Dear WholeFamily Counselor: My mother seems to be at an early stage of Alzheimer's, though the doctor says it is too soon to tell. She used to keep an immaculate home, but now it's often dirty and when I try to hire help, she often cancels them (though the first time I brought someone in, she let her work). There are other ways I have tried to offer to help her, such as making doctor appointments, but she insists she doesn't need help. My father is not much help.
Read about how David, the patient and Rachel, the wife feel. Read Part II and see how Sabina, the cargiver, Janet, the daycare center director and Bernard, the son, feel. David: I feel lost. I know I'm in a familiar place. I know these people around me, but I can't seem to remember their names. They're always asking me to do things, or not to do things -- and I'm always disappointing them. That woman, the one who calls me "dear", but seems so tense and nervous lately -- she's not my mother, but she's very central in this place.
Read about how Sabina, the cargiver, Janet, the daycare center director and Bernard, the son, feel. See Part I about how David, the patient and Rachel, the wife feel. Sabina, the caregiver: I don't know how to manage that man. He's really very difficult. I came to be a caregiver from the Philippines. My sister and my aunt are also caregivers and they found me this position. I thought I'd have to help an old man walk, and go to the toilet; maybe feed him, and dress him, but this man is not disabled physically.
The club room in a suburban nursing home gradually filled up with elderly women and one old gent. Some came laboriously into the room on walkers,others used canes, but most entered slowly on their own steam. They didn't talk much to each other and one gray haired woman promptly fell asleep.
In response to a family crisis, Harvey and Janice are struggling to keep their family from changing, Harvey by trying to convince Janice that she should be home more and Janice by enlisting Rita to "fill in" for her.
Toby and Michael