This is the first time I have posted to this message board. I have been lurking off and on for some time. In January 2000 my mother was diagnosed with AD. This was bad enough but my dad has now been diagnosed with AD. My mother is probably in the middle stage of AD and has probably had it for 5 to 7 years. My dad has probably had AD for at least 1 year and maybe longer. They live in their own home with my brother and his family living close by. I live in another state but since my brother was in denial about my dads condition I made an appointment to have my dad evaluated and have made two trips in the past two weeks to take him to be evaluated and then to get the results. It was a very thorough evaluation. I am depressed and have been grieving off and on through out this ordeal. None of my friends understand this as I think they think of grieving being only when someone actually dies.
The following user gives a hug of support to J. Smith: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to J. Smith For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
I understand your grieving. It is so very tough to watch someone that you love slip away little by little day after day, and to feel so helpless. This is a terriable thing to go thru. Most people do not understand because it acts so slowly, and at first the changes are almost unnoticable. No one knows just how hard this is to go thru, except someone who has gone thru it themselves. Get your support gathered around you, you're going to need help and encouragement. Don't worry; you are not alone. Start going to AD meetings in your area. You will find some good copeing ideas there and the support of others. Line up good doctors for your parents and stay on top of their med's. Then get people that will love you and support you for the times to come.
And take good care of yourself, so that you can be there for your mom and dad.
Just take one day, and one dragon at a time.
The following user gives a hug of support to gizmolove: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to gizmolove For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
Both of my parents have Alzheimer's. I tried to take care of them in my home 4 years ago but after one year I ran out of energy and I had to put both of them in a nursing home that cares for Alzheimer's patients. Grieving is good for you because I grieve every Sunday when I go and spend time with them at the nursing home. My Mother can no longer speak, feed herself, and no longer able to walk or sit up. Dad can still dress, feed, and go to the bathroom by himself and I can carry a somewhat conversation with him. I cry on the way home after spending time with them but I feel good afterwards knowing that they are still alive and that I can still spend some time with them. I always surf message boards and it has been a long time since I have posted. Your message about having both of your parents with AD caught my eye. I wish you well with your parents.
The following user gives a hug of support to Leo Sarabia: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to Leo Sarabia For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
I am sorry about your parents. Alzheimers is a heart breaking experience. My mother had it . I can't imagine what it would have been like if both my parents had it at the same time. Now that it is all over I really miss my Mom. It was a long drawn out ordeal. I didn't grieve for a very long time. If I were still going through all of the disease what I would have done more is given my mom more hugs. The hardest part was when I went to see her and she didn't even know who I was. I had been to see her only a week before. You will make it through this.
The following user gives a hug of support to babeodear: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to babeodear For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
Grief is a natual part of this, and it can come in many ways. NO ONE has a right to tell you that you shouldn't be feeling that way. My mother is still with me, still (thank God) aware and able to do things for herself...but even I have moments of grief for the person she used to be. (I miss the taste of her cooking, since she no longer can...the 'take charge' attitude that's disappeared...heck, I even miss getting yelled at on occasion....) Some of us encounter that grief every day, and that is something only those with aging parents seem to understand...my prayers are with you and your parents....
The following user gives a hug of support to Sallen: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to Sallen For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
Dear Judy, Gizmo and Sallen:
It is really tough, especially for you Judy with both parents victims of Alzheimer's. I feel for you as I know what you are going through. I say, however, do not give up. Hang in there, and no matter the stage, you can make your loved ones feel loved and still of worth. Learn all you can about the disease so that you can understand what it takes to accomplish that. Enlist the help of others. Validate them by accepting their reality as truth, for them, and do not try to change it. Help them to live in their past where they can still relate with constant reminders of good things of which they can be proud. You may repeat the same thing every day as they will not remember yesterday.
Grieve for their loss. Yes! But still bring out the best in them and find some satisfaction in still bringing some joy into their lives.
Keep faith and God bless.
franklin K. Cassel
The Following User Says Thank You to Franklin K. Casel For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
To anyone who is suffering from the tragedy of AD: I have worked with AD residents for 10 years now and am fortunate that my parents don't have it [yet]. This disease is devastating to families. To lose someone you love, one "piece" at a time is tragic, and I cannot offer any hope that life will improve or get better. I can offer some suggestions on how to survive, based on techniques that I've observed.
1] Get yourself into a AD Support Group. Run, don't walk. These groups are people who are living the same nightmare you are and provide the best support. You are losing the one you love and you need to grieve, you need support, you need information, and you need to know that you are not alone.
2] When the time comes to place your loved one in a nursing home do so without feeling guilty. By this time you have come to realize that you cannot provide the best quality of life for your loved one. Always remember that you are placing your loved one where they will receive the BEST care. Alzheimer's is a medical disease [and so much more]. If your loved one needed surgery, you would want the best surgeon. Likewise, you want the best attention for your loved one with AD.
3] Before deciding on a home, pick several and drop by for impromptu visits. I wouldn't even tell the staff why you're there! You are living with this disease and you'll be able to distinguish which residents in the home have it. Sit back and observe the treatment of these residents. How does the staff interact with them? Are there activities designed especially for residents with dementia? Are the residents clean and well groomed? Are they restrained - physically or chemically? Do the staff give a lot of hugs and pats to the residents? There are many good nursing homes out there - find the best for your loved one.
4] If you chose to keep your loved one at home get support. There are agencies that come in as needed so you can get out as needed. That couple who had the seven babies have it much easier than what you are facing. You have a 24 hour a day job. Recognize that and get some help.
5] Alzheimer's patients reach a stage when they can't remember who you are. Everytime you see your loved one greet with with a smile, a hello Mom and introduce yourself to them. This is very important. Remember that everytime they see you, you are a stranger.
6] Put together a picture book of your family. Include pictures of yourself and siblings when you were younger. Write everyone's names and ages in bold letters. Go through this book when you visit. Also, make a very simple journal of who your loved one was and what made them tick. "You are Sally Jones and you have six children. You make the best bread in town and you love the color blue and your pansies." Staff in nursing homes love these books!
7] Finally, realize that while life will never be the same again that doesn't mean it can never be good again. It will be good again, just a different kind of good. As in any story, one chapter ends and another begins, but you need all of the chapters to understand the story.
[This message has been edited by solong (edited 10-10-2001).]
The following user gives a hug of support to solong: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to solong For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)