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Alzheimer's Disease

Please Help Me so I Can See My Grandad

02/09/2010

Question:

My grandad has Alzheimer`s. My auntie lives with hime and looks after him. Now me and my auntie have fell out and don`t talk now. She won`t allow me to see him. What can I do?

Answer:

Family relationships can be tough at times, but hopefully there may be a way for you to resume seeing your grandfather. Is there a neutral family member, like another one of your grandfather's children or does your Aunt have any children or another niece or nephew that might act as a mediator between you and your Aunt? If there might be such a person, they could possibly negotiate with your Aunt about allowing you to schedule visits to see your grandfather, and try to help your Aunt see the importance of family spending quality time with your grandfather, while he can still recall who his family members are.

If the atmosphere in your grandfather's home is too tense for you to visit him there, try to arrange for another meeting site, maybe a restaurant or park or another relatives home or offer to take him to church or to the local senior center for an activity.

Caring for a someone with Alzheimer's disease can be stressful, so take into consideration that your Aunt may not be coping well herself and her stress level may be high and this may be influencing her attitude towards you. She may need more respite breaks from caregiving, where other family members could give her a break and in return this may improve how she feels about herself and life and could possibly lighten her negative feelings towards you.

I'm always encouraging families to try and overlook the divisions they may have and instead rally around the person with Alzheimer's disease and spend time with them, reminisce about the past, look at the old photo albums, laugh at the funny stories and live for the moment, because their moments of clearness of thought will continue to fade away. Take Care.

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Rebecca A Davis, RN, LISW Rebecca A Davis, RN, LISW
Clinical Research Nurse of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University