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My mom's alzheimer's is much worse since I was on last time
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ifeelveryalone posted:
It's been a long time since I've posted anything. My mom'a Alzheimer's is quite a bit worse now and I'm still taking care of her with minimal if any support from my family. I'm the only one that lives with her. She now believes that everyone is stealing from her, she hides all her belongings including mine if she gets a hold of them, she refuses to take showers, she is constantly talking to herself, she wears clothes and then puts the dirty ones back in her closet or drawer, and probably many other things if I could think of all of them. I still have an undiagnosed illness, suspected arthritis but that hasn't changed anything I'm still expected to do the work. When my oldest sister comes home now and then I'm also expected to care for her and she is paralyzed from the waist down and is in a wheelchair. My dad tells me that I must ignore everything easy for him to say. When I complain about the situation he takes me on a guilt trip. I'm unable to work because of the arthritis so he pays my bills for me so it's easy for him to make me feel guilty. Am I complaining too much since my dad pays my bills or is this an unfair situation? Sometime I feel like my family doesn't care about me, maybe like I'm their employee not a family member. I'm thinking of looking into a local support group, if I can find one, to help with some of the issues. Any replies would be greatly appreciated.
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cjh1203 responded:
I remember you, and I'm really sorry that nothing has improved for you.

No, you're not complaining too much and yes, you're in an extremely unfair position. Taking care of your mother without help, and with your own health problems, is hugely stressful without the addition of taking care of your sister when she's there. I don't know if your father honestly doesn't realize what caregiving entails, if he's in denial about the seriousness of the situation, or what.

Does your mother's doctor know about all of her current symptoms? Could you enlist the doctor's help in convincing your father that you can't take on this responsibility all alone?

You should definitely call your local Alzheimer's Association and talk to someone there about the situation with your mother. This is something they deal with all the time, and I'm sure they can give you some help. Also, their support groups can be invaluable. You'll find that others have shared many of your experiences, and they can give you good advice for handling things that come up, as well as give you moral support and let you know that you're not alone.

Please continue to post here when you can. It's been sort of quiet here lately, but you'll always get a reply, and it can be helpful just to have a place to vent.

Carol
 
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ifeelveryalone replied to cjh1203's response:
Our family doctor does know all about it. He talks with me quite a bit about the situation but tells me that I'm stuck right where I'm at. I know he will back me up if my mom needs to go to a care facility. He also wanted to prescribe some medication to relieve my mom's symptoms and also make things easier on me and my father wouldn't allow it. My father is in terrible denial and unfortunately is also very controlling.The situation is extremely difficult and stressful and getting worse all the time. But I thank you so much for your reply and I will keep in touch more often. You have helped me a lot in the past too. Thank you.
 
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cjh1203 replied to ifeelveryalone's response:
It's so hard to understand why your father would refuse medication that would help your mother and make caring for her easier for you.

Has your mother's doctor tried talking to your father about all this? Or is there a family friend, pastor, rabbi, etc. that your father might listen to?

Definitely get in touch with your local Alzheimer's Association. I don't know what the solution is to what's going on, because of your father's denial and controlling nature, but I would bet almost anything that they would be able to help you. At this point, you need all the support and advice you can possibly get.

Someone else here might have some good suggestions for you, too.

Carol
 
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Judith L London, PhD replied to cjh1203's response:
Hi to ifeelveryalone

So glad you described what's going on. You are not complaining or being ungrateful - you've gone all out for you mother.

You are in a situation that is detrimental for your own health and well-being, as well as your mother's. If your father is the one who has the power to make all decisions about your mother than he is the one responsible. Call for a family conference. The local Alzheimer's Association can give you valuable input regarding this as well. Call 1-800-272-3900 or go to the web site., www.alz.org .

Enlist the aid of her physician and inform your family that the doctor has suggested your Mom requires special help, and may need to be placed in a facility, and ask them to help you find one. Your father must be involved financially and otherwise.

It was wise of you to reach out and tell us about what's going on. I could give you suggestions about how to deal with each of the issues concerning your Mom's behavior but you are right - it is too much to do alone.

Hope you can get some relief from this unimaginable burden,
Judy
 
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ifeelveryalone replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Our family doctor is already involved and he isn't suggesting a facility either. Everyone seems to be focused on making my mom comfortable and don't seem to be concerned about me. I don't think my mom is ready for a facility either I would just like to have more help and support from family. I told our doctor that my mom is now refusing to shower and his advice "just let it go, don't push her". Recently my mom has misplaced her post office key and house key. My father wants me to give her my keys. That's his solution. My dad doesn't seem to be affected by anything so it doesn't bother him. If it bothered him, he would be more supportive. I have friends who feel bad about my situation but they are not in a position to help. My family however, will never get any more involved than what they are forced to. Thank you for your response.
Karen
 
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cjh1203 replied to ifeelveryalone's response:
Karen, have you contacted anyone at your local Alzheimer's Association yet? You need someone on your side, and they would be. Awful as your situation is, there are probably others who have been through something similar, where they are getting no support at all from their families. Please give it a try. I don't really know what else to suggest, I'm afraid.

The advice to not worry about your mother showering sounds awful. All kinds of physical problems can result from not bathing -- not to mention how unpleasant it would be to be around someone who hasn't showered for an extended time.

Giving your mother your keys doesn't seem like very good advice, either, since you know she's going to lose them.

The biggest problem in this situation seems to be your father's absolute denial about everything. That's one area where the Alzheimer's Association might be able to give you some advice, because denial is so common with the spouse of an Alzheimer's patient.

My heart goes out to you. Nobody should have to deal with this kind of thing without help.

Carol
 
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ifeelveryalone replied to cjh1203's response:
I haven't contacted anyone yet. I do realize I'm not totally alone. It is more hard on me emotionally than anything. I hate watching what's happening to my mom. I think our doctor said not to push her on the shower thing because he's afraid she will retaliate on me. I think he's afraid she will get violent if I push her and that is something I fear also. You're right about my father, he is in total denial and nothing will change that. Most of the time I fear what's coming next and how I will handle it. I experience several different emotions on a daily basis. Anger towards my father is the most frequent emotion, then comes sadness. However, I try very hard to take one hour at a time and try not to think any further ahead than that. Also just telling you and others about my situation helps. I know I'm not alone. Thank you.
Karen
 
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balmayne1 replied to ifeelveryalone's response:
Hi Karen,

I really have empathy with you. You are going through a tough time. You are right, just take one hour at a time.

How are things now? Please keep in touch with us.

Ruth


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