2015, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: Advice needed...

You need cleary someone else to support you. Maybe someone else from your family could help out. I don´t know about your Dad, maybe he is uncomfortable to get strangers involved when it comes to caregiving?
My grandparents are already dead. But when my grandma suffered a stroke and was immobilized, grandpa stopped caring for himself and worried only about his wife´s well-being. When grandma died, grandpa lost his lust for living.
Sadly, I can´t give any advice other than agreeing with the previous speaker.
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Last edited by Kilana2; April 23 2015 at 10:20 PM.
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Old April 23 2015, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: Advice needed...

Money always helps. Don't know what country you're in but in the UK there's carers allowance benefit. Use it to get a cleaner so he doesn't have to worry about that side of things?

Other than that, he must have interests/hobbies you could look at as a way of letting him recharge. A day out to see his chosen team, a day out at the local bird watching sanctuary, a book about Cary Grant, Seinfeld on DVD, a weekend break. Depends what you mean by help

A therapist or counsellor he can talk to where he can get things off his chest might be helpful
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Old April 23 2015, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: Advice needed...

As hux says it depends what country you're in, but does anywhere local provide respite care of any kind whereby somewhere else could look after your mum, if only for an afternoon?

If not then I'll just echo what others have said, if your dad breaks down, either physically or emotionally, then he won't be able to care for your mum. Of course just because that's logical it doesn't mean he'll see it that way.
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Old April 23 2015, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: Advice needed...

My mom was/is the sole caretaker for my Dad who has Alzheimer's, advanced heart disease and multiple myloma. Hospice Austin sent, for FREE, a lightweight wheelchair, a trained home health care worker to babysit Dad whenever Mom needed (by appointment), a social worker to help with finding a nursing home and even a volunteer to come walk her dog. All for free. I am so glad; they've been a tremendous help.

Check if there's a Hospice organization in your area. They have provided a variety of services--not just end-of-life care, like I had always thought. They help caregivers of dementia & Alzheimer's patients, refer volunteers, and assist the elderly with just about anything.
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Old April 23 2015, 11:08 PM   #7
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Re: Advice needed...

I have a feeling, the way things are going, that we will end up with traditional hospice before long. I'm in the US and Mom and Dad's private insurance is being really... well, let's just say I've spent nights cursing because of the things they've denied even though it's clearly spelled out in the policy that this stuff is covered. So that adds to Dad's frustration. And she's very clingy to him. I came to the office yesterday with my nieces so I could give Dad even an hour so he could get some work done. She got angry with me being there when we sat down in the office so the girls could work on their homework. She wasn't angry at the girls being there... just me.
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Old April 24 2015, 05:49 AM   #8
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Re: Advice needed...

^Contact your local Hospice Society. There are loads of different resources for a variety of problems. Check with social services for elder care. Is your Dad a vet? The VA also has elder care services available.

My Dad depends on my Mom for everything. He's like a three year old; he needs to see her constantly, needs her to dress him, feed him, etc. And he is not that pleasant to be around sometimes, either.

Your Mom's not capable of being rational, so there's no telling how she will behave. Has she been evaluated for Alzheimer's? Granted, sometimes dementia is so severe, it really doesn't matter how you label it.

I live about a 3 1/2 hr. drive from my parents, and my oldest sister lives about 30 minutes away, yet I'm the one who ends up taking care of things. I know how frustrating it can be but there are services out there, if you know how to look. If you ever talk to your Mom's doctors, they can also help you get in touch with social workers and various programs.

I wish you luck.

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Old April 24 2015, 07:07 AM   #9
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Re: Advice needed...

Dad got out of serving. Your dad sounds a lot like Mom, auntiehill. Mom hasn't been formally diagnosed, but everything I've read says it's diabetic vascular dementia. And she's deteriorating.
I'm hoping Dad will take me up on him going to the driving range for a bit... on me.
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Old April 24 2015, 01:54 PM   #10
Tora Ziyal
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Re: Advice needed...

Your local diabetes association might know of resources for respite care. Also, the Alzheimer's association might be helpful, even if your mom's dementia is a different kind.
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Old April 24 2015, 03:02 PM   #11
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Re: Advice needed...

I'm doing that, Tora Ziyal. Question is... how do I get Dad to use it?
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Old April 24 2015, 03:14 PM   #12
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Re: Advice needed...

Have you tried looking into home health services yourself? Here, we have services that will come in and sit with him, give showers, light housecleaning, etc for $20 an hour or so with a three hour minimum per week.
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Old April 24 2015, 07:03 PM   #13
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Re: Advice needed...

I can't pay for it myself.
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Old April 24 2015, 07:11 PM   #14
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Re: Advice needed...

My grandparents were in a similar situation. My aunt was able to arrange for someone else to come and watch my grandfather for an afternoon each week and she took my grandmother out for lunch, a movie, shopping, hair salon, whatever she wanted.
The job of a caregiver is thankless, and they need to get out and do something for themselves on a regular basis, even if it's just a walk in the park. Kudos to your Dad for his dedication, and I guess if he doesn't want to go then you can't force him, but still, he needs a break.
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Old April 24 2015, 08:44 PM   #15
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Re: Advice needed...

Peach Wookiee wrote: View Post
I'm doing that, Tora Ziyal. Question is... how do I get Dad to use it?

Well, he can wait until he actually physically gives out, like my Mom did--don't recommend that--but you have drive home that if he gets sick/collapses/dies, it will do your Mom no good. If he drives himself into an early grave, how he can help her then? It took Mom YEARS to finally get that. She now physically can NOT do it. He's actually harming her health. Unfortunately, that might be what it takes to make your Dad see that he can't do it all by himself.
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