I don’t like the way you are blaming me for my brain being bad.

Our meeting with the doctor ended and we went out for lunch. We were all tired and hungry. When we got home, my brother and I reengage the discussion regarding the doctor’s suggestions. My brother is a great communicator and walks through the doctor’s recommendations and lays out a few options for my parents in a very calm and clear manner.

My mom keeps interrupting with requests to prove his statements. My brother goes through a list of issues and examples. It’s a long, difficult conversation. We really didn’t want to have to say, “You have dementia, mom,” but it comes out.

She asks my dad to jump in and defend her. She and my brother are going toe to toe. Eventually she just says, “I don’t like the way you are blaming me for my brain being bad. Why aren’t you blaming your dad too?”

Whoa! Where did that come from? I tell my parents they have been wonderful partners and supported each other for many years. However, they are now in a situation where they both have short-term memory issues. So much so that the local hospital has opened up a case and is going to pursue closure to ensure they are safe and cared for. There is no blame, but we want to help before the situation gets out of control and they won’t be able to make their own choices anymore.

Right now, they can play a role in making the choices on how to change their lives. If they continue on this course, the ability to make those choices may no longer be theirs to make. Will they consider making some changes?

My dad says that they should listen to us and let us help. He knows they need it. If only they would remember these conversations. We at least feel like we have been open and honest in trying to engage them to solve this problem.

When we are driving away, we both know that we have a long road ahead and it’s only going to be more difficult. At least we are in it together. Reinforced.