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Published: 03 Jul 2022, at 05:00
The couple is in their 75s, the woman has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The man is carrying an ever-increasing load, but does not want to take in the advice and information that the adult children are trying to give.
“How much should we put in, we just want to make their lives more bearable”, asks one of the children, who wrote to Wilhelmina Hoffman and asked for advice.
Here you can read her answer.
Question: Hi Wilhelmina, my mother, 75, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about a year ago. She is still quite “normal” and manages well, drives a car, does chores at home, but has almost no short-term memory. She and Dad live in a big house (which is becoming increasingly unclean). Everyday life works decently, but it wears on dad who has to take care of everything, and also is forced to see his partner slowly change to another person.
We children have come up with lots of tips regarding diet, alcohol and lifestyle that might make life a little more bearable for them. We have also suggested lectures for relatives that would be an excellent opportunity for dad to learn more, get support and see others in the same situation. But he refuses to accept any of what we say. He does not want to change anything. Yet he sometimes complains about how hard and sad life has become. How should we children deal with this? Is it worth it to lie down and try to get Dad to take hold of reality? Or should one think that it is their life, and that they should be allowed to make their own decisions?