Frequently when one parent develops Alzheimer’s, the other needs your help and care as well. The second parent may be developing this illness. Or they simply may be worn out with caregiving and coping and have health issues themself.
My dad was declining physically as my mom entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. She had the responsibility of caring for him, but he was starting to notice signs of forgetfulness that were more than simply aging. (His memory in his late 80s and early 90s was still crystal clear!)
Even though they lived 275 miles from us, my care and concern were needed. My husband and I made more frequent trips to their home to help with care and to oversee their businesses. Father needed this encouragement and help; Mother enjoyed our visits, too, even though she only asked for assistance with Father.
When Father died, I realized the extent to which Mother’s memory had declined, thus affecting her ability to care for herself…and her sister with Alzheimer’s, who now lived with her. So my responsibilities were multiplied.
We’ll all have different situations as we care for parents with Alzheimer’s, or simply deteriorating physical abilities. Hopefully support will be there for you from a spouse. Sometimes you’ll receive help from siblings, but sometimes they will refrain from getting involved.
This can be a frustrating experience, yet a rewarding one in knowing you’re bringing your parents joy.