Parenting My Father: A Journey with Dementia

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Faced with having her aging father move into her house or into a nursing home, a woman from Potomac realized she had no good choices. If he stayed with her, the woman, who asked that her name not be used, would be responsible for feeding, dressing and giving him his medicine. And her days were already filled with raising her three children and her job as a lawyer. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville.

And she worried that in a nursing home, her father would sleep away the day. She decided to keep her father with her. Being a caregiver to an elderly parent with dementia means dealing with a loved one all the time, day and night, with little reward. However, she said, her children are learning the importance of taking care of a loved one. I had told my dad over the last three years that it was ok for him to leave when he was ready, that I would be ok, that my friends and my church would take care of me, but the grief of watching him take his last breaths was so strong I could hardly breathe.

What does it say that I feel relief about the death of my beloved father? It feels monstrous, but it says that I saw his suffering, that with deep empathy I felt that suffering over a period of years, and that I am grateful that he was spared more suffering. I know that I did everything I could have for him, and yet I know that he suffered.

But the guilt and the relief magnify my grief at times. During those rare times, I could tell that he was absolutely aware that he was touching the sacred.

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Grief and love coexist again when I remember those moments. I am building a new life, creating the way I want to live after all this time. Even though I would gladly put this beautiful new life on hold if only I could be with my dad, I know that this—this joyful living—is exactly what he would want for me.

If you find our articles and interviews helpful, please consider becoming a supporting member of our community. Please help support our mission. This letter holds true to the loved ones as well as the caregivers. My mother fought for 7 yrs. Thank you sweet friend!

The Purple Sherpa has been such a blessing. Care and support keeps me going. You did everything right! My dad was diagnosed several years ago and has been in a care home for 4 years this month. He was hospitalised for 10 days following a partial hip replacement. We took turns to be with him during daylight hours to help keep him calm and feed him. Something the nursing staff appreciated as they could not spare the time.

I am wracked with guilt because of this and finding it hard to sleep. What can I do to stop this cycle? I lost my mother to this horrible disease on March 2nd, I have never read something that describes my feelings more fully than this!

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Blessings to you, Denise. My own dad is suffering through vascular demen, and after a diagnosis just over 18 months ago, the acceleration of this disease has taken me by surprise. My mom just passed two weeks ago, and I found these stories very helpful.

What I Learned From the Early Days of My Father's Dementia — Beautiful Voyager

There are so many amazing people in this world. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. I had an opportunity to move in with my mother when we first got a diagnosis, but my husband was out of work and not in good health. In a year or so, we convinced my mother to move to an apartment in an Independent Living facility, and this worked well for another couple years. I moved closer, but still had to visit mainly on weekends with the hour and a half drive each way.

When it became clear that she needed more assistance, we once again helped her move.

She asked me several times to take her back to her apartment or get her out of there. I am very sorry for the losses so many of you have suffered, but you do not have to suffer the loss of self-respect. You made such loving choices all along. Thank you for sharing this — thank you. Sometimes this road feels lonely, even with support from family. The decisions and daily worry can feel so overwhelming.

Thank you for sharing your story. It changed me forever. Maybe writing this down will help.

My dementia journey: “I wasn’t recognising things and I was becoming very forgetful”

Xoxo, n. I have decided to not work and take care of my Dad every morning with my Daughter who is just shy of 2 years old to halo relieve my Mom. I never realized how simple things in life we take advantage of everyday until seeing this horrible disease. It robs us until God says ok now all you have is me! God bless anyone care taken and going through this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Much of what you said I have felt as well.

Grandma and Me: A Kid's Guide for Alzheimer's & Dementia

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