It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Daughter of Dad with Alzheimer’s” whose father was newish-ly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The LW’s main issue was with her father’s wife, who was otherwise great but who made nonstop comments about the effects of his disease when the LW was visiting. “I obviously want to be kept up-to-date on my dad’s condition,” she wrote, [but] I want to be able to spend time with her and my dad and not be reminded of his condition at every opportunity.” Keep reading to see how things are now four years later.
Your advice was wonderful and they were the most thoughtful and empathetic words I’ve received from anyone about my Dad.
Following your advice and the commenters’, I started making a point of calling my dad’s wife in advance of our visits to discuss any current issues. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me to do so before; it was the obvious solution. She could communicate what was currently going on (or sometimes just vent), which meant we could focus on just spending time together during visits.
Unfortunately his disease has progressed as expected and he will be entering residential care as soon as possible. He has been on a wait list for a few months and we are hoping that a placement will open soon.
Thanks, Wendy, for your site and your incredibly compassionate advice.
Thank you so much for your update. I’m really glad you’ve been able to have meaningful visits with your dad while he was stilt home, and, though I’m very sorry to hear that the Alzheimer’s has progressed as expected, I hope he’s able to get a place in a good facility as soon as possible and that both you and his wife can continue enjoying some meaningful moments with him, knowing he is well-cared for.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at email@example.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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Juliecatharine September 6, 2016, 12:22 pm
I have zero experience with Alzheimer’s but can only imagine it to be a special type of hell for the person afflicted and their loved ones. LW, I’m glad you and your stepmother have each other to lean on but am so sorry that your Dad’s condition is progressing as expected. Wishing you and your family comfort and peace.
ktfran September 6, 2016, 12:35 pm
LW, I’m happy you took Wendy’s advice and that you and your stepmom have been able to work things out, and that you’ve had meaningful visits with your dad. I am terribly sorry to hear that your dad’s illness has progresses. I do wish you and your family peace.
I went back and read the original letter again, Wendy’s advice, and some of the comments, including my own. Wendy’s advice was so extremely thoughtful, as were a lot of the commenters. I can’t believe this was four years ago. Man, I’ve been reading this blog faithfully for a super long time. Thank you so much for this community, Wendy.
Dear Wendy September 6, 2016, 12:50 pm
Thanks for being a part of it!
Addie Pray September 6, 2016, 3:13 pm
I read back over it, too. That was a great one!
bittergaymark September 6, 2016, 8:21 pm
Yeah, I feel we ALL had good advice. 😉
Taylor September 7, 2016, 8:58 am
Hey there LW,
Sending you good thoughts over the interwebs. Best of luck with finding a good place, and the transition.