Carer Stress: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
Like t86 above, this too is my first go at a forum.
I care for my Dad who has dementia, but hard to tell when he’s displaying dementia or the ‘real’ him. A lot of his behaviour he displays now he did when he didn’t have dementia, but now I feel he has an ‘excuse’ and I’m trying to treat it like he doesn’t know what he’s saying when he goes into a rage, which can be difficult because of past issues. I understand he is frightened and cant handle a change of routine, so when I go away for even a night he loses it, even though my brother is here to care for him. I am his sole carer and have been for a number of years, but only diagnosed with dementia 3 years ago. My main aim through caring for him was to hope for a ‘calm mind’ before he died,(he’s 100) but instead his flare ups are now affecting me to the point that my health is being affected. I can’t quite get it though my head that he doesn’t know what he’s doing and I want to tell him that he can’t treat me like this any longer. It’s probably all about getting approval from one’s parents….never being good enough…all that stuff. I know he would be mortified if he knew (in his right mind) I felt like this but I can’t quite seem to part with all the old issues of the past where he’s bullied the women of the family and we all walked about ‘on egg shells’ when he was in one of his moods. Basically he’s always been very good man and a good and caring father, but like many of his generation,women are second class citizens.
Forgiveness and understanding can be difficult when one is being told you are not good enough in no uncertain terms…. even this late in life we crave for approval from our parents…..It’s all too late and too cruel for me to sit him down now and tell him what I really think, but I don’t want to be beaten anymore by his antics, dementia or no dementia, so have organised some counselling and will do this forum and try and spew it out that way. Who knows, it may just do the trick. Would be nice if I can do it before he dies, and would be even nicer if we can manage to get that calm mind happening for him. (and for me)
A good lesson for us all to do something about our bad habits before we get too old and its no longer possible….they just get worse.