My uncle has dementia but I don't feel up to caring for him

DEAR DEIDRE:  IT is heartbreaking to see my uncle become a shadow of the man he used to be because of his dementia – but I don’t feel up to caring for him.

I am 23 and have lived with him and my auntie (Dad’s sister) since my parents had a horrible divorce when I was 14.


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He has been like a best friend to me. He was also the one who kept the peace in my family whenever there were rows or fallings out.

Lately, I’ve started to notice odd things he does. He forgets my name, loses his wallet all the time, goes out with odd shoes on and recently he woke up from a nap saying that he was late for work. He is 72 and retired years ago.

My dad thinks he should be sectioned but my aunt wants me to take care of him even though I have no experience. Dad has always been arrogant and thinks he’s right so this is causing lots of stressful rows.

DEIDRE SAYS: Everyone around your uncle is feeling anxious and expressing it in their own way.

Dementia can feel scary. But stay calm, get informed, and you can work with your uncle’s GP and the memory service to devise a realistic plan for his immediate and long-term care.

The whole family need to have a round-table talk.

But first get information and advice from Dementia UK (dementiauk.org, 0800 888 6678).

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