How can I support my Mum?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Plain Jane, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Plain Jane

    Plain Jane Registered User

    Sep 11, 2006
    2
    My Mum is caring for my Dad who has Alzheimer's and often wonder how I can be of best support to her. We live quite a distance away and I have two young children. We try to go and see them as much as possible and give Mum a break. Is there any more I can do? Dad is in the 'grey' area and deteriorating quite quickly. Thank you for any help:confused:
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,419
    #2 jenniferpa, Sep 11, 2006
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2006
    It is difficult when you live some distance away, because as you realise, apart from being an ear to listen (and many parents won't vent to their children as they see it as being disloyal) the most important thing you can give to a full-time carer is probably time off. In can be very difficult to arrange even short periods of time away, yet even a short time will allow those batteries to recharge. I note that you have young children - that makes it even more difficult. However, it is considerably easier to get someone to watch 2 young children (or 10 for that matter) than it is to find someone to watch an AD sufferer. So, if you can arrange for someone to take care of your children for a while (partner? friend? pay someone? swap child care?) you could give your Mother some much needed time off.

    I'm sure someone will be along to give more suggestions.

    Oh, and welcome to TP. (I should have put that first) :eek:

    Jennifer

    Edited to add
    Duh - call me slow - I see you do give her breaks when you can. I do think that AD can end up being the be all and end all - an all consuming issue that takes over every aspect of family relationships. You could perhaps research (via the main AS website) the local AS branch - many have regular meetings - all offer support. Perhaps you could encourage your Mother to take up (or continue) non caring activities as well. If you look through these boards, you'll see that most of us, full time and part time carers and those on the periphery all suffer from guilt. If your Mother feels that she is the only one who can adequate look after your father, she may be unwilling to do "fun" things that he can't participate in. If so, you need to support her in doing those things. Apart from anything else, AD is, as the present time, terminal. She needs to have something to fall back on when the inevitable happens.
     
  3. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hiya and Welcome

    Ditto all that Jennifer had to say in spades, especially the 'all consuming'.

    When we get together with my brother and SIL we always start off with making the rule, 'ok no talking about mum and AD', well, the 'rule' never lasts longer than 5 minutes. We all agree mum is the first person you think of when you wake, the last when you go to sleep, and all hours in between.

    Have you considered getting dad into day care, even if its only for a few hours a week, once a week. Doesn't have to be anything to do with AD if dad is in the early stages, try calling Social Services, Age Concern to see if there is anything in your mum's area.

    My mum used to go on a Friday 10:00 - 3:00, she loved it, different people for her to talk to (I sometimes think mum used to get fed up with seeing just the family, as much as (and I hate to say this), we get fed up seeing her (Ouchhhhh).

    It would give your mum a few hours to be just herself, go out without worrying, or just sit at home reading a book can be bliss. My mum was not at all keen on going originally, she didnt want to sit around with all those old people (she's 88!), so my SIL went with her until she settled and made some friends. Sadly she can no longer go, but it was great while it lasted. Just those few hours made all the difference, something to look forward to, those few 'no responsibility' hours a week.
    Keep smiling.
    Love
    Cate
     
  4. Plain Jane

    Plain Jane Registered User

    Sep 11, 2006
    2
    Thank you

    Hi, Thank you loads for the messages. ;) This is a very supportive system. Luckily my Mum is fairly on the ball and has looked into a lot of agencies, charities etc and my dad does go to a day centre once a week but does tend to protest about it and his AD seems to cause him to be very clingy to my mum therefore he doesn't always want to go. My mum does get that day 'off' when he does go but there is always the uncertainty he will fuss about it. At least the option is there, luckily.
    I sometimes think my Mum should be a little more forceful with him for her own sake, but easier said than done, isn't it?
     

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