Reply
Newbie

What type of support is offered for caregivers dealing with a spouse or elderly parent?

 I wanted to know so I can see if what I am going through is normal especially when  there is anger and resentment.

11,372 Views
12
Report
Reply
Contributor

You are on point in how I am feeling. I am drowning and I am angry, stressed, and frustrated. I don't know how to continue dealing with my mother-in-law. She was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer/dementia and at times she'll talk and talk, be happy, and totally cooperative. Most of the times, she will be crying, angry and ask me why I hate her or mad at her when I haven't said or done anything. She tells her son that I don't cook and make her feel bad and she wants to leave because she is not happy with me. When we tell her that if that would make her happy and move with her granddaughter in Vegas, she cries and says she does not want to leave and that she loves it here. I don't think I'm handling this correctly and I am building resentment and anger because I don't know how to respond or deal with the emotional frustration. I need help but I don't know where to go. I work, I have a 3 y.o., and my elder dad who is also blindly giving ALL of his SSA to a woman in another county. I feel I am drowning emotionally and it shows...
2,714 Views
3
Report
Reply
AARP Expert

@MariaA751063  My heart goes out to you! You've taken the first step which is to identify your feelings - it's great that you are aware of that feeling of drowning. Now to get you some help. Since you are dealing with dementia with your mother in law (and possibly your dad too if he's giving his SS to an unknown woman overseas? Or do you think he's just vulnerable to scams?), I'd suggest you find a local Alzheimer's support group.

 

  • Go to the Community Resource Finder at www.communityresourcefinder.org
  • Click on "Alzheimers Association Programs and Events"
  • Click on the little circle next to "Alzheimers Support Groups"
  • Put in your zip code or city/state (use the two letter abbreviation for the state) 
  • That wlll then give you a list of support groups near you. Call and get the info and I'd suggest you make going to a mtg a high priority. You'll get emotional support, helpful information, other people who "get it" (like we do here 🙂

Since your life is a bit crazed I'm sure it will be/seem hard to get to a support group meeting. Make it that high priority and go whenever you can. But also stay involved here because we are here any time and you can post 24/7 and get a response as soon as we can. 

 

I cared for my grandmother who had Alzheimers - she was sure I was stealing her things - especially she thought any needlework I was doing was hers - she had been a talented seamstress, needlepointer and quilter so in her mind if I was in her house and doing some needlework it was hers! I'd just give it to her and she'd set it aside eventually 🙂 She had a lot of difficult behaviors for a time, and then she would also tell me a was such a nice and precious girl. And I cared for my Dad who had Alzheimers and lived with me for 6 of the approx. 12 years I cared for him. He didn't have a lot of those tricky behaviors - I think because of all that I did to support him and manage them. Some things that might help:

 

Always remember that trying to reason with someone in the throes of dementia generally doesn't help. You of course need to use your own intuition and knowledge to determine when they can handle reasoning and when they can't. Much of the time it's best to validate and divert. Validate whatever it is they are feeling or expressing, even if it makes no sense whatsoever to you. So - when she says she's angry and crying and says you hate her, validate her feelings - try saying things like "you are really angry aren't you?" or "you must feel so frustrated". Let her know you hear her and are trying to understand. Then divert - for my Dad we could usually divert his angry or scared times with music, putting on an episode of Lawrence Welk, or just singing a song and he'd join in. For some a good diversion is pointing out the beautiful flowers or petting the dog or offering food or taking a walk, showing her a photo or video etc. - you'll know what might work for her. Try different things till it works. (Some diversions will work sometimes and not other times!)

 

How else can I help? Please know that your roller coaster of feelings are normal but that doesn't change how difficult they are. You are safe here - you can vent all you need to! 1:1 counseling might be helpful too. Another great resource is Teepa Snow - she is an expert at helping people care for those with dementia. She has lots of specific techniques. 

 

You're doing a great job and you will be ok. You can do this. You may feel alone at times but I you are not without support! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

2,672 Views
2
Report
Reply
Contributor

Thank you this is very helpful. I'm checking out support groups in my area. I will certainly attend, I need the help. Thank YOU

2,557 Views
1
Report
Reply
AARP Expert

@MariaA751063 Absolutely! My pleasure! Please keep us posted. We're here for you!!! 

 

Take care,

Amy

0
Kudos
1850
Views
0 Kudos
2,547 Views
0
Report
Reply
Periodic Contributor

I have found that online communities have helped me. I always visit the AARP Community Smiley Happy because people are so helpful and always have wonderful advice! I also use Twitter to connect with other caregivers who are going through the same thing. Every Tuesday there is a #carechat, which is an online Twitter chat where people ask and answer questions. It's really amazing to see the way people connect! I've also recently begun using the Kinto community. Kinto is an app that has some practical tools, but also a cool community where you can ask and answer questions, voice your opinions, and vent when you need it Smiley Wink Their website is kinto.care. It's free and really easy to download (and this is someone who can have trouble downloading things from the app store). Obviously you found the wonderful AARP community and it's amazing that there's more out there Heart

11,033 Views
5
Report
Reply
AARP Expert

@k920582e I'm so glad you found #carechat! I host it once a month (we rotate) were you on today when I hosted? We talked about sleep! What is your Twitter handle so I'll know it's you?! 

Take care,

Amy

0 Kudos
2,683 Views
0
Report
Reply
Community Concierge


@k920582e wrote:

I have found that online communities have helped me. I always visit the AARP Community Smiley Happy because people are so helpful and always have wonderful advice! I also use Twitter to connect with other caregivers who are going through the same thing. Every Tuesday there is a #carechat, which is an online Twitter chat where people ask and answer questions. It's really amazing to see the way people connect! I've also recently begun using the Kinto community. Kinto is an app that has some practical tools, but also a cool community where you can ask and answer questions, voice your opinions, and vent when you need it Smiley Wink Their website is kinto.care. It's free and really easy to download (and this is someone who can have trouble downloading things from the app store). Obviously you found the wonderful AARP community and it's amazing that there's more out there Heart


K920582e - I sometimes partake in the #carechat too! AARP is hosting a Twitter chat on Monday June 12 at 1 p.m. Eastern featuring Richard Lui of MSNBC and Amy Goyer, our Caregiving Expert. You can join us using hashtag #TougherThanTough. 

AARPJen
Caregiving Concierge
11,013 Views
0
Report
Reply
AARP Expert


@k920582e wrote:

I have found that online communities have helped me. I always visit the AARP Community Smiley Happy because people are so helpful and always have wonderful advice! I also use Twitter to connect with other caregivers who are going through the same thing. Every Tuesday there is a #carechat, which is an online Twitter chat where people ask and answer questions. It's really amazing to see the way people connect! I've also recently begun using the Kinto community. Kinto is an app that has some practical tools, but also a cool community where you can ask and answer questions, voice your opinions, and vent when you need it Smiley Wink Their website is kinto.care. It's free and really easy to download (and this is someone who can have trouble downloading things from the app store). Obviously you found the wonderful AARP community and it's amazing that there's more out there Heart


This is really helpful advice, thank you! I'm going to check out both Twitter and Kinto.care. You are one of the reasons the AARP community is so great. Many many thanks.

 

Jane

11,026 Views
2
Report
Reply
Contributor

Hello.  I see that this post is over 2 years old. I was wondering if the twitter chat is still taking place? 

3,276 Views
1
Report
Reply
AARP Expert

@mr30344177  Yes it is! It's organized by Denise Brown at caregiving.com and I'm one of the four people who host it - we rotate so we each host once a month. I hosted today! My topic was sleep - one of the most important things a caregiver needs (as well as our care recipients!). Just go to Twitter and put in the search field: #carechat. Then every Tuesday at 1pm ET you can do that and follow the chat - all posts include the hashtag #carechat - so when you post just include that hashtag and your posts will be included! Let me know if you have any more questions about how to do a Twitter chat! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

0 Kudos
2,682 Views
0
Report
Reply
Community Concierge


@v270082k wrote:

 I wanted to know so I can see if what I am going through is normal especially when  there is anger and resentment.


Hi v270082k:

AARP has a list of comprehensive care guides that may be able to point you in the right direction. You can find them HERE: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/care-guides/?CMP=RDRCT-IC-CAREGIVING-072616 

 

How long have you been caring for your parents/souse? 

AARPJen
Caregiving Concierge
0 Kudos
11,306 Views
0
Report
Reply
AARP Expert


@v270082k wrote:

 I wanted to know so I can see if what I am going through is normal especially when  there is anger and resentment.


Offered by whom? 

By society at large? State and local governments? The feds? AARP?

I think that at some point in every caregiving situation there is anger and resentment. We're human~!  Yes what you are going through is normal. Yes yes!

 

Do you mean counseling? I bet you are going through your stresses without much if any help from anyone, either family or friend, or volunteers. In some counties, like the one i live in, the health insurance from obamacare covers mental health support at 100%. Go sit with a friendly capable person and find out how your particular story is working for you, how to make changes if you want to, what makes you feel resentment.

 

The book called the 36 hour day would also help.

You are very normal.

Say more?

 

11,364 Views
0
Report
Reply