Caregivers for those with dementia

Is anyone here such a caregiver? Lets start a support thread. My dad has dementia. He's on Aricept but still has good days and bad. I thought my mother was too impatient with him until... I had to stay with them for about a week.

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My father has dementia too (& a seizure disorder brought on by previous strokes & advanced Parkinsons) & my mother is his caregiver. She has help from a home health aide 3x a week but that's it.

I don't live there so I'm not personally involved (very often). But just chiming in.

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Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 05-10-2013 at 03:30 PM.
I'm just starting down that road with my dad. My mom passed away years ago, and my brother doesn't want to deal with him.

I've been trying to get him to move to a retirement community, and he's resisting. He refuses to go to his regular doctor.
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My dad (who passed away last year) had dementia related to Parkinson's Disease. Because I work, I hired an agency to provide live-in caregivers for the past 5 or 6 years. That worked out quite well. It's just fortunate that he had enough money to pay for that service, because it's not covered by Medicare.

I still had to do his grocery shopping, other errands, take him to doctor appointments, etc. And take care of his bills, taxes and all other finances. It was a lot of work, but not like doing it full-time. My hat is off for those who are full-time caregivers -- it's the hardest job in the world. Most caregivers for people with advanced PD will tell you that the dementia/cognitive changes are much harder to cope with than the physical problems.

Now my father-in-law seems to be developing memory problems. It doesn't seem like Alzheimer's, it's quite puzzling. I already have been helping him with his mail, bills and other paperwork, but I am expecting that he will need a lot more care in the future. He has long-term care insurance, but it won't cover everything.
I am not a caregiver but I used to work for an organization that did take care of patients with dementia. The advanced stages are difficult. Caregivers have to resist forcing the person with dementia to remember what time it is, who they are. As the caregiver, you have to just live in the moment with them. And for whatever reason, music and singing is very therapeutic for people with dementia. Also, putting black tape near the front of doors prevents them from opening the door to leave because they see it as a large hole. In advanced stages, their spatial awareness deteriorates. Sorry you are going through this.

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My grandfather had a caregiver. He had dementia and my grandmother cared for him until she couldn't anymore. She was starting to show signs of Alzheimers. The caregiver was awful. He stole from my grandparents. After my grandfather died, it became clear what this man had done. He had attempted to take over $20,000 multiple times from my Grandpa's bank account. And at some point, we received my grandpa's ID in the mail with a letter from a man that had found it in the caregivers car. It was very alarming to the man that sent it to us that he hid it from the caregiver and sent it to us.

I know that this happens in the minority, but I thought I would mention my family's experience.

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While my grandmother doesn't have dementia, caring for her is NOT easy. She has short term memory problems but that's also her cop out when she lies. Granny is well on her way to being demented. I never knew how evil old people can be until I started caring for granny. I hope my parents are easier to deal with. What aggravates me about my mom is that she is spineless when it comes to her mom. She will not tell her mom no. Both mom & granny work my nerves.

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