Helping dad with getting an hour break every day!!!

My mom’s Alzheimer’s / Dementia is causing a lot of stress on my dad. It’s really hard on him when my mom does not recognize him because of her Alzheimer’s / Dementia. She gets confused and thinks that she is in the wrong house. She also does not recognize my dad or knows who I am sometimes. She thinks that she works in the house for my dad and that she is not married and has no kids. She also thinks that her parents are still alive.

He wants to do everything for her and make it okay, but I think it may break him.

Today, I encouraged my dad to leave for an hour and go to the golf course and hit a bucket of balls. This is the first time he has left to do something for himself. It was very hard for my dad to leave the house without my mom. When he was getting ready to leave; my mom was not sure who he was, why she was here and who I was.

I’m happy he still went to the driving range, but it was really difficult for my mother and me. I know the first priority is the caregiver’s health, but it is so hard not to put my mother first.

After about an hour of trying to distract/divert my mothers attention, she calmed down, but she still was unsure who we were and why she was in this house. She really want her husband and could not understand why he was not here. When he came home; she was happy to see him, but could not figure out why he was gone.

I know this is the new normal and I’m trying to get used to it. I have to start getting my dad a break every day to keep him strong for my mother and for his health too. I’m trying to go out once a day, but sometimes it’s not easy.

I went out last night to play volleyball with some friends. My dad called me an hour later and asked me to come home because my mom was confused and would not go in the house. I was able to get her calmed down, and my parents came out to watch us play volleyball for an hour. The rest of the night she seemed okay.

I wish there was a book of tips and tricks for how to calm my mother down when she is confused. I’m learning new ways to distract and/or divert her attention, but sometimes it does not work. It seems like every day/event requires something different.

Any tips would be welcomed!!

I visit the Alzheimer’s website to learn more about Alzheimer’s, Dementia and being a Caregiver. They have a lot of resources at, but sometimes it does not seem to help our current need. I need to do a better job of calling the Alzheimer’s hotline at the Alzheimer’s Association when I need help!!! Why am I so stubborn and want to figure it out on my own?



About Richard Kenny

My Mom has Alzheimer's and I help my Dad with caregiving!
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's, Dementia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Helping dad with getting an hour break every day!!!

  1. First, we felt that my Dad’s ongoing care and protection of my mom is what resulted in his memory issues now. See if you can find some local resources to bring in care for him. A local Geriatric Care Manager or Social Worker should be able to assist you.

    In addition to the Alzheimer site, a few quick thoughts:
    – Stay relaxed and calm, they feed off emotion
    – Always look into her eyes and smile when you speak to her
    – An Activity: Look at pictures and tell the stories behind those pictures
    – Play music

    Hope that helps!

    • Thanks! Great tips! We have played music and when she listens to Kenny Rogers; it calms her down. We look at pictures, but I will have to do a better job telling the stories around the pictures.

  2. frangipani says:

    It’s great of you to give your dad some free time. Make sure you get yours too!
    I find it helpful to read other bloggers about their experiences with parents with dementia (parents most often, sometimes grandparents, and occasional spouses). Simple things might help, such as going for a drive and having a simple routine.
    The book I found most helpful is “The 36-hour Day” – it gives many examples of how to avoid crises. Wishing you a good journey, and hang in there.

    • Thanks! I try to go out for an hour or two every night. I normally leave the house when they are getting ready for bed or after they go to bed. I also try to get out for one night a week with friends. Thanks for the tip about the drive or routine We are working on setting a normal routine. I have heard about the book called “The 35-hour day” I will order it today and read it.

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