My mother has battled one illness or another for most of her life. First it was diabetes, then high blood pressure, now those are compounded with hypothyroid and dementia. I’m the youngest of her seven children, so I’ve watched her health deteriorate over the years.
Initially, my mother struggled to adapt her mainly carb heavy diet to a much healthier one and to find the right balance and timing between eating and taking her insulin. And now that struggle has gotten worse with the dementia factor. She forgets to eat or take her medication at the appropriate time, and this has severe (often life-threatening) consequences.
But what can you do when the caregiver refuses to give up her role and accept that she is now the one in need of care?
I first noticed something was off when my mother could not keep track of her bills. Her monthly social security disbursement would come in and often no bills got paid aside from her rent, and then the money was all gone. How? I’d wonder.
This happened on a few different occasions, leaving her utilities in jeopardy and us scrabbling to make her payments.
This led to me managing her monthly bill payments. Pretty soon, I noticed she would tell doctors or anyone with any questions to call her daughter because she takes care of it. That was the early signs of her forgetfulness.
Don’t ignore the signs. If something isn’t adding up or your parent isn’t explaining things fully, ask to accompany him to his doctors’ appointments. Get it straight from the horse’s mouth, and ask questions.