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RICHPD

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Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
20
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
3/2008
Country
US
State
ma
City
weymouth
I posted several weeks ago regarding my 88 year old dad that has been diagnosed with als. Since then he has moved in with us and is confined to a wheel chair and some walking with this walker. He is right handed but now because of dexterity problems must do his daily activities using his left hand which you can imagine how difficult that is. He has been 100 % independent until this disease hit him but I’m not sure where I should intervene to help him and where I should leave him alone.

He is a former military person and is very routine in his daily tasks including making the bed as soon as he’s up. I’m getting him Velcro shirts but for now he is still buttoning his shirts using the buttoning tool he has. I offer to help him but he insists that he has to do for himself. I understand and let him alone, but when he’s done he complains how everything takes him so long to do, he complains about this almost every day. He gets up at 7:00 and it takes him about two hours to be ready for breakfast. His routine includes dressing, going to the bathroom, making the bed, washing up, brushing his hair etc. While I want him to remain strong by keeping the body moving I don’t want to see him stress out over how long everything takes to do. Where do I draw the line from leaving him independent and providing him physical assistance. Naturally the things he can't do I help him it's the little routine things that I'm struggling with. Thanks for your help all.
 

brooksea

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Sep 27, 2006
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Other
Country
HM
Hi RICH,

Great that your Dad is able to live with you while he is going through this tough stretch.

It sounds as if you have already got the ball rolling on providing remedies to help your Dad. Has the MDA or ALS Assco. provided you with a catalogue of items that are made for people with disabilities? Some of the items can be mighty pricey, but they do give you ideas on things that you can possibly come up with yourself, such as foam around utensils for easier handling.

I have found that trying to hover and help with my husband just irritated him more, so I backed off. Now he will ask for assistance as needed after learning a few lessons on his own - like sharp knife is too dangerous for him to handle (ouch!).

You may have to put up with the complaining for a while til he realizes it is OK to ask for help. Maybe if you slowly provide helpful devices and present them matter-of-factly, his complaining will somewhat slow down.
 

Peg B

Distinguished member
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
414
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2006
Country
US
State
Michigan
City
Flint
HI,

Just wanted to say I thought Jimmercat's response was perfect.

Rich. You did a good thing taking in your Dad and letting him call his own shots. Best to you both. Sincerely, Peg
 

trying to stay positive

Distinguished member
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
300
Reason
CALS
Diagnosis
08/2007
Country
US
State
Illinois
City
Chicago area
Hi Rich,
I too, agree with CJ. My husband will also get annoyed if I hover or ask him if he needs help too often. So, like CJ, I backed off, and now he'll ask when he needs help. Somethings I can anticipate and just have them done or started for him, and that is ok with him. By the way, CJ, we got a rocker knife for my husband and he loves it. It's safe & easy to use. Wishing you both the best.
Linda
 
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