Helping Our Aunt

Our Aunt, who is almost 87 years old, has Alzheimer’s and though we don't live together, we take her to her doctor’s appts and get her meds filled, do her bills, cooking and baking for the week as she is no longer able to do any of that.  She wants to stay at home, though we're a town over from her. Is this feasible? She wants NO outside help either, other than my husband and myself.

Liz in California, 46

Your aunt sounds like she wants to be independent, but she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she may not realize how much is really being done for her. You and your husband sound like wonderful and supportive family members, but you also have to be realistic as to how much you can handle. Consider hiring help such as an aide to watch her, and/or a cleaning person. This takes money and a lot of coordination above what you’re already doing for her. Your aunt may not be capable of making these decisions for herself. If you get the right help, your aunt may come to accept having someone in the house.

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Capability Homecare's picture

Helping your Aunt

I think it's wonderful that you and your husband are so selfless- but it is unrealistic that you can do it all alone. You have your own life to lead! There is no shame in hiring outside help- just be very careful with who you hire and what agency you use. Ask a lot of questions and make sure the caregiver is experienced in working with people with Alzheimer's. Also make sure the agency doesn't rotate caregivers. They need to assign the same person to work with your aunt each visit. This will help establish trust and a routine. It is very common for the elderly to resist help, so start slow and work your way into it, adding a few hours each week.  

Hope all goes well, and good luck.

Capability Homecare

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