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Old 02-24-2005, 02:51 PM   #1
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Mom forgot what a red light means

Hi Friends,

Mom is really getting worse at a rapid rate. Today Candy (not her real name), her aide, took me aside and said,"I had to argue with her about the red light. She said we are supposed to cross the street when the light is red. No, I told her, it is GREEN when we cross. You are just forgetting everything, said Mom, it is on RED that we cross" ... Candy warned me never never to let Mom go out alone!

Candy also told me that often when she gets here there is a smell of burning in the air and a pot on the stove has been boiled dry. I know this has been happening.

I asked my brother if he could take Mom to live with him sooner, before June 15th. We will see. When she gets back from Ohio (leaves 2 weeks from today!) it will already be March 30 .. maybe all will be OK for 2 1/2 months longer.

Today we watched TV stories abut the Pope's tracheotomy. Mom announced, "I almost had one of those. I was in the hospital in the elevator on my way to the OR when I told them NO, I don't want this .. So they took me back to my room."

NONE of that ever happened. She has numerous false memories now ... something on TV prompts her to think this or that happened to HER. She really believes it. Also sees people at the Center who do not go there or who died years ago ... getting quite bizarre. I can chuckle at it sometimes other times I feel devastated.

love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 02-24-2005 at 02:53 PM. Reason: clarity

 
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Hi Martha,

My GM sometimes behaves that way also. One time she thought that there was another lady living in the house with her and my GP. She thought that my GP was having an affair with this lady. We would ask her where the other lady was, if there was someone else living there, and she never could tell us. She finally got over it and moved along to something else. She would hide her purse from my GP and he would find it in various places--one time in the dishwasher. She also says shocking things sometimes that in her right mind she never would have said---bad language and so forth. Sometimes the things that she does or says is humorous and we all have a laugh---its better to laugh than cry right.

ps. I just wanted to let you know that you and your mom are in my prayers!!

Last edited by glamourgal; 02-24-2005 at 03:31 PM.

 
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Old 02-24-2005, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Hi Martha,

Sorry that your Mom is doing so many worrisome and potentially dangerous things. Will you have to put those child-locks on the kitchen cabinet doors so she cannot get any pans? Can you lock the kitchen door so she cannot get to the stove?

My mother also had odd interpretations to situations. When I'd had to move her to a locked Alzheimer's unit (found wandering in a busy street at 9pm when living at the assisted living facility), she had a roommate and decided it meant she was on a curuise. She was very complimentary about the food and the service, but didn't notice that the view out of the windows never changed and never asked how I got onto the "ship" when I visited.

About this time, Mom also saw and spoke to her deceased sister on many occasions. She said that Connie always looked so pretty and happy, but that she'd never stay long enough. When I asked where Connie went, Mom replied that she just disappeared. It's amazing how the brain works.

Martha, have you heard any more about your job ending? If it will stay open, what will you do while the center is closed for remodeling? Isn't that during the time your mother will be at E.'s home? Will you move as soon as your mother does? That must be so exciting to consider! Hold onto joy!

((((hugs)))) - Barbara

 
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:42 PM   #4
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Barbara, thanks for your concern. We are having the lead paint examination on March 8th. If lead paint is found, we have 30 days to do a complete renovation. I am almost sure the church will not do it... no money in the budget for that. Then we get to hold out little class until the inspectors come back on or about April 8th, when we will be shut down.

If that happens I will still stay in NY until the end of April because my brother has several things he needs to do: vacation in New Orleans until the 10th, and full time work (although retired, he helps out at a store 2 days a week, and that week it will be 7 days!) for the week of April 23 to 30. Then I would move to Indiana on or about May 1! My daughter is feeling a little better tonight. God bless you all.

Love,
Martha

 
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Martha
My Dad had AD for many years before he passed away in 2001. My Mom and I took care of him at home. As the disease progressed I had to hide his car keys because he was too confused to drive. He got to the point he didn't know I was his daughter. He thought I was a someone he hired to take care of him.

I know how difficult this is to deal with and will be praying for you.

Music

Last edited by music47; 02-24-2005 at 05:16 PM.

 
Old 02-25-2005, 12:36 AM   #6
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Thank you so much, Music for your answer and your prayers. I think it is amazing how many people come back to or stay on this Board after their years of Caregiving end ..I guess ANGELS like you just want to keep on helping ohers. God bless you.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 02-25-2005, 12:56 AM   #7
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Hello everyojne, here I am up in the middle of the night again.

I try to explain the layout of this apartment to people and they look at me as if I have dementia. The best explanation is 'go to the Tenement Museum in lower Manhattan and go into one of the "railroad flats" immigrants used to live in in the early 1900s.

I could not lock the kitchen because you have to go through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. The idea of locking the pots away is a good one. I might be forced to do that.

Mom also forgot she had her little change purse ( a new one, the one she lost at church was never found) in her zipper pocket, and told Candy that she had no change for the bus. C managed to get change from other passengers. The drivers don't make change and you can't put a dollar bill in. Mom had that money right on her but 'forgot.'

I think it is interesting that your Mom 'saw' her sister. Perhaps it was a dream? Or a series of dreams? Mom has been 'seeing' her 'baby brother' a lot in her dreams lately. He died in about 1975, of a ruined liver. He drank. He was only 66. Mom thinks about her departed loved ones a lot. I have also had dreams recently in which I was with my father who died in 1977. I often think the departed are stll around somewhere and appear to us to comfort and cheer us up. (not an orthodox thought.) If your Mom was cheered up by her sister's 'presence' it was a good thing. Much better than the man who feared and hated 'that strange man in the house', his own reflection.

AD is so complicated. My brother's response to Candy's warnings yesterday: If you go to IN sooner, but not before the end of April, we can have Mom here then, but not if you are still in NY, because she will not be able to accept the rationale. Later, it is clearer: M is leaving and you can't be alone.

He also says do not be surprised at any of this - it will get worse and worse, and not better. Accept it and go with the flow. Enjoy Mom's stories as fiction. Don't correct her. He is very wise. Although the youngest of 3 siblings, he is the wisest and most patient. It is the same in my family, my youngest son, now a graduate student in Miami, is of all the kids the most mature, calm, sensible and good natured. My child therapist daughter in IN is a close second, and the oldest son, already 36 ! is the most lively, hectic, exciting, unsettled, fun loving and turbulant personality - having gotten much from his father, I guess.

Well this is an Alzheimer Board and not a family therapy session, although for me it is as good as or better than therapy!

Love to all, and have a happy weekend,

Martha

 
Old 02-25-2005, 01:04 AM   #8
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Quote:
Originally Posted by glamourgal
Hi Martha,


ps. I just wanted to let you know that you and your mom are in my prayers!!

 
Old 02-25-2005, 01:06 AM   #9
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

I appreciate you prayers, glamourgal!

 
Old 02-25-2005, 04:09 AM   #10
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

The thing is, that my brother and sister in law's house is PERFECT for an AD patient. They had her Mom there for 14 years until it became impossible and both of them were still teaching full time. She was an angry and spiteful AD patient, would not allow any Aide in the house, in fact they tried many and none ever worked out. Finally it got really impossible and SIL's brother in FL agreed to take her in. THAT didn't last long when the garage floor became her bathroom of choice ... and she did wind up in a nursing home in FL where she broke both hips and died... age 93.

ANYHOW: B's house has special locks on all the doors, so they can be locked to prevent the patient from wandering off at night or any othter time, the kitchen is secured, the bathrooms are easily located, 2 of them, there is a beautiful guest room which will be Mom's room, right next to the bath, it is sunny and bright, their neighborhood is quieter than here, there is a lovely park within walking distance, there is a pool a bus ride away. There is a senior center but I feel Mom will not go as 'the new person' and will not make any new friends because she is bizarre and irrational ..no, I think walks in the park or along a shopping street where she can buy a loaf of bread or some bananas, the pool, and TV and radio in the house will replace her Senior Center routine.

They are both retired but B works PT and SIL takes classes 2 days a week, and they go out together, to the opera, to therapy (recovering from 14 years of MIL care and the guilt of letting her go to her B) and will always have an aide with Mom when both of them are out. Our sister will still pay her 2/5 of the aide's cost.

It will be an adjustment for everyone, but Mom will be safer there, and will soon forget this apartment, this neighborhood, her Senior Center, and me. Sad but true. As long as both of them can put up with her, it will go well, and if the time has to come for a nursing home I will be all in favor of it. They don't think it will ever get that far because of her extreme advanced old age. Mom has outlived her projected life expectancy by over 7 years.

LOVE TO ALL,
Martha

 
Old 02-25-2005, 04:54 AM   #11
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Martha, my mother does similar things - speaks of events that never happened, or in an accusatory tone will condemn a relative for doing something they never did - or that she couldn't have witnessed anyway. She will call me at work in the middle of the day to tell me about somehting that happened - or didn't really happen - 40 years ago but she feels is essential to tell me about immediately. Depending upon who is answering phones, at the time, some of these calls never reach me as the person who answers knows of the situation and knows that I am usually too busy to be interrupted except for dire situations.

Glamourgal, welcome to this forum. I am sorry to read about your situation. Sometimes I will take my mother somewhere with me and I feel so ashamed and embarrassed by her behavior. For example, I brought her to a concert with me and she would talk about the audience members ("Look at that fat thing; can you believe the outfit on her?" or "Look at the nose on her!"). The same sort of thing will go on if I take her to a store. She can't just go in and get the items she needs but has to make loud negative comments about the other shoppers, complains needlessly about service, etc. I have a sense of what you felt when your grandmother was in the hospital.

Glamour, All of us here are carrying burdens. We are fortunate for people like Barbara H and Giz who have lost their mothers but are still willing to help others by sharing their advice and experience.

Blessings,

Sky

Last edited by skycanyon; 02-25-2005 at 05:08 AM.

 
Old 02-25-2005, 06:54 AM   #12
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Hi Martha,

Good morning. Hope you got a little sleep before the sun came up!

You mentioned that your brother said that your mother won't move if you're still in the apartment in town. Your brother is reacting as if your mother was still a reasonable person. I think that's not accurate. If your mother sees boxes coming into the apartment, she might connect that with moving. You pack her things, the boxes are taken away and loaded, then you say good-bye in a positive tone (she's going to have a happy time) and she leaves the apartment to go to your brother's house. You stay behind "to finish packing for Indiana". She won't know you haven't yet moved because she won't go back to the apartment. You can stay as long as the rent is paid and landlord says you can!! You Mom will not suspect. She may say she wants to go home, but she'll say that no matter where you are.

That being said, are you prepared to move in mid-April if need be?

When my mother "saw" her sister, she was wide awake. I would not be surprised in the least if Connie had come to visit her little sister. Mother had no hallucintions about anything or anyone else. Connie loved Mom very much and was concerned about the signs of Alzheimer's that she observed in Mom. Connie's visits made Mom really happy and who am I to say Connie wasn't there?

My mother was a Leap Year baby and would have been 89 this week - if there was a 29th!

Hang in there Martha! It will soon be time for your mother's vacation!!

((((hugs)))) Barbara

 
Old 02-25-2005, 10:25 AM   #13
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Not mid April but May 1 is a possibility. I must be truthful: I can hardly wait. When this solution first came up way back in November, I thought June is like 100 years away. When E invited Mom for March I thought March is 100 years away.. but now it's February 25th. Amazing. The time ahead always seems longer than the time behind you.

Barbara, I know you will mourn near your Mom's birthday. Can you plan to do something in her honor? Something meaningful like planting a tree in your yard or on your church propery or in a local park with their permission, in memorial to a lovely lady. Every letter you write to this forum is a testimonial to how well she brought you up!!

That might make you feel less sad on that day. I am thinking of you and will remember you on Feb 28th, the closest we get to that day this year.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 02-25-2005, 02:11 PM   #14
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Re: Mom forgot what a red light means

Hi Martha,

Thank you so much for your kind and caring words. I do hope to plant a small maple tree in our front yard as Mother loved their autumn color so much. That cannot happen until a bit more of the remodel is finished, but that's okay.

I do agree that time moves quickly when it's in the rear view mirror! I'm gald you are so excited about your move, your sweet new nest that you'll feather to suit yourself, the joy of your daughter and son-in-law nearby, and the little grandsons whose lives will be more wonderful with you to hug them on a regular basis. As Jackie Gleason used to say on the Honeymooners, "How sweet it is" or will soon be!!

Be good to yourself - and give you mother a hot toddy or dose of nighttime aspirin or Nyquil tonight!! Everyone does better after a good night's sleep!

(((hugs))) Barbara

 
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