care partner struggles alone without support of loved one’s adult children

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Some of the stories I hear from care partners break my heart. Many find themselves in the same boat: being abused by their own family members who do little or nothing to contribute to the well-being of another family member living with dementia.

Here’s a comment from MyAlzheimersstory subscriber LK:

“You really hit the nail on the head with this post, Susan.  We carers just need a break sometimes, we need a weekend away, we need someone to come and take the person living with dementia out or offer to sit with them for an afternoon.

I am a carer for my partner of fifteen years, we’re not married and the house we live in is his.  He has four grown up children, none of whom are any help; they don’t visit and don’t offer to take their dad out (one lives on another continent).  I wanted us to move up to live nearer to my family who are currently a two-hour drive away. Three of the four children (including the one living on another continent!) said “no you’re not going to move our dad.”

The oldest has joint power of attorney with me and has said he will block any sale of our current home. Although they offer no help, three of the four of them are determined to make my life even harder, which has resulted in me having to see a solicitor to see what my rights are.

I no longer have any goodwill to give to the three who are blocking the move – whereas before I would have taken my partner to visit the ones who live in this country I won’t do so now, which is a loss to my partner but I can’t do everything especially as they seem only to be judgemental over the way I look after their dad and seem oblivious to the fact that I might need some emotional support from my own family!”

Although my situation was different than L.K.’s, the result was the same – exhaustion, frustration and PTSD for me, and neglect and abuse for my mother during the last four years of her life.

Even more discouraging is the fact that, more often than not, the law seems to support the abusers!

Still, we must not give up #FightTheGoodFight

7 simple dementia care partner needs

don’t give advice to people who are drowning

an open letter to people who think they know better

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2 Comments

  1. M. Susan Macaulay on

    Yes, Lorrie B. so many problems could be averted if wishes were made crystal clear.
    Problem is there are different rules and laws in different jurisdictions,
    so it becomes super complex…

    The common denominator as you point out is for everyone to be AWARE and to
    make their wishes known clearly, concisely and in way that fits with
    prevailing law. Sounds easy, but in fact is “not so much.”

  2. Wow. I’m beginning to think that your unique angle, Amazing Susan, is this sneaky Power of Attorney factor. It seems to pop up in some of the most horrific (and yet legal) ways and it’s tearing families apart and causing harm to all involved, including the seniors living with dementia. If the POA is in the wrong hands, it can easily lead to phenomenal disaster. Is there any awareness of this potential in the legal domain? Should there be more oversight? Is it a good idea for all of us to name our POAs now and make certain that they understand our wishes? I’m just thinking out loud; great post, blessings to this woman. She’s only trying to help, and she’s on the verge of collapse. It’s just too sad and it has to end.

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