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How to support my boyfriend with his mum's Alzheimers

Hippiegal

New member
Jun 12, 2020
1
Hi all,

This is my first post here and I was hoping for some advice. My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years now and we have always lived a few hours away from his mum so I only ever see her a few times a year. Over this time it would become clear that there was deterioration in her memory and she would be noticeably worse every time we saw her. She got an official diagnosis last year.

As we are both in our early twenties, it is understandably very difficult for him to cope with and I know he always felt guilty not seeing her. We now live closer to her so he is able to see her more regularly, but I find it very difficult knowing how to support him/what to say.

There is only my boyfriend and his dad to care for her, but when his dad is gone for an appointment etc, my boyfriend struggles emotionally to cope with looking after his mum. It seems like the illness has progressed rapidly because she has very little independence and language considering she was diagnosed within the last year. I have tried to get him to find an outlet for his feelings (journalling, music etc) but he is reluctant to open up. Is there anywhere I could direct him? What should I do? I feel useless never knowing what to say and nothing I do seems to comfort him.

Thanks
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,775
Kent
Hello @Hippiegal. Welcome to Dementia Talking Point.

If your boyfriend has a good relationship with his dad, perhaps you could have a word with him and tell him how much difficulty his son is having in coping. I`m sure his dad is struggling just as much and if father and son could come together and support each other it might help.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,306
Introduce both of them to this website/forum.
Hopefully they will be able to read and learn.

Bod
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,634
N Ireland
Hello @Hippiegal and welcome to the forum from me too. You have come to the right place for information and support from people who understand.

Whilst you can learn lots from threads on the forums, there is a publications list that covers all issues related to dementia and you can find that with this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list the list is useful for many things like understanding the issues and sorting out things like Power of Attorney, care needs assessments etc.

You can also do a post code check for support services in your area by following this link. There may be a carers support group in your area and that would be a useful place to exchange thoughts https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
551
Some of your boyfriends behaviour could be fear.
The more you learn about dementia behaviours the more you have in the toolbox to deal with them. not knowing what to say or do is something everyone on this site will have experienced at some time, and it is horrible to experience.
Also is your boyfriend frightened ’ this could be my future’?
The answer to both worries is to learn more about dementia.

The above link is wonderful.

Another idea would be for him to sign up to something like the university of Tasmania course on dementia.
There is one starting in July. you don’t have to be academic to complete the modules that arrive each week. The course is completely free! It is likely
cover things like what you can do to reduce your likelihood of getting dementia.