Q. My father has dementia and I keep asking myself if I contributed to this in any way? And when I try something that doesn’t work with him, I ask myself if I just didn’t do it right?
A. My father had a form of dementia and although I do not understand the dynamics you are dealing with, I recall clearly the dynamics I had to deal with—in someone who I absolutely adored as a child, a person who was my “nurturing” parent in many ways. It was brutal watching someone I loved as much as I loved my dad to see him deteriorate. I did discover that he always knew the sound of my voice, whether he visually recognized me—at least he always seemed to know who I was… Smile. All I can tell you is this: it wasn’t your fault; it isn’t your fault; and no one is really prepared to deal with a brain that is functioning improperly, especially someone who is or was emotionally important to you. I read an article recently by Bob DeMarco on the Care of Dementia Patients, from the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. You might get some ideas from that article and reinforce that “It’s Not Your Fault.” www.Alzheimer’sReadingRoom.com