Dealing with a difficult parent during a difficult time

One woman recently wrote to about her family situation. Her 83-year-old father has Alzheimer's disease, but her mother, also 83, refuses to believe it. Instead, she thinks that he is saying things to intentionally hurt her feelings. She also won't go to support groups and even stated that she would be willing to go to an assisted living facility but wouldn't want the father to accompany her.

Dealing with a difficult parent during a difficult time

This difficult situation has left the whole family pitted against her. Carol O'Dell wrote back to say that one of the best strategies may be to remember the roles that the children filled when everyone was together.

"The key lies within you - and in the past. Think back. How did you or anyone ever get your mom to do something or agree to something she didn't at first want?" suggested O'Dell.

Families who are in similar situations should try to find Alzheimer's care for the affected parent, but realize that neither one will change at this point in their lives.

The Alzheimer's Association states that there are 10.9 million unpaid caregivers attending to the needs of elderly parents or partners who have the condition. Those who are feeling overwhelmed may want to consider reaching out to support groups or home care services.

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