Throughout your entire life, you’ve wanted only the best for your family. You looked out for them and did whatever you could to help ensure that they received the best care and had the best of everything in life, within reason of course. That is why you agreed to provide Alzheimer’s care to your aging father when you first learned that he was diagnosed with the disease.
However, you didn’t really understand what you were getting into when you agreed to provide this level of dementia care for him. You didn’t know what it entailed and you only had a slight understanding about the disease, how it would progress, and what it could do to your relationship with your father and the rest of your family.
You had nothing but the best intentions, but suddenly you’re sitting at home, late at night, crying because you don’t know how things that had seemed to be going so well for so long could suddenly turn so sour. You lost your temper, your father got angry and yelled at you, threw something at you, or called you a name that you never even imagined he could call anyone, let alone you.
You’ve noticed that things had been changing for a few weeks but you didn’t think much about them. You understood the basics of the disease and that at times the patient may become violent, but you assumed that would be toward people he didn’t know or couldn’t remember.
The next day you visit with him, a bit of trepidation in your actions, your words, and your care. He is having a good day, so you try to talk to him about what happened, but he can’t remember and he gets angry. Suddenly you find yourself on the wrong end up his anger once more. You get angry and call him names. You slam the door and leave him alone, rather than trying to deal with the situation in the right, healthy manner.
You had the best of intentions when you agreed to provide Alzheimer’s care for him, but in the end, you may be creating a negative experience, and poor quality of care, for him. That’s not your intention, but when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, the more experience and training that someone has in dealing with patients with this disease, the better the overall care will be. Sometimes you simply need to know your limits and think about what’s best for your elderly loved one, even if that means hiring an experienced professional caregiver.
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