My father is a gentle and polite person with an impressive career and decorated sporting background. However, he has had to endure a form of early onset dementia for well over a decade. His prime caregiver is my mother, who we believe has managed to slow my father 's deterioration by keeping him mentally stimulated with a pre-arranged activity every day of the week. Of course, this strategy also cares for my mother, as it gives here peace of mind that my father has a reason to get up each day. Just as importantly, it buys her valuable personal time to do something for herself.
But each time the deterioration reveals another unexpected issue to face, my mother 's determination becomes threatened, and needs it own caring. The most significant and recent issue was when my father began experiencing a mild form of alcohol abuse and associated deviant behavior. After a difficult but seemingly successful battle, my mother recognized that she needed a break. I took a week off from my life and took over the caring role at our vacation home.
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