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When you adapt to your parent’s dementia, so do they.

I am a glass half full kinda  gal, but my last two parental visits went a little too well.

Many of you shared that after a few weeks or months, the changes your parent fought starts to settle in. After one of my parent’s doctors revoked their licenses using the DMV form that is offered and they continue to drive unlicensed and uninsured, we (the children) agreed to take action. My two brothers arrived and my parents handed over the keys. However, my parent’s memory is porous so after about two weeks, they were angry and the story became how my one brother forcibly took away their cars.

Once we got into month two, I just stopped the rebuttal of confabulated facts. It was suggested to me that we make the cars disappear so one of my brothers and his wife came to town and put both cars in storage.  The repeated complaints that one of my brothers took their car keys has subsided – it is still a tale that rumbles around in my mom’s memory.  When it comes up now, I just don’t respond on the topic.

So here we are and my last two visits with my parents were pleasant. Did I learn how to better manage, did they change or is some of both of those elements creating our new state? I am totally okay with this new place. Settled.


 

2 comments on “When you adapt to your parent’s dementia, so do they.

  1. Hi Kay,

    I attended a conference for carers yesterday, and so your blog today is very topical as I was going to send you a couple of messages I took away from it, that relate to it. Funny how the universe works!!

    The speaker Robyn Moore (http://www.thepoweroftheword.com.au/) lost her mum to Alzheimer’s and also two other close members of her family, so her presentation was very much from the heart, and from personal experience.

    One message she called VIP was this – “when being with a person with dementia, the carer should convey a message that the person with dementia’s world is real”.

    Her other significant message was based on her own experience as her mum forgot everything very quickly, and one day said “the one thing she was the most sad about was not having had any children”… this devastated Robyn, but her eventual response was to say something like, “but yes you do mum, you have two daughters and I am one of them”… which delighted her mum! And every time they met thereafter, it was a ‘first time’ experience. She talked about the ‘first time’ experience a lot, and how it helped her delight in the fact her mum forgot everything, really very inspiring.

    I will try and write a longer version of this, but thought it went with your post today.

    With love and hope,
    Kate

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