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CARENOTES / Past Carenotes / Discussion Forum / Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 03/05/09
I am taking care of my 80 year old father who has early stage Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. He hardly speaks, only when you ask him something and even then it's like pulling teeth. He sleeps a lot and eats with his eyes closed most of the time. It becomes very difficult most days to deal with him. I have to bathe and dress him, but he can feed himself, sometimes. He attends adult day care, reluctantly.

How can I get him to communicate and get more out of life? Is he supposed to be that tired all the time or is he just having a hard time dealing with his issues??

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Name: Donna Calm Spirit Spector
Location: Wildwood, Mo
Date: 03/05/2009
Time: 08:16 PM


In a situation like this I would first make an appointment with your Father's Medical Doctors (at least his Neurologist and Internist). Once you have ruled out other possible causes such as bladder infections, depression etc.. then you can work on ways to communicate. Keep in mind that some depression and reluctancy is expected with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. All the more reason to get involved in a local support group and make sure you are taking care of yourself to increase your ability to have the patience and kindness you will need for the journey ahead. Keep in mind what your Father did for his career and things he enjoyed when he was able. Try to bring these things into the conversations and maybe items or enlarged pictures of things he would like to talk about. Try to not get discouraged with the way he is now by comparing him to a younger, stronger and healthier Dad. It is easy to feel like a burden so try to find things that he can help with and feel good about while he still can. Don't forget you!


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