Dealing With An Elderly Parent With Dementia?

I have struggled with my elderly parent with dementia for many years. No one else understands, as only I live with my parent. My parent does not admit to the rest of the family that (she) has dementia and the rest of the family does not understand how this kind of patient fights so hard against everything you try to do for them. Has anyone else experienced this denial and lack of understand on the part of others? I tend to think yes, but I have only met one person who understands.

Update:

(more details) I am so happy with the responses I got so far, the situation is like this: Mom fights me with everything I try to do, suggest to her, and tries to be the total boss, not listening to me or only five percent of the time. She does not realize her mistakes every day, dismisses everything I say, rebels against everything, will not listen. She immediately forgets what I tell her, even if I went over it five times, then five minutes later she has forgotten it. I wonder whether she listens. The children believe her distorted views and make me out to be a villan. They will not listen to me for seven years telling them about dementia. I just cannot win with Mom. It has put anger, depression and stress upon me. The other children have not lived with her for more than a week and do not see it. This dementia has gradually progressed worse for seven years. The constant repetition she says like a broken record has worn upon my stress and shortened my life.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I can't speak as someone with a parent with Dementia, but I can speak as a grandchild who watched her mother deal with this for years. First, let me say how sorry I am that this is happening. It's so hard to watch someone you love become someone unrecognizable.

    While my grandparents were too far progressed (Alzheimer's and literally hundreds of strokes) to allow for any of my family members to be in denial, that didn't mean they didn't ignore it. Sometimes, people are so self-centered that they focus on what the situation does to THEM, rather than thinking about the people who are affected most. They think, "this is too hard for me to see and to deal with, so it's easier to pretend that nothing is wrong."

    There's really nothing you can do, as long as your family members choose to act this way. Maybe one day they will come around, maybe not. Perhaps it would be helpful to have them sit down with a Dr. who can explain what dementia does to a person, and what type of things are to be expected. If it comes from an authoritative source, it might carry more weight.

    Also, there might be support groups in your area for people who are in the same boat as you. It might help just to get together with them, and help you see that you're not alone.

    I wish I had more to offer, but there's really no solution for this kind of thing. Hang in there, and know that even though your parent may not show you appreciation for what you do, they do love you and know what you're doing for them. Good luck.

    • ?6 years agoReport

      Good comment as I am going thru the very same thing with my elderly mother who refuses help from anyone but me - therefore I can't get any support as the doctors and agencies won't help unless mum wants the

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No one understands it until they've been through it. Some dementia patients either don't realize that they have a problem or refuse to believe or acknowledge it. This is very common. There is no point in trying to convince your parent of the dementia, as it will only lead to defensiveness and unhappiness for both of you.

    Please realize that there's still that voice inside your parent that tells him that he wants to be independent and do things his own way. He doesn't want to be ordered around by his children.

    Dealing with your parent will require patience and restraint on your part. By patience, I mean being willing to wait until your parent actually asks for your help. And by restraint I mean holding your tongue when you're tempted to argue. You will never win an argument.

    With my own mother, I found that if I could make her think that the good ideas were actually her ideas, she was much more willing to cooperate with things like taking her medications and bathing.

    Is there a possibility that you could hire someone to come in and stay with your parent for a couple of mornings or afternoons per week? If so, that would give you some time to yourself, which I'm sure you really need.

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  • mamad
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    My mother had dementia, and she lived with my husband a I. It was so difficult to deal with. She didn't deny that she had dementia, she just didn't know it. She would forget that she was forgetful. For example I would make her dinner she would eat then go to her bedroom only to come back out a few minutes later and ask me if I was ever going to feed her. No one can understand what it is like unless you have been the caregiver for someone with dementia. My brother and sister knew, but it didn't effect them as they only saw her for an hour or two maybe once a week. Bless you for taking care of your parent, and just remember to take care of you too. The suggestion of trying to find someone to come and help once in a while is an excellent suggestion. I got to the point that my eyes twitched, and my heart skipped beats because of the stress. I understand - good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I am finding out that not even the so-called medical "experts" can give people the info they are seeking in regards to dementia & alzheimers.

    I have been diagnosed with early onset dementia & I am attempting to control it with diet & organic foods. I am experimenting on myself because I don't want to become a medicated mess. No one knows if I will progress until "it" happens. Until then...only I know when I have a huge "blank" spot in my memory banks. It appears less often now. But that doesn't change the fact that I can't seem to find a way to get people to realize that I'm not going to knowingly allow myself to become a vegetable.

    I'm not in denial & I don't think many others in my shoes are in denial either. I think it's the medical field that is in denial & they would rather medicate all of us for their own grants & drug company studies. It's a witchhunt of the worst kind.

    It's modern day technology that is robbing us of our birthright to age & receive spiritual gifts from the source that creates all life.

    All you can do is try to stay in touch with the person & ask them how they would LIKE to live out their last days on this earth & then TRY to assist them to attain freedom if & when they need it.

    Personally, I'd like to die in the forest & let the animals feast upon my carcus. I know this won't happen if I live in a big city...so I'm moving closer to a wooded area while I still can!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am sorry that you are going through this, and apparently without any help or support. And, yes, I went through taking care of both of my parent who had dementia. Fortunately for me, my parents were very passive and did not give me grief. When I found that I could no longer take care of them because I was working full time, and my dad began to wander the neighborhood and get lost, I knew I had to do something. They were also beginning to lose control of their body functions, and I was on the brink of a breakdown I was so anxious and worried about them. And I had no help from my brother or my daughters. Eventually I had to place them in a skilled nursing facility near my house. I visited them almost every day . They received excellent care. Two years later they passed away peacefully.

    I know what you are going through is difficult. Maybe you can get some help from a home health care agency. Also, please get in touch with these organizations. They saved me many times when I thought I was losing it:

    www.alz.org -they have a 24 hr. hotline

    www.caregiver.org

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes I understand. I lived thru this also. My parent denied anything was wrong and my family chose to believe them. They were all in denial as they could not stand the thought. When problems arose because of the dementia they chose to think I was just exaggerating and it was not that bad. It is a difficult situation and only made harder by the denial. My parent has passed on now and it helps me to know I did my best for them and I miss them. Good Luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I know that it is hard to care for someone who sufferers from dementia. The others in your family don't want to see the problem because you are the one dealing with it. If they admit that there is a problem, you might expect them to help. I know, I've been in the same situation. Try talking to your mom's doctor and see if there is any treatment that might help. You need to see if there are any programs in your area that can allow you to take a break occasionally. If you don't care for yourself, you won't be able to care for her. Just remember that no matter what happens you won't be sorry for taking care of your mom. I wouldn't take anything for the time I spent caring for my parents.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I take care of people with dementia on a daily basis and also took care of my grandmother who had it before she died. The only advice I can give to you when trying to work with someone who has dementia is to live in their world. I know that sounds hard for most of us but it really makes the simpliest things manageable. If they want to talk about things that make no sense to you, don't correct them for this will make it hard on them and on you. Just go with their conversation. Also I have noticed that when it's time to bathe a person with this disease, do not place a dark colored bath mat in the tub. To someone with dementia, it appears to them as being a dark hole in the tub. Let the person you are caring for undress themselves with some assistance from you. Make it out as a game of sorts. This will work best to control anger and confusion. Another bit of advice to you is love them. Denial is what they know so of course they won't admit to having anything wrong, mentally. Just breathe. Enjoy all the time you have left with the ones you love. Again, live in their world, don't make them live in your's.

    Source(s): 27 yrs experience working with dementia
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Absolutely. My sister and I took care of our parents for 6 years. It is very difficult for everyone, but I think it is most difficult for the people that suffer from the condition. It is very hard to admit that your mind is not up to par. Most of the time, we just went along with whatever they seemed to be thinking at the time. It was always my opinion that it was better to agree than to get them so upset when we tried to correct them. It just seemed so cruel, and it didn't hurt anyone by simply agreeing with them. It is a very sad thing, and I know that it isn't easy for either one of you. I know how I felt when we went through it. Everyone handles it differently, and sadly it is a fact of life that this happens to people as we get older. I am happy to hear that you are with your parent. You will never regret what you are doing. I would do it all over again if I could. God bless you.

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