Anyone with a Parent Who Has Alzheimer's

Updated on April 14, 2011
C.S. asks from Racine, WI
10 answers

Hi Moms-

My father has Alzheimers-diagnosed in 2005. Until very recently things have been 'fine-as in as fine as things can be with a Alz parent. He still lives at hom with my mom, has most of his memoy-short term the worst, etc...mostly he's amiable. Recently however he is developing into the 'rage' stage. Of course this is mostly directed at my mom his main care giver. Unfortunately my mom does not help things, as she takes it to personal and argues back--doesn't matter how nicely we remind her that she is dealing with someone who at that moment can not reason....

They have always had a contentious relaionship (50+years), and my mom has always pitted us-the children-against him..if we appeared to take dad's out.

Here's the main issue right now-does' anyone know of support groups for the kids of parents with Alz's...and have you attended? I'm sure I can call the A Association, but am just curious for other feedback.

There are four of us, 2 boys, 2 girls and we run the gammet from ambilence, contention, denial, wanting to help, etc within the group. Obviously if we can't get our own $$$ together we aren't going to be much good to our parents. My sister and I at least agree the 4 of us need to sit down with someone unbiased and help us out.

What can I do next?

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I have several testimonials on how some folks have been helped with Alzheimer's. Please message me if you'd like them. They are incredible.

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answers from Boston on

My dad died after 9 years with Alzheimer's. He was in a care facility the last 6 months of his life. I had a hard time dealing with the endlessly repetitive questions just during my stays, I have no idea how my mom lasted as long as she did caring for him. It is impossibly difficult and if he had not died I think my mom would have died from being worn out and frazzled. My dad went from an intelligent executive with a somewhat stern demeanor to a difficult, temper throwing, yelling and cursing man in the end. He was also depressed since at lucid moments he seemed to know he was less than he used to be. He was also often afraid since only his immediate rooms were familiar, and even those needed to be protected by locking doors at 4 PM in the afternoon when mom still had to go outside later. I have no real advise except that you are doing the right thing to sit down and figure out how to help your mom. The Alzheimer's Association has good advice. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

In my family when this stage came, it was Gma not gpa we placed Gma in a home and Gpa was able to visit as he liked. There was resistance on both sides at first but both of thier lives were at stake since she became physically violent. I am not sure of support groups I have been thru this a few times now with family members but I do know that there is a point where being in a home is what is best for everyone. The stress of Gma was literally killing Gpa.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My dad had Alzheimer's. Both my mother and I took care of him for about four years since he was diagnosed. It's very hard for the caregivers. Make sure that your mom gets breaks so that she can recharge herself. I have spent many years dealing with geriatrics, Alzheimer's and dementia issues. Here's my advice. Does your dad see a neurologist or geriatric doctor who is familiar with the disease? There are many medications that can help with the rage issue and a geriatric doctor should be able to give you some insight into support groups. Do some online checking into hospitals in your area to see which ones have a geriatric department. They usually have tons of resources available for caregivers like home health care services. Geriatrics and dementia are so big now because of the large percentage of older people, that many online websites have been started for caregivers too. is great. If you are looking for your dad's financial future or possible placement, contact an elder law attorney in your area and ask for a consultation. Elder law attorneys have many sources of information available also. You can also contact local nursing homes and speak to their social workers. They can provide tons of information. Another source, if you have it in WI, is your local Area Agency on Aging--check your local phone book or online for information. You can also contact your local library and see if they have any books, information regarding senior citizen services. I know in my area we have the senior alternatives magazine which offers all kinds of resources. Another source is to contact your local county government and ask if they have any information for senior citizens.

Hope this helps,


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I feel for you. We lost my dad 2 years ago to Alzheimers. It is hardest for the caregiver as things are happening at home that they don't always reveal. My dad had fallen and broken his hip. This seemed to spiral his regression. He had always had a temper and was verbally abusive, but it really intensified. While in rehab, he told the Social Worker and one of my brothers that when he got home, he was going to shoot his wife and shoot himself. Luckily my brother had already thought along those lines and had removed the loaded guns from the home. My dad then went on to repeat this threat to his doctor. This red flagged him and he was never allowed to return home. He was very angry and the anger was directed mostly at mom. He fantasized and accused my mom of having an affair with the older minister, and me of having one with the younger minister. My oldest brother asked dad how I could be having an affair with the minister when I lived 500 miles away and had for 20+ years. Dad couldn't remember what they had for lunch 5 minutes ago, but for some reason could remember that fantasy. We all had to see the humor in it but I know it really hurt my mom. They were married 2 weeks shy of 63 years when he passed away. There are support groups through the Alzheimers Association and the facility where we placed my dad also had support groups. This was very helpful for my mom because she realized that she wasn't the only one and that there are stages of regression. A lot of the anger they exhibit is out of frustration. It was actually a relief when he passed, because we knew that he was finally free from this horrible disease. There is a great book written by a doctor in Topeka, KS. I can't remember the exact title but it is something like "One Day at a Time". This book really helped my mom, and she recommends it to everyone she meets who is walking down this path as a caregiver. Make sure that all legal matters are in place, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical power of attorney, and everything financial. Long term care is so expensive.


answers from New York on

Our local adult home has meetings every month. My MIL has it really bad and I keep trying to get my FIL to go to these meetings to help him cope and understand what is going on with her. She is very moody, hates everyone one minute loves them the next. The constant repeating is getting really bad. She can rattle off things and names from the past but can't remember short term. Like a month ago or yesterday or today or even 5 minutes ago for that matter. We recently found out that we are expecting our 2nd child and we had the whole family together for dinner to tell them. Last week we were all together and ran into an old friend. We told him about the baby and she got mad at us cause we didn't tell her. I never really got along with her to begin with but I am trying to be nicer to her because this is a disease and alot of it is not her fault. But it's hard. My husband and his brother are either in denial or just don't want to talk about it. You all need to step up to the plate and help your mother out. Believe me she is getting beat up with this and will need a break from time to time. One of you should sit with your dad while the others take her shopping or go out to lunch. Help her as much as you can cause she will need your support. This is a very emotional time for her and she needs you to be there for her as well as your dad. Try to be patient. I know that it will be tough but always remember that it's not him that is being mean but its the disease. I wish you all the luck and there are alot of support groups out there that will help.



answers from New York on

My heart goes out to you, as I went through a similar situation with my parents - - my mom was the only caregiver for my Dad and never really had a thorough understanding of the disease. They lived in FL and I live in NY, so was not able to offer much in the way of support to them on a daily basis. But I did alot of research on my own and joined an online support group that is run by the Alzheimer's Association - it was a discussion board similar to this one, which I found very helpful at the time. You may want to check it out. I don't know if it's possible for you to speak to your Dad's physician as well - he or she may be able to point you towards some local resources or groups in your area. Now that your Dad has become somewhat violent, you will definitely need to have a sit-down with your Mom and come up with a plan for his care. She will need help at home, or may have to consider placing him in a facility. You and your sibs are so good for wanting to help - it is a long and slippery slope, and affects the entire family of course. I'm sorry your family is going through this, I know how devastating it is.



answers from Dallas on

My father has Parkinson's with a bit of dementia. You may want to look into contacting a Geriatric Care Manager. They will know of lots of resources and will make recommendations after they do an assessment and look at what your father needs as well as your mother as the caregiver. They will take into consideration the whole family dynamic as well. They can also help with seeing if all the right things are in place legally and financially. The ones I contacted in my area charged about $400 for the assessment and report...about $95 per hour. Most have a background in either nursing or social work, or both.

Below is the link to the National Association, I got a list of GMC's for my area there.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Our local care facility has meetings for spouses & kids of Alzheimer patients. Check with your local nursing homes--I'm sure they have resource info.

My stepsister recently had a 5 yr battle with her mom's Louie Body Dementia and she relied on support groups--it's so tough.

Caregivers need special help--I hope your mom can attend something to support her as well.

Best of luck!


answers from Philadelphia on

Check with local long term care and adult day care centers. I currently work in a facility that offers a support group the 1st Sunday of each month... they get together and discuss common behaviors, the physiology and progression of the disease, and have people there who work with dementia patients every day.

Sometimes it is just nice to be able to say "My dad did this... and I am sooo frustrated" and to have 5 people look at you and say... "That is completely normal, and it will soon change" or "I feel ya"

You can also check out the local Senior Centers for programs for Spouses living with dementia.

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