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Old 01-15-2006, 10:31 PM   #1
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Talking Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi everyone,

I have been mostly lurking for the past week or so. Plus the more experienced ladies have been doing a fine job. Martha, Barbara, Angel Bear, and Barb!!! And all the other caregivers give really good advice too! Way to go ladies!!! :>

I have/had a sinus infection. It just will not seem to go away. And when you do not feel as well, you do not write as well. As far as posting on yalls threads and this one too!!! So, skip the "off" parts and read for content!!! :>

My parents - mom (76 and diabetes and early dementia) and dad (78 and parkinsons and alzheimers), both seem to be getting a little worse. It mainly seems to be more sleeping for both of them and mostly forgetting the day of the week and the date. They have at least 4 calendars in different places around their house! Plus I come over 1 - 2 times per week. I guess, that I need to read their calendar every time I come and possibly write down their appts. to take with me to remind them, by phone?!

Anyway, here are a couple of ?s for yall. My sister is coming in for a week, and is mostly staying at our parents house. She will stay with me and my husband 1 - 2 days, for respite from our parents - in between!!! It will preserve her sanity! Do you think it would do any good, to get one of those really big calendars, with big, big squares for each day? My sister got them one a few years ago, and they did not like it on their wall. I think they thought it was to big and made them look dumb?! They hang their main one in their breakfast room and write all their appts, B.D.s and such on it. Do yall think that they would go for the same calendar (Big), now 2 years later. They are both worse and might agree to it?! What do you guys think?

Also, my dad makes dr. appts. (he is still able to dial the phone, most of the time - even tho it takes a few tries) for himself and does not tell me. Then, I find out the same day or 1 day before and am not always able to gowith him. Plus most of the time, there is no need for him to go to that particular dr. at that particular time... My mom lets him, for some reason. I think she is just trying to make him feel that he still has some control over his life?! This particular time, my sister is there and probably will go with him. But, how to stop this in the future? Any ideas?

I need to tell yall something about my dad and guns. In past threads, I told, that I put gun locks on my dads guns, without my parents knowing about it and left them in their house, where they had them. Well, my mom tells me, the other day, my dad said he wanted to get one of his guns and shoot some squirrels!!! They have lots of them and they get in their attic and also eat their pecans! Either she talked him out of it, or he did not follow thru, because he knows it is illegal where they live. And they have close neighbors around them. Not smack dab, but within shooting distance! Scary huh! Plus, then they would find out what I did and watch out!!! They would be mad at me, at least my dad would...

I guess that is enuf, complaining for now. But, any thoughts that yall have on this, would be good. And any ideas of things for my sis to do while she is here, say that too!!! She said she will just see what comes up and visit and maybe try to clean a little (my mom hates that - pulled the vacuum plug on her last time she was here!).

Thanks in advance for your advice and stories.

Love, Wannabe

 
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:15 PM   #2
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi Wannabe,

hope your feeling better soon, I get sinus when I've got a cold and it HURTS!!! You have my sympathies .. trust me!

As for Dad ringing the Doctor, our local GP would get his girls to ring me if MIL or FIL had made an appointment with them so I could remember it. Actually, the respiratory physician did that too ... sent me reminders because they are easily forgotten .. could you ask your Dad's doc to do that?

How have you gone with the POA? If they are done, that can be shown as well.

As for the guns being locked away, I would rather Dad be angry with me for locking them away than letting him be able to get to them. He WILL forget .. remember that! LOL

Perhaps your sister could take your parents out to lunch and you could get that nice cleaning woman in again for a touch up?

What about a family picnic at the beach *grin* ??

I'm sure your sister won't be around long enough for you not to know what to do with her ..!!

Big hugs
Sally

 
Old 01-16-2006, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi -- sounds like your hands are very full! We bought one of the giant white board calendars, and installed it on the wall near the phone. I write everything in, and erase the days as they pass. The current day (day of the week, things to do that day) is always clear since it's the first day that shows up on the calendar. I wrote important phone numbers on it in permanent marker, so they don't get erased.

The regular calendar is still in the laundry room. I keep track of upcoming things in the regular calendar, and then just write them on the white board when the dates get closer. We now all rely on the white board very heavily to see what everyone is doing and it always has handy telephone numbers.

 
Old 01-16-2006, 04:17 AM   #4
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi Wannabe!

I had one of those huge calendars when the kids were growing up. There just wasn't room on a regfular calendar for the schedules and appointments of 5 people. It hung in the kitchen and was a very handy tool.

As for the guns: he won't blame you. Mom didn't blsme me when the coffee machine "didn't work" and when I left the toaster oven unplugged after she burnt toast in it by leaving it on 'high' instead of 'toast'. She thought the machines were broken. Your Dad may think something is wrong with this gun without being able to figure out what. Especially if he hasn't used it for awhile. In any case it's better with the locks on. Better yet would be if the guns disappeared.

Isn't it funny about the cleaning. I had to wait until Mom was at my brother's house or at the senior center so I could quickly give the house a cleaning .. she always felt insulted and maintained she had "just vacuumed yesterday." I got a new vacuum cleaner about 2 years ago and she never used it once, yet thought she had just cleaned. Quieter types of cleaning (like rewashing any dishes she may have thought she got clean) I did early in the mornng before she got up.

I never found a solution about her own personal cleanliness - now in the NH it is all done by the staff. I had day long arguments trying to convince her that she stank, while she maintained she was just out of the tub. Many times she washed her hair over and over again, forgetting all the rest of her body.

Have a good day, all of you!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 01-16-2006, 06:02 AM   #5
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi Wannabe,

Sorry that things are getting worse with your parents and that you've been sick.

The thing that I noticed about Mom was that she forgot to look at the calendars and she lost the understanding of the meaning of the little squares and numbers. Isn't that hard to imagine? There may be no point to a larger calendar if that's the situation with your parents.

I did have DPOA and each doctor's office had a copy. They called me if they needed to see Mom. I just made the appointments, told Mom what was coming up, then I arrived about 3 hours early to help her get ready and took her myself. Sally brought up a good point that perhaps the doctor's office could call you to notify you of appointments your parent's make.

Again I'll bring up the concerns of having the guns in the house at all and of your father driving. For a while in AD, they still have some ability to see connections (need food-grocery, squirrels-shoot), but they have forgotten the laws, rules, and safety issues that apply. That makes them really dangerous to themselves and others.

My mother forgot how to cook and how to properly store leftovers. Her refrigerator was a nightmare. Then she tried to leave the house at 11pm and drive away because she was ready to go somewhere - because the clock and black sky meant nothing. Those were the 2 events that were the deciding factors in my moving Mom out of her sweet little home. I had to know she was warm, safe, and eating good food. On her own, she had flunked all 3 of those tests.

How do your parents function on that scale? How will they function next week, next month? While you sister is visiting, perhaps it's time to call a family powwow about what is to be done. Soon there will be a need for someone to live with your parents (do you pack and move the valuables?) or for them to move into an assisted living facility or something - and for taking away the car, too. It will never be easy, but it will be or is necessary.

Hope you feel better soon. This is hard enough to think about when you're well!

(((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) Barbara

 
Old 01-16-2006, 08:54 AM   #6
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Sorry you're not feeling well. I have sinus problems too and that's the pits!

As I was reading your post, I was trying to think of clever things to say to your parents to win them over on a larger calendar. I told my dad that it was getting more and more difficult for me to write in those small squares all that needed to be written down. He thought it was helping ME to have a larger calendar at his house. As long as I didn't buy it to help HIM, it was ok. Now there's no thought to what type of calendar is there or even if there's one there at all.

Now on to the gun cabinet. If dad should figure out the lock is there, here's a scenerio:

Dad: There's a lock on my gun cabinet. Who put that there?
You: My hubby did. You asked him to around the last time you went out of town.
Dad: I'd never have him put a lock on my cabinet.
You: Call him and ask him. He even gave you a key.
Dad: Where is it?
You: I don't know.

And the search goes on.....

Sounds cruel, I know. But something similar worked for my dad.

OR:

Use your sister. Have her take your parents out while you and hubby move the locked gun cabinet to an area of the house like the attic. Somewhere your parents don't go. Or maybe move it to a storage facility. And then when dad notices they're gone, you could suggest that maybe soemone came in and stole them. I guess that's way off the wall though.

Have to go now. Shower is waiting and then I have to take my son to see his girlfriend. She lives about 40 minutes from here.

Good luck with everything. I hope you feel better soon!

Love, Barb
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Old 01-16-2006, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate all the help, ideas and answers!!! I have read them, but must go to bed now! I have been gone to my parents in the am and a doctor appointment in the pm. Did not get home til late and had to do dinner and such.

You guys are right about the guns and the car. I will talk to my sister in a day or two, and see what she wants us to do. It is the car I am most worried about. I do not think he can get the gun locks off! My mom would catch him, so slow, if he could figure it out and find the tools to pry them off (I have the keys).

I will read some more/again tomorrow and write yall in depth:> haha! And probably ask much more questions!!! :> Thanks again for yalls help!

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 01-17-2006, 10:51 PM   #8
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi again Everyone!

Thanks ever so much for all the answers and ideas and stories!!!!! Yall always come thru for me! :> I go to the doctor tomorrow (today), and see about my sinus, since it still hurts and I am a nambie coddle!!! Hopefully he will give me something for my sinus infection, like he did about 2 months or more, ago.

I will talk to my sister about the guns. My dad, might could get the gun locks off. What they are - are individual locks that go on each gun and disable the trigger. (I guess that is what it is called - the thing that you squeeze with you finger that is next to your thumb!!! :>) But, he is not left alone very often or for very long. I think that it would take him a long time to figure how to get them off without the keys. When he gets a little further along, I will just take them, when they are not there. They are in their master bedroom closet, hidden in the back. My father has not looked at them in many years. But, like you guys said, they can think weird thoughts and have ideas that are not real or try to do things they do not remember are wrong.

I think I will get my sister to buy a calendar (big) and we just will not tell/ask them, til we bring it home to them! We are going out with some old (very - from elementary thru high school/neighbors of old!) friends that are sisters too. So, that will be nice and we can tell our parents about them, when we get back. Lunch only. Thursday. We can pick up a calendar on our way back to our parents house. My sister is better at handling that type of thing. My mom, is disagreeing with almost everything I say, lately. So, sis is more of the nice guy at the moment!!! I think that I am around them too much or much more often than she is, so she is fresh and thinks before she talks!!! :> Unlike me - most of the time.

About my dads small truck. I took his key about 3 mo. ago. But, they found another key and then had another one made. So, there are 4 truck keys now!!! That did not work. He gets in it and starts it every now and then, just to keep it working. He has not driven in about 9 mo. My mom let him then! He still has his drivers license and his keys. I do not think that my mom would agree to have his car disappear. She is very weird about their "things" !!! :< It is like she does not trust her own daughters. I already said something, about borrowing it for a week, and she said, that I was driving it way too much and so on and so on!!! I think the last time I drove it, was before Thanksgiving! Remember that she has dementia and uncontrolled diabetes. And she does not take any of her meds on a regular basis, except for the diabetes ones.

Here is my new thought on my dads truck: I asked my husband, what I could do to disable it, so in case my dad tried to drive/start it, he could not. He said there was something - I cannot remember what - that I could take off pretty easy and put back on pretty easily. Then I could take it back and forth with me in my car, just in case I needed it, or my niece needed to borrow it. I would not even tell either of my parents, only my niece, sister and husband and daughters. So, what do yall think of that, and do you think it might work for a while?!

My parents just are not ready to move out of their home, yet. My mom does think about the caregiver coming to their house for a few hours, several times per week. I mention it, every time that she says something about how long it takes my dad to get ready to go anywhere. There is also the adult day care that is only 5 - 10 min. away. (I would like to take my sister there to talk and look, while she is here.) I do not know if either of them would go for that! I guess, when she wants to run around and cannot (which does happen already), then she might do something.

*We would like to go to the beach. It is really relaxing for all of us. We walk on the seawall in Galveston, then on the rock jetties and on the little bit of sand that is left and wade, ankle deep only. Of course, it is too cold at the moment to go!*

Well, this book is just about done. When/if yall write me back again, I might add a few more chapters!!!!! :> :> :> Thanks again, everyone.

Take care of you, too.

Love, Wannabe
Ok,

 
Old 01-18-2006, 06:59 AM   #9
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi -

Just jumping in for a minute so say that your parents will NEVER be ready to move out of their home. There will always be some reason they come up with that delays it. You have to decide when they're not safe, are dangerous to others, not eating safe food, and dressing wrong for the weather. Then, like it or lump it, they are moved.

Perhaps an assisted living facility in Galveston would sweeten the pot? How inconvenient is that for you and your sister?? Would your parents ever go or be taken to the seawall or beach to make that location worthwhile?

Good luck! Barbara

Last edited by BarbaraH; 01-18-2006 at 02:22 PM.

 
Old 01-18-2006, 01:23 PM   #10
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Yeah Wannabe, I have to agree with Barbara,

There is only so much 'patience' you can have before you have to turn into the big bad meanie and make the decision for them.

You've got to understand, their decision making time is almost over, and I think it's time you and your sister seriously looked at other options. It is an awfully long wait to get into facilities, and the last thing you need is the panic and agitation of finding a place 'Lord knows where' at the last minute.

If you have their names down somewhere, if a place comes up and you don't think they're ready, then you can reject it for the moment, their name will go further down the list until later. If circumstances change, whilst waiting for a placement, then a simple phone call will get their names bumped up ... at least your prepared.

It's time to stop being the daughter, and be the grown up, your parents decline will only continue and in turn, they will be the child, you see this behaviour already happening ... sad but true.

"Like it or lump it ........" .......... that made me laugh because it's what I tell my kids when they complain about one of my decisions .........

Sorry if I sound down on you Wannabe, I don't mean it, but your parents soon will be unable to make informed choices for themselves and I know how you like to be on top of things.

The Distributor cap is one thing you can take off a car to disable it and carry around with you, No damage to the car, easily put back on without much fuss ... I think its a grand idea!!

Big hugs my friend
Sally

 
Old 01-18-2006, 08:41 PM   #11
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Hi you guys!!! :>

Thanks again for your help! I do not mind when yall tell me what to do. I know it is meant with kindness for me and hope for my parents to be safer and such! Thanks for the "distributor cap" part, name. That may have been what my husband was talking about. I will have to ask him in the am. Then, sometime when my parents are asleep or when my mom is gone, I can go and look for it on the little truck and take it off!!!!! I will hear about that. From my parents, I mean! They will probably try to make me put it back! If they can figure out that I did it! :>

That is also a good idea about putting their name down on a waiting list. I am not sure if they will let me, with out my parents knowledge, tho. When I take my sis to look at the close one (with adult day care, too), we can ask some questions. I need to make a list for my sister to do with me (i.e.: calendar, alz/asl/day care, and truck disabling). She went with my dad to the eye doctor today - the appt. he made himself. It turned out that something was wrong with one of his eyes - only requires eye drops. I told her - under no circumstances is he to have another operation. It would just make him go down hill fast! We will see when they go back next Tues, if the dr. tries to suggest another operation. At least I will tell them to say that they will think about it. If my dad was by himself, he would have an operation, pronto!!! What is worse ladies? Having bad eyesight (who knows how bad?), or not being able to think or talk as well? Good question, huh?!

Tell me this, if yall know: When we did the DPOA, the only way our parents would do it, was to put each of them 1st on the others DPOA. I know - it stinks, but that was the only way they would do it! So, if we need to do something, we either have to convince the other one, or have their drs. say that they are incapable of making their own decisions (or whatever the dr. has to say!). I am 2nd and my sister is third. My sister is the will executor. And I am the one on the medical powers of attorney. I live the closest, so that is the reason, I am certain things and she is the oldest, hence the will executor!

My parents would not like to live in Galveston, because all of their friends are here. But of course, soon my dad will not remember any of them. But, my mom will for a while longer - years, probably, unless she goes into a diabetic coma!!! They do like to go to the beach and eat and walk, every now and then, tho!

Thanks for much help and compassion. Talk to yall later. I have to go to bed early tonight. Doctors orders. I took a pill, and will go konk! in a minute!!!!! :> Sweet dreams, yall!

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 01-19-2006, 04:15 AM   #12
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

Dear Wannabe,

Practically all eye operations are done under local anesthetic and have no effect on the brain. I dont think it could harm him in any way, and improved vision would be a great blessing. Unfortunately my Mom's vision problem is inoperabe (macular degeneration).

Love,

Martha

 
Old 01-19-2006, 02:42 PM   #13
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Re: Forgetting the days of the week and the dates!

OK Wannabe,

My ex-charges POA's were done with the partner listed first, and 2 sons listed thereafter in case the partner was incapacitated or dead.

It worked well, because at least their name was on there, and with one charge in a NH, that was often classified as incapacitated., we could get alot of things done for the other one. Now that he has passed on, the POA still stands with the 2 sons now the priority in the POA.

Make sure you get a certified copy .. all that means is get a photocopy and get a lawyer to certify it as an original copy and you can talk on their behalf without their knowledge .. all you are doing really, is asking questions .. for now anyway.

Ya know we love ya .. which is good

Hugs
Sally

 
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