Playing the game of dementia caregiver

There are many roles for a caregiver. I’m still working on getting buy-in from my parents that I am here to help them. Most days they don’t recognize they need it. However, they are not able to manage many of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) which are guidelines used to determine when external help and assistance is needed in many retirement communities.

My parents are mostly managing the basic ADLs focused on self-care like dressing, eating, getting around, toileting and hygiene. However, my dad is having a little more trouble with dressing than my mom.

Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are not necessary for fundamental functioning, but they let an individual live independently in a community.  This is where the wheels are really wobbly. These include shopping, housekeeping, accounting, food preparation/meds, telephone/transportation.

I’ve been calling my parents each morning. Before I call, I map out the key message that will include the carrot as to why they should stay in their retirement community on that day.

I am surprised almost daily with the plans my mom has made. Most of the plans have no logic or connection with reality and ALWAYS include a trip back to their town house.

For the past two days, I have been able to redirect the plans to provide them with an activity that is happening at the retirement community. Today will be my effort at securing a hat trick.

One of my favorite board games is the game of LIFE. If only it were really that easy! Wish me luck! Tried.  

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