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Topic Friend-Helping or Hurting? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By ShootingStar On 2011.10.07 14:32
My question is regarding appropriate input from friend/roommate of a Parkinsonís caregivers. I believe my friend is getting burnt out and one dynamic that concerns me is from a third personís input.
Situation: Mother, daughter and daughterís friend rent together in the same household. Mother was diagnosed about 4 years ago with Parkinsonís disease. In the past year, the mother has had bouts with hallucinations and dementia but that is gone now with med changes. Daughter is the caregiver. Mother is still mostly independent, but does require some care and does not like being alone. My concern is with the third person in the household who is also the daughterís best friend.
While visiting for a week, I witnessed the friend storm out of the house mad because the mother had made repeated requests to the daughter. The friend also makes snide comments to mother like, ďof course we have to cater to you, Jane (mother), itís always what Jane wants.Ē When we would talk when the mother was not around, the friend repeatedly described the mother as selfish, needy, dependant and mean. The friend is a good person who I am also friends with. She tries to stay out of it, but I believe the friend thinks she is helping the daughter. As an outsider looking in it seemed cruel, unproductive and even harmful to me.
My question is, is it all right for the friend to treat the Parkinsonís patient in this way? Or does the caregiver need to have a talk with the friend and ask them not to give input of this nature?
I hope this question is understandable. I am quite concerned about the situation, but maybe this is normal and I need not be concerned. Thank you for any feedback you can give.

By LOHENGR1N On 2011.10.07 19:14
Shootingstar, I is not right to treat anyone that way either a well person or someone with Parkinson's Disease or any other disease. It sounds to me like the friend should take a long look in a mirror as She is acting out everything She complains of about the Mother. Selfish, needy, dependent and mean! You show compassion and should be concerned it is hard enough to deal with this disease as a patient and caregiver without the added stress of unproductive and hurtful name calling or such.

As a side note the Mother probably was suffering from delusions instead of dementia. Dementia doesn't go away is gradual onset as a rule and progressive.

Hope this helps, take care, best of luck and hang in there. Welcome to the forum.

By susger8 On 2011.10.08 11:21
I suspect the friend has other issues in her life that are coming out this way. Maybe she had a family member who abused her or took advantage of her.


By lvmymom On 2011.10.08 14:33
I think the daughter and her roommate/friend need education. If you want to be helpful then I believe you should suggest some workshops. First: Learn about Parkinson, the disease and the needs, progression, etc. ALSO learn about caregiving and how to handle the dependent patient.

The truth is there are wonderful at home patients and some that ARE selfish and hard to handle. So instead of snide remarks and storming about like children, the best possible solution is to learn how to handle such situations professionally and lovingly.

It is very frustating and your two girlfriends live in a frustrating situation ....with knowledge they will learn how to handle the mother and themselves. They may also learn that they need some time off and can call in some extra respite care.

Because your friend loves her mother I bet she'd love to hear about some training ...

Good luck. You are a good friend.

By parkinit On 2011.10.09 14:33
I agree with Al - no one should be spoken to that way - irregardless of health!

This "friend" needs to be better educated about the disease so she can understand that agitation, aggression, erratic (ADHD-like) behavior, delusions, hallucinations, and yes, even "meanness," if you will, is simply and often a part of this disease.

The daughter needs to take up for her mother and state that she will not allow this "friend" to speak to her mother in such a manner.

I deal with this on a daily basis and the ONLY way I can allow myself to succomb to it day after day is because I can tell myself "it is the disease." We of sound mind can behave congenially, calm, and undaunted by the task before us day after day because we can tell ourselves, "it is the disease."

If the friend does not change her attitude, I would ask her to leave. Pure and simple.

By lurkingforacure On 2011.10.09 16:07
Ditto, I can't believe someone would be that mean to anyone, ill or not. Some friend. I think if anyone ever spoke to my parents like that, well, it'd get ugly fast.

Whatever is going on, it's not right for her to behave like that. She needs to clean up her act or get out. Meanie.

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