How to not support someone who is becoming overwhelmed

Struggling a bit with an early dementia stage parent. I think I’m making all the right moves but the detours and land mines are frustrating and are everywhere. I just need a win once in a while.

In any case, juggling this, as well as a young family and job is becoming very hard. I guess I was venting too much or too hard or too frequently for my partner to stand.

As I was being lectured to, all I could hear was “stop doing this” and “don’t do that”.

You need to relax, you’re going to burn out.

You can’t do everything.

You need to stop worrying about that.

You shouldn’t let it get to you.

Stop micromanaging. Why can’t you just point out the big picture?

Stop reliving every detail. You’re not helping anything with that.

Hopefully you get the point. Nowhere in there was a positive action to take. No where in there was any commendation for what I was doing well. No where in there was a specific offer to help. I was left feeling worse about myself and still with no better plan.

In the end, I just fedup it all up deep, deep inside and moved on. It probably doesn’t sound very healthy, but sometimes you need to kick the can down the line just a little longer. Instead of talking out loud about my anxieties (and perpetuating them), I simply identified one problem I was struggling with and asked him how he would solve it, considered his advice and made my own decision. This was the most positive message I could find in his “stop/don’t/shouldn’t” advice.

I know he doesn’t like to see me struggling and he does indeed help and support me in many other ways for which I am grateful.

I’m just exhausted. I guess I just needed a place to vent. Thank you for listening.

You need some outside support for yourself, and for your parent.
However much you want your partner to respond properly, unless they’ve been there themselves, they won’t understand. Especially watching the mum or dad you had gradually stop being themselves.

If you tell us a bit more about your parent, age, what they can and cannot do, where they live etc. we may be able to help.

Most important issue right now is whether you have Power of Attorney. If not, then sort this out asap, the door is almost closed to doing this, as the mental capacity goes.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Oh vent away, I’ve done it many times, you have to have somewhere you can do it.

Caring for someone with dementia can be extremely frustrating, just when you think you’ve got things sorted, another problem pops up & it’s all change.
If there are any practical aspects you’re struggling with, feel free to ask. Mam had dementia for 10 years & dad now in early stages so lots of experience. Can’t guarantee I’ll know the answer, but worth a try.

It knocks you for six at first, it’s scary, you don’t know what to expect & feel like you’re playing catch up all the time. That’s normal, you’ll gradually accept, get used to it & relax a bit.
The best advice I can give, take one day at a time.

Good luck

Read your list through again, think again. Think differently about the words used.
Your partner is desperately worried, desperately trying to say you can’t ever beat dementia.
Worried about the effect caring is having on you, your kids, your family life, your work, your health.
When did you last have a happy day out, a special meal, an early night, some sex and seduction?
You are doing too much.
It’s time for some outside help, and there’s going to be a need for more and more I’m afraid.
Counselling taught me to set priorities.
Sit down with your partner, list everything you are doing, and work out what you can do, and what someone else can do.
Ten years down the line where will everyone be?
Kids grown up, will they tell you your dad came first, you were too tired and grumpy to play with them, go to parties, Disneyland?
Will you still be married? Caring killed my husband. I was widowed at 54.
Will you be healthy, or health ruined by caring? Mine was ruined.
Don’t make all the mistakes I made trying to do the right thing.
Enjoy the here and now.