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CSI NY - Alzheimer's Story Line
davedsel57 posted:
My wife and I are fans of all the CSI TV series, and we watched CSI NY every Friday evening. Last night's episode had a story line about one of the lab techs - Adam - and his dad having Alzheimer's and being in a facility.

The interaction they showed between Adam and his father was very similar to my own with my father. In the show, the father confused Adam with his own brother. He would have periods of agitation and confusion and then revert to being lucid. Adam was under a great deal of stress dealing with his father and called it 'baggage'.

I feel exactly the same way with my father. Last night he called me and was upset about something that happened in his facility and started ranting about leaving and finding a different place. I tried to remain calm and explain what an excellent facility he was in but he just kept on, getting even angrier. Finally I just said "Dad, I have to go. I'll talk to you later." and hung up. This scenario is repeated about 2 or 3 times per month so I am used to it. It is still upsetting and leaves me wondering if I am doing all I can for my dad. After discussion with my wife I always realize that I have done all I can for my dad and he is extremely well cared for.

I guess I wanted to share this to show that this is so common and many people deal with a parent, spouse or other loved on who needs care due to Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia. There is comfort in knowing we are not along and others struggle with these situations as well. I felt it was extremely well represented in the TV show episode last evening.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings, Dave
cjh1203 responded:
Hi, Dave.

It does sound as though the show depicted the Alzheimer's struggle pretty well.

I'm sorry you get those upsetting phone calls from your dad. One of the saddest things about caregiving is the guilt that always seems to come with it, no matter how much you've done. I'm glad you realize that you have given your dad the very best care. You have been, and continue to be, a caring and loving son to your father through his illness.

It sounds as though your dad is happy most of the time, and that's probably as much as anybody can hope for.

Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi Dave,

Your father needs to complain. Having Alzheimer's is so upsetting for everyone, including him. Let him know that you don't blame him for wanting to leave and that he has a right to feel upset. Rational explanations don't register - so agree with his feelings, and tell him that you understand. Try not to take it so persionally - and expect that his need to vent is important.

You've been terrific with your Dad - It's so hard.


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