If your relationship with your caregiver parent is suffering, I have some hope for you.
For a long time during my mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s, I felt like I was losing my dad to the disease, too.
Although he didn’t have Alzheimer’s or dementia himself, my mom’s illness and her care were consuming my dad’s life.
I mean, how could it not?
But it also consumed our relationship, as we mostly shared the caregiving duties and often relied on each other for relief.
I felt as though my dad only saw me for how I was able to help out or when I was able to give him a break.
And I often felt guilty for not being able to give him a break whenever he needed one.
When I was able to give him a break, I would count down the minutes until he returned home to relieve me—feeling resentful if he stayed out for too long or didn’t seem appreciative enough for the time away.
On top of that, we could never talk to each other in front of my mom because she would get mad at both of us. My dad couldn’t even talk to me on the phone in front of my mom because she would get mad at him.
It put a strain on our relationship to say the least.
Eventually, my dad agreed to hire outside help and it greatly improved our relationship.
We were able to go out and do things together. We were able to talk to each other. We were able to have a relationship outside of my mom’s care.
Last week, my husband and I went to an all-day golf event and my dad watched our two dogs for the day.
When we arrived back at his house to pick them up, the table was set for three and my dad was preparing us a steak dinner.
My dad has never made me dinner in my whole entire life.
All of this to say, it gets better.
I can’t promise you that it will, but I can promise you that it’s possible.
I hope that’s enough to give you some hope.
*If this post resonated with you, you should consider joining the Alzheimer’s Daughters Club!
**If you liked this post, you would love my book “When Only Love Remains: Surviving My Mom’s Battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” It’s available on all Amazon marketplaces.