Your father's grief

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normal Your father's grief

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Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Dear Reader,
It's good to hear from you again. I'll try to be a little less wordy with this response to your message Regarding your father's unwillingness to have someone stay with him . . . if you feel, as well as the doctor, that it is unsafe for him to stay by himself, could he stay with a family member or friend for a brief period of time? Maybe your father would be more inclined to stay with someone or have someone stay with him if you explained that, for right now, this would be helping you to feel less stress about him being by himself. Or maybe hire someone to come in for a few hours a day to help with the cooking and house cleaning and driving your father around town for errands, thereby slowly letting him get used to another person around him. This person could become your father's companion, helping him with his activities of daily living.

Because of his dementia, even if his doctor explained about the degenerative nature of the disease, your father may not be able to understand or remember what the doctor is saying. It really is more important that you and the rest of the family understand about dementia and how to best care for your father during this time. Again, contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and ask them to send you as much information that you think would be helpful for you. This is an awesome organization with tons of information and resources that they will be happy to share with you and your family.

Regarding your father saying that he feels worthless and wants to be with your mom - well, as painful as it is to hear those kind of thoughts, it sounds understandable considering his grief. Simply "being there" for your father, listening to his pain, allowing him to talk if he wants to and listening to what he is trying to express, can really help him with his grief. Again, if you feel that he may be experiencing true depression, a visit to the doctor is warranted - especially if he really starts talking about taking his own life . . . If you feel that you would like some professional intervention from someone in your area about grief, contact a hospice and ask for some info about the grieving process.

Lastly, trying to keep your father "active" during this time may be very difficult - especially considering his dementia and grief. When you contact the Alzheimer's Association, ask them for specific ideas about activities for someone with AD. Generally, interests that were important to your father before will probably have more meaning for him - for example, if he enjoyed gardening before, ask him to help you with some gardening in the back yard or if he liked working in the garage, ask him to help organize some things into boxes in the garage. The point is to pick activities that your father used to enjoy doing, but now, try to offer these activities in a simple and safe way!

Sure hope that these suggestions help in some way . . . keep in touch and you all will be in our thoughts.

Posted on 2002/7/23 21:28

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