Caring for an elderly family member with dementia is hard. I write about rockets, robots, and rayguns. I do not write about personal subjects. Not usually. This isn’t science fiction. This isn’t fun … or funny.
If you have a parent or grandparent who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia you’ll learn quickly that caring for them can be challenging. Keeping them in their home can be even more difficult. I know. I’m in that situation right now.
It’s not only the logistics of care but also the emotional weight of dealing with somebody who has rather unfortunately lost touch with reality. I can only hear the same corrupted accounts of family issues from the past being used to justify animosity before It weighs on me. Sadly that’s a thing that sometimes happens with the elderly.
My grandmother? She doesn’t understand her situation. Her frustration boils over into angry outbursts. She says incredibly hurtful things. Intellectually I know these things she says can’t be taken to heart. It’s still awful to hear her say them.
I guess the entire point of this post is to let you know that if you have an elderly relative, don’t wait until things are bad. It takes a long time to put together state aide, to get approval for services you could not otherwise afford. Don’t rationalize grandpa’s behavior. If you need help caring for the elderly start looking for resources early.
And look, I know nobody wants to think about it, but We learned the hard way that you have to plan for power of attorney and funeral arrangements while things are still good.
In my area this is a good place to start: Area Agency on Aging