Question: I am about to move in with my parents as their carer. My father is 86 and has dementia stage 1. My mum is 85 and has heart issues. I would like to join a support group or find out about advice and training to prepare me for the next stage. Driving is an example of an issue we need to address soon. God knows how, but dad passed his driving test but now he needs to stop due to a couple of recent incidents.
Home Instead Senior Care has produced a wonderful resource called Help for Alzheimer’s Families
. They have a training section that includes online learning and a number of training videos. I encourage you to look at it regularly as they offer live chats on different topics throughout the year. Noted Alzheimer’s expert David Troxel is speaking June 27. David’s books, including The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care
, are excellent resources. The Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) has an excellent resource section on their website, with lots of helpful information and training. I encourage you to call your local Alzheimer’s organization to learn about support groups and other resources in your area.
When it comes to your father’s driving, this may well be a difficult conversation since driving is a touchy subject. Having a car in much of the United States and Canada is key to independence. While lots of people retain their ability to drive safely for some time after being diagnosed with dementia, eventually they will need to stop since dementia impairs reaction time, memory, and perception. According to research published by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom, most people stop driving after three years of the first signs of dementia. Both the Alzheimer’s Association in the United States
and the United Kingdom
are excellent resources. Here is the links to each:
All the best to you in your journey!