Posts tagged: Dementia

October 03, 2016

How Does A Family Learn How to Do A Complete Role Reversal?

How Does A Family Learn How to Do A Complete Role Reversal?

I was very fortunate to have been raised in a two parent household.  My Parents, while not perfect were functioning adults, no alcoholism or other large issues in my family.  

I am the youngest child in my family.  Whenever I needed help or advice it was my Father, who I always turned to.  He was a math whiz, able to add large numbers in his head and calculate car payments including interest in a single bound.

I will say about 10 years ago my family started to notice that my Mother in particular would repeat herself and say many of the same things over and over. She has been diagnosed with Dementia which I understand is very common in adults over 80 years of age.  My Father is now 98 and my Mother is 92.  They are still married and still together.  They moved into Independant living first and now are in an Assisted Living Community as my Mother is no longer able to shower by herself and has trouble getting dressed by herself.  So in essence, my Parents have become the children in my family...and we,  all the children have become their parents. 

I will say as the youngest child, this has been a huge challenge for me as I am the one who is used to be in the role of cared for, not my new role of caretaker.  My Father, who is still as sharp as a ever has trouble letting me drive him around town as he thinks he knows better than me.  My Father's main issue is that he can not hear and he just refuses to wear his hearing aids. I thank God everyday for my siblings because the job of caretaker is extremely difficult and I could never do it all by myself.  

I have read that a person suffering from Dementia feels everyday like we all did when were sitting in class in school, looking out the window,  day dreaming about our latest boy crush or whatever....when the teacher decides to call on us to answer the question she just asked and we are clueless as to what the answer is or even what the question was.  Wow, that sounds just awful. I'm certain I will remember this the next time I find myself getting irritated at my Mom for asking me for the 100th time where we are going.

This Role Reversal has been the most difficult thing to adjust to. Still, I am very thankful for all the time I have to spend with my parents as who knows how much longer I will have with them.

My just added ForgetMeNot Socks are in Honor of my Mother.  Any profits that are earned from the sale of these particular socks will be donated to the Dementia Society of America.