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Senior Assisted Living Blog



Alzheimer's Can Affect the Whole Family

- Friday, September 30, 2011

Dear Annie: Our mother has Alzheimer's disease, and we don't think our Dad is giving her the right care. Mom seems undernourished. Dad thinks a slice of toast or a cup of coffee constitutes adequate caloric intake for her. If she says "no" to food, he simply accepts that response without trying to encourage her to eat. Her clothes are now several sizes too big.

Mom has emotional outbursts and periods of uncontrollable crying, and she frequently screams out, thus making a good night's sleep impossible for either of them. It is difficult for her to walk more than 15 feet. Dad doesn't assist her consistently, and she has fallen numerous times.

Personal hygiene seems a thing of the past. Their home is now dirty and disorganized. We have offered to clean and do household chores, but they refuse. We gave Dad the name of a local specialist, but he refuses to call. We contacted their family doctor, who said he was unable to convince Dad that Mom needs to go into an assisted living community.

Dad seems to relish being the martyr and constantly complains about having to do everything. We understand that after 50-plus years of marriage, this must be extremely difficult for him. My siblings, our spouses and the grandchildren do not know what to do next. Sincerely, Caring Kids

Dear Caring: It can be traumatizing for one spouse to place another in an assisted  living community, and a certain paralysis can set in, preventing major decisions and changes. You and your siblings need to step up to the plate right now.

If this is situation sounds familiar please contact us at Spring Arbor Living in North Carolina or Virginia.

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