Feb 9, 2015

When You Come Home Everything is a Disaster

By Rachael Wonderlin
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Thoughtful Caregiver Alzheimer's Reading Room

You are a great caregiver for your mother.

You've done your homework: you have read the books, you have spent time researching on the Internet, and you even joined a local caregiver support group. You know exactly what your mother needs when she’s agitated in the late afternoons.

You know exactly how she likes her coffee, what memories are her favorite to focus on, and how many times she’ll ask you where her parents are.

You are also her primary caregiver, and you sometimes need some time to yourself. That is why, when your brother comes to visit, you are happy to let him take over for a while.

You run some errands and relax, knowing your brother is home with your mom.

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When you come home, though, everything is a disaster.

Your mom is agitated, angry, and demanding to know why no one told her that her parents are dead.

“What did you say to her!” you demand of your brother. “Nothing!” he replies. “We were just talking and she wanted to know where our grandparents were, so I told her the truth.”

Let’s face it: your brother doesn't understand dementia. In fact, he is completely awful at caring for your mother.

Your brother is a wonderful man. He is kind, loving, and supportive—but he just does not understand dementia care. You have tried your best to explain it to him, but he just doesn't get it.

We all know people like this. It is our job, as great caregivers, to try and educate the people who just “don’t get it.” Sometimes, though, it is important to know when to chaperone these less-than-average caregivers.

Do not be afraid to stand up to the less-than-average caregiver in your life.

Your loved one with dementia deserves the best emotional and physical care possible.

It is okay for you to draw the line and tell someone that he or she cannot spend alone time with your loved one.

Not everyone can be the fantastic caregiver that you are.

More articles by Rachael Wonderlin
  1. 16 Things I Would Want, If I Get Dementia
  2. How to Become a Dementia Detective
  3. What is Aphasia in Dementia?
  4. 4 Ways to Deal with Constant Questioning from a Person Living with Alzheimer's
  5. Memory Care - Does a Little Reminder Really Help
  6. Don't Tell Mom She Has Dementia

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