Effects of care recipients' behaviour

I think that’s one of the biggest problems, because the person you’re caring for wants to remain independent as long as possible, and in their mind, independence includes the spouse helping them, right. They’re still independent even though the spouse might be almost lifting them. Having to move to somebody else coming in to do that is a big leap for them. And so, they keep wanting you to help them do all these things, and they seem to lose the ability to think about the other person. And this is something that I think is really important for anybody who isn’t a caregiver—or even people who are caregivers—to realize that that happens. Because I went through the same thing with my mother who had Parkinson’s. And people who become disabled seem to, I suppose, they have to focus in so much on their own needs and what they have to do to function that they cease to be able to see the impact they’re having on the people around them. So it’s very important for caregivers [that] they have to be the one looking after their own needs. And they have to be aware that the person who may be from many, many, many years would have been very considerate of them and concerned about their well being is now unable to think that way, to see that way. They’re so focused on how they’re going to do something and trying to accomplish it that their mind just doesn’t seem to be thinking beyond to “you really shouldn’t be doing this.” 

I remember one of the last times I tried to help him was he needed to get off the toilet and he just couldn’t. He couldn’t stand. And so, I was helping as usual, but at one point he said, “I keep telling you! I keep telling you, you’ve got to lift me!” Well he’s 185-190 lbs man. How am I supposed to lift a 185-190 lb man who can’t help? Right, you’re trying to lift that kind of dead weight. And it never crossed his mind that this was an unreasonable request to make. And I think that’s something that outsiders would be completely unaware of, especially if they’ve known the person all their life and they say, “Oh, he’s very understanding, very concerned, very considerate of his wife’s well being.” And if you talked to them about it, they would probably say that. But at the time that they need help, they’re totally focused on the help they need, and they seem to stop thinking about what the impact might be on the caregiver.

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