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If you are caring for a parent with dementia


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
In my case Mum 74 with Moderate AD & Dad 77 with cognitive impairment.
My parents live in their own house behind ours but because of Dads MCI, he finds Mums AD hard to fathom. He has no coping skills or strategies ( not for want of trying on our part) and even after 2 yrs still gets mad at her for not remembering, or losing things etc.

My brother who comes and goes is equally useless.

At any time my husband, children and I have gone away for a night or weekend, my sister who lives 30 mns away has been here if need be.

So now my sister & DH have invited the 4 of us to her holiday home for a long weekend.
Its over 2 hrs drive away.

Personally I don't feel comfortable leaving Mum with my Dad for 3 nights, even with my brother on hand. I could arrange carers or a neighbour to call in, but Mum and Dad are still going to be 24/7. I doubt even in the event if an emergency that either of them would think to press their alarm button.
I'm the only one that knows Mum best. I am registered as Mums main carer as well as her POA for health & welfare.
Up until now there has always been me or my sister on hand for Mum.
I can just imagine telling Mum that both her daughters will be away. The anxiety and questions that will follow... Also Mum is not at such an advanced stage that I could just tell her on the day that we are going.

Am I being over protective....? Or in my sisters words I can't always put my life on hold for Mum.... But then shes not the one here to tell Mum that we are going away for the weekend and answering her endless questions, and seeing the look on her face as we drive off.... :(


Registered User
Mar 8, 2015
It sounds as though you would not enjoy your break due to you worrying about your mum & dad. I arrange to have a separate break to my brother as I wouldn't want to leave mum on her own with my dad. it's all very well saying don't put your life on hold, but we all know it's not that simple.


Registered User
Feb 4, 2014
Hi there. Do you have carers on at all? When my two sisters and I went to a family wedding we had a Carer sleeping there that Mum knew. She was there during the day as well. I still felt sick leaving her but knew that someone kind was with her. That is the only time we have done it as like you I can't bear to see the look on my mums face. She looks like she has been abandoned! Good luck


Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
Auckland...... New Zealand
My Dad would not allow any type of carer, let alone someone to do cleaning... it interferes with his TV watching :rolleyes:
My brother would stay overnight if need be, but in a crisis he goes to pieces.

One time I had to take Dad to hospital, and my brother was left to look after Mum.
2am still at hospital I get a call from my brother.
Mum had woken wanting to know where Dad was. She could not remember the ambulance coming and dad going to hospital at all. Brother couldn't handle Mum, and wanted me to leave Dad at hospital and come back and see to Mum.
That's what he's like.... and this was Mum in her early stages of dementia.

I spoke to Mum on the phone, reassured her, told her to go back to bed and that we would be home soon... that's all it took.


Registered User
May 27, 2011
Maybe it'd be better to go on a separate holiday when your sister can be on-call for your Mum and Dad?

Although obviously if your Dad would allow carers in or would allow your Mum to go into respite care for a couple of nights then that would be better and allow you to enjoy your sister and brother-in-law's company.

My Gran, who has VaD lives with us and my Mum gets really anxious even about her going to day-care once a week/fortnight (when my parents are both at work) but as she has been living with us for 8 years with dementia we do need a break sometimes! maybe your sister has a point about not putting your life on hold but equally you need to know that your Mum is safe in order to relax and enjoy yourself!