It's Not the Caretaker
Many articles talk about caregivers abusing the patient, but fewer discuss patients abusing the caregiver.
Really helpful insights ❤️
This is such an intense subject, it's difficult to wrap my mind around it. I can't imagine having go through this, though witnessed it numerous times in assisted living facilities; and oftentimes with friends and families who are caregivers. This is solid information I'm passing along in hopes of sharing with those in the thick... Many times we are in the thick and can't see or acknowledge "it isn't right" or even imagine solutions... We just put up with it. Great read, as always, Janice. Your work is valuable. Thank you.
This is crucial information for those dealing with this behavior. My Dad had dementia and watching someone literally lose themselves emotionally and intellectually (as well as physically) is overwhelming. As a society we need to understand these unique needs and make resources readily available for families.
So glad you came up with a plan. It hurts so bad when you are trying so hard. Alzheimer’s is so hurtful for the whole family. Have you heard of Bradshaw. He would say a family is like a mobile. If one thing moves with the wind, everybody has to move to balance. I am sure your children felt awful with the changes in their dad.
"When a situation became too contentious, I sat in the car or went out, but he didn’t remember I was gone or why." To me, this was the hardest part. He didn't remember what he did or what he said. He started out new every time you entered the room. All the love and kindness and explanations you had patiently given him were all forgotten. And everything was about him. He had no empathy or appreciation left in him. He was no longer your sweet Dan. My mother was no longer my mother ( though she was not abusive.) It is amazing that both you and I did not go insane. Thank you for writing these experiences Janice. You are helping so many.
My heart breaks for you, when I read this, Janice. You're an amazing woman.
My heart hurts for you. It doesn’t matter that it is the disease when it is being used to attack you. A caregiver is a gift from God. You are a saint for having been able to hold on to any love you had for a man screaming at you. There is medication for this type of behavior and I am so sorry you didn’t receive information regarding it. Yes, he maybe a bit out of it, but you would not have been his whipping post.
I wonder about the kapok website that essentially says caregiver recipients are aware that they are abusing the caregiver. Do you think that's true with dementia patients, especially farther along in their disease? I could definitely see them becoming angry and taking their frustrations over their situation out on anyone around them. It must be frightening to feel so out of control and maybe no even knowing what was happening to them. Did you and Dan talk about the fact that he had dementia early on? I remember my mom turning to me at one point and saying, "What's happening to me?" It broke my heart. She and I were fortunate...she was never abusive until her last breath. My ex-father-in-law also had dementia. He was verbally abusive to his wife. I sometimes wondered if he was aware because she had been very mean and domineering with him before he became ill.
Thank you for continuing to post your thoughts and research on dementia.