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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index


I am new to this message board. I am not new to Alzheimers. It's funny that when I tell people, even women who are nurses, know nothing about Alzheimers. Especially how to pronounce it. Anyway, my dad is in his 3rd year, and no sooner did he find out he had the disease, my stepmother left him. He had prostate cancer right after he was told he had Alzheimers. She had the nerve to say, "Oh, I want to stick it out until he gets through the prostate cancer". Oh gee, thanks. Then the battle began. She thought that because he was sick he wouldn't fight for what was his. Sooo, we are still in the process of getting what she tried to keep that wasn't just hers. (her 401K) And of course she took half his pension. That's all fine and dandy, but why wait till someone is diagnosed with Alheimers to leave.

Well, what I wanted to say was that his symptoms to me seem weird. He remembers situations or events. He just gets alot of the details wrong. He still lives on his own, but this is the first time EVER that he has lived alone. That in itself is scary. He also repeats himself over and over and over again. I usually don't remind him, because I did that when it first started happening 3 years ago and he would just get mad and yell at me. So now I just say oh yea, I remember you telling me that. The next thing he does, is he makes up stories about him when he was young, being in gangs and actually having shoot outs and things like that with other gangs. And I tell him, dad you have to stop telling people that you did that. He discloses information that is obviously very untrue, but if the wrong person hears it, they may believe him and call the police. (seriously!) So I don't know what to do. Another issue I thought about recently is the lack of respect people have when dealing (some people) with this disease. This woman in the office where my dad lives. It's a Senior center, 55 and older, she always says, "Your dad is so confused, he always asks me where, so and so lives, and you know and he knows I can't give out that information. He always repeats himself". Well no duh!!! She knows he has Alzheimers! How ignorant! It just makes me sooo mad. My last, of course but not least issue since I have tons, but don't want to do that to all of you, is that my two brothers don't help as much, and the excuse is that they work. I have 5 kids! I have (my husband and I) a business. Actually, my one older brother has a business too, and he does take my dad to dinner at least every two weeks. I have to pay all his bills, take care of his dog, do all the Health stuff, and take care of Pension/Social Security, and basically all the paperwork, for eveything he has to do. It just gets hard sometimes when my younger brother just doesn't deal well with it, so say on a randomn Sunday, and I am out with my dad, and at least 4 of my five kids and I have already taken him to lunch, and I just see him hanging out with his 2 kids, with not a care in the world. We all live within a 7 mile radius so I can see him over at my exes house or mom's or other brother's, you know. So it just ticks me off that other family members don't junp in and try to help out every now and then. I have heard other family members say oh, yea, we'll visit. BLAH BLAH BLAH, and they NEVER have!! I don't know if anyone is still reading, but thanks for listening, caring, and understanding because I am sure you have all been there. By the way, I just got this great card (like a business card) that you give to people, like at a restaurant, to give them a heads up, that say: Thank you for your pateince, my loved one is suffering from Alzheimers. (I cried when my friend who lost her dad, gave it to me, to show it to me.)

Thanks, and any advice is always appreciated!!

MOMof5 plus dad. :angel:
Hi there, and welcome to the wonderful wacky world of Alzheimers! LOL

First and foremost, unless they [B][U]specialise[/U][/B], most medical professionals haven't got a clue about the disease and it's quirks, twists and tales. They *know* about it, and have a basic idea about it, but they don't [B][I]KNOW[/I][/B] it like we do. My best suggestion is to do what I did .. and educate those who don't know. Be calm (hard sometimes) but firm, and by all means, USE THAT CARD. I had made up something similiar, but my ex-charge wouldn't use it, so I sent a letter to all her 'regular' haunts (bakery, bank, club, church etc) explaining things and who to call if it all went pear-shaped.

The behaviours you describe with your dad ARE typical, he's not doing anything that surprises me. Remember, Alzheimers / Dementia can affect different parts of the brain (frontal temporal lobe dementia, vascular dementia, picks Disease .. the list goes on on and on) therefore behaviours and characteristics are dffernt, and typically, exact diagnosis can't be done until an autopsy can be performed.

At least your Dad has his speech still, which is something many lose early on, so as long as you are prepared for some magnificent story telling, let him enjoy his world.

I've stated before, that many people expect their loved one to 'behave normally' and I always encourage them to stop thinking that way. The loved one ISN'T behaving like this on purpose. They have no control, they can't help it. They are becoming increasingly *stuck* in their world, and are simply not capable of entering ours. Therefore, as you have already learnt, just agreeng with them keeps them happy.

My favourite statement is "Promise them the world if it keeps them happy" who cares ??? It's much better than the alternative .. arguing, frustration, anger on both sides ...

And on the 'rest of the family' front, don't expect anything from anybody. If help comes, accept it with good grace, but don't set yourself up for disappointmen .... families have been destroyed, children ruined through the experience of a grandparent/in-law going through the disease process, and from one who has been in that position, don't let it get that far. Your loved one will eventually pass on, but your family will still be around for a while yet.

when I looked after my two charges (one with Dementia, one with lung disease) my husband and I, and our 3 children moved in upstairs in a 2 bedroom Bed and Breakfast while my charges lived downstairs. There were family living in the same town (5 minute drive away) but when help was requested, we were constantly disappointed. When we started looking after them, I was working 38 hours a week as well .... so between work, 3 kids, husband, cooking for 7 people, housework (never a priority let me add LOL), trying to have some form of social life (ha !! Friends had to come to us because we couldn't leave the house) ....... and then to get ACCUSED of doing it for my own gain (right .....High Blood Pressure was worth it! A suicidal son was worth it! A schitzphrenic son was worth it! NOT) we had to flee our town where we at least had some friends, 1000km away just to feel SAFE.

It can be messy. Don't let it be messy. Don't expect help, don't demand help (makes people run away even further), utilise local centres (Alzheimers chapters, Adult Day Care, Respite Services etc etc) to give you some rests as well.

The rest of our members will come in with some good advice too shortly !!!

Sorry to rant as long as I did !!

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