“My father who struggles from dementia makes the same joke every single day. He rubs my pregnant wife’s belly and says, ‘Looks like you’ve gained some weight young lady.’ He gets a chuckle out of it, so we never tell him that we’ve already heard the joke 20 times!”
Allan is a caregiver for his father who suffers from severe dementia. Along with his siblings, he’s been taking care of his father for the past two years. Here’s what he wanted to share:
What’s the most difficult part of caring for your father?
It can be very frustrating to care for someone that doesn’t know they are suffering from memory loss. Because they can’t acknowledge they have a problem, it means that all of the responsibility falls on the caregiver.
What advice would you give to others who are taking care of a loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s really easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough because it’s so much work, but if you are doing all that you can and loving them, then you are doing a good job.
Another piece of advice would be to take help when it is offered. Being a caregiver isn’t a one-person job, so if other family members or friends offer to help, let them.
What motivates you to be a caregiver?
On challenging days with my dad, I remind myself how lucky I am to have this time with him. I know I’ll really miss him when he’s gone. I need to appreciate the time I have now.
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