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Old 04-09-2007, 07:49 AM   #1
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My mom is so very sad

Hi folks, I've stumbled across this board and have read many of the posts. It's all just heartbreaking that we have loved ones who are in the clutches of this disease. The death 20 years ago of my dad was easier to handle as it happened and we mourned. With MID (multi infract dementia) we, as a family mourn daily for our mom. She's 86 years old and is the sweetest lady I know. She fell at home in Jan. and after a 6 week hospital stay my siblings and I (and the doc's) decided she was no longer safe in her house. We moved her to an assistant living facility that the Doctor recommended. Mom says it's nice, the people are great but when can she go home..... We tell her it's not a choice due to all the stairs. It's not safe. She needs a little help. Some days she gets it but other days she's just so darn sad. She told me that she has to get out of there as she's noticing that her "memory" is getting bad. She thinks it's because they do so much for her that she's not keeping her mind sharp. She phones my sister at nights begging for her to come get her. We know that night time is difficult for people with dementia due to sundowners. Things are worse for them during this time. Anyways, now we're thinking we've got to do something else. How can we say we love our mom and let her live somewhere safe but so upsetting for her. She's been there almost two months and all she wants to do is leave. Sometimes she is paranoid about why we did this. Sometimes she thinks we just wanted to get rid of her. All not true and we know this is another sympton byt it sure doesn't make it easier. So now my sister is thinking of selling her house and buying one that mom can move into with her and her husband. I'm as confused now as my mom is. I just don't know what to suggest anymore. Mom doesn't even remember what day it is let alone take her pills if it was left up to her. I guess I just needed to vent.
I'm not asking for advice because as we all know, things will just get worse. It just breaks my heart that this had to happen to such a nice lady. My mom is still in there but I see bits leaving every time I talk to her. I live a few hours away so I also feel guilty that the closer members of the family have to deal with this on a more regular basis.
Good luck to everyone out there. I guess we just take each day as it is and look for the little gifts we get along the way.

 
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:28 AM   #2
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Re: My mom is so very sad

Quote:
Good luck to everyone out there. I guess we just take each day as it is and look for the little gifts we get along the way.
What a great way to look at it!

This disease is such a sad one. I think that my mom's sudden death was easier to bear than what we're going through with my dad now.

I know you're not asking for advice so I won't give you any. I hope that you don't mind me telling you a little about my experience with my dad.

My husband and I sold our house and moved in with dad when it became clear to me that dad could no longer live alone. We felt that it would be better for him if he stayed where he was, that it would be too confusing to move him to my house.

Dad started becoming angry and aggressive. He was angry that my husband and I moved in with him. It was ok with him that our son was there. He loves my son to death. But he didn't want us to be there because I was taking care of him, making sure he got his meds, ate enough food, made it to his doctor appts, paid his bills and got him to shower and shave. Soon after we moved in, dad began verbally abusing me horribly. It was a shock to me that he could be so cruel even though I knew it really wasn't him. It was the disease, the Imposter. How horrible this time was for my entire family, especially my son who loved his grandpa dearly and was completely blown away by all of this, let alone the fact that he was going through puberty too.

My dad is now with my sister several hundred miles from here. Before this disease started to take him, he spent most of his time at her house. In the last 2 years before this disease started to take him, he probably spent a total of 3 weeks at his house. So my sister's home was his home too.

Now, no matter where he is, he talks about going home.

My grandma, who died with AD, used to talk about going home all the time. In her mind, home was at first the home she shared with my step grandpa years before. Then as the disease progressed, home became her childhood home filled with all the people who had passed on long before.

As the disease progresses, the word home takes on a whole new meaning. Home is no longer a house, but rather a place in time where they felt healthy, happy, safe and secure. My dad is very close to that stage now and my sister and I agree this stage is actually getting easier for all, especially my dad. He no longer worries about forgetting or much anything else either.

I'm so sorry you and your family have to go through this. It's heartbreaking.

I guess that's why they call it the long goodbye.

Love, Barb
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:06 AM   #3
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Re: My mom is so very sad

You did the best thing for your Mom by getting her into an assisted living complex. You may need to tell a couple of little white lies until she gets used to being there - my Mom was put off for several months with the idea that "when your hip has healed and you can walk up and down stairs without help, you will go home." Now she feels she is at home. After being hospitalized in December, she was so happy to be back at the nursing home ... "I'm so glad to be home," she said.

It is great that your family agrees to help her in this way. So many people on this Board struggled for months or even years (including yours truly) before waking up to the fact that our loved one is safe, warm, fed, medicated, kept from wandering off or driving a car or walking in front of a bus by being somewhere other than 'home' . My grown up children know that I would greatly prefer an assisted living place and later a nursing home before I would want to move in with them and create chaos in their lives.

Good luck

Martha

 
Old 04-09-2007, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: My mom is so very sad

Thanks Barb and Martha for your kind words. It helps talking (typing...) to others that are going through this but aren't related! I just got off the phone with my mom. She sounded good and says she's just getting ready to go downstairs for lunch. It's all on one floor of course but we've stopped trying to correct her as it causes no harm. My brother is going north to pick her up this weekend and bring her back to stay with me for a week. I'm looking forward to it but wondering if it'll be tougher for her to return to the lodge. She says she feels caged there and needs to escape.
She told me a few days ago that her memory is getting worse and blames it on being there. That they do so much for her she doesn't have to use her brain so the short term memory is going. We've told her it could be these "mini-strokes" but she doesn't believe us. *g* One good thing about this disease is it gives you a license to forget anything that you don't agree with.
So I'm setting up the spare room for her later today. I take all the usual clutter out and just streamline it for her. Am going to pick up some paint by numbers and get the fixin's for cabbage rolls. Told mom I'm going to work her butt off when she gets here and she replied with a giggle that I should go easy on her as some people think she's old! She has never seen herself that way and I think that helps keep her thinking that things will get better.
So thanks again ladies. The fact that strangers take time to help others must mean that people like you are a great comfort to those that you're looking out for. I'll come back here soon with an update and who knows, maybe someday there will be a person I can help.
Hope the sun is shining for you!
Maggy

 
Old 04-10-2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: My mom is so very sad

Youngest Sib, You already are helping. The more people talk about this, the more attention it gets. Someone somewhere is reading your posts and saying "I'm not alone. Someone else is feeling like I do."

Paint by numbers. I was just going to suggest something like that for your mom. Circle the word books are good too.

Have a great time with your mom. And be ready for all posibilities when she returns to the lodge. Things may go great or they may not. Try to mentally prepare yourself.

Love, Barb
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:04 AM   #6
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Re: My mom is so very sad

I'm having trouble "mentally preparing" myself as I'm all over the place. One day I know it's best that we finally agreed with the Dr.'s and got mom into an assisted living facility and the next day I'm wondering if we jumped the gun. We, as a family, all agreed that if mom's existing house was on one level, she could have stayed there for a bit longer as we had home care set up for her. And my siblings that lived in the area were always dropping in. But then we worried about the times no one WAS there. Like when she fell in January. She remembers crawling up the stairs to lie on the couch but doesn't remember being in the hospital for 6 weeks. Thank God the VON's where coming in every day for a different medical problem or it may have been a day or two before we knew what had happened. When I imagine her laying there in so much pain (she broke a disc in her back) my heart just breaks. I saw my mom last weekend and I asked her if she remembered what number to dial if she ever needed help. She didn't. So score one for lodge living....
I don't know if MID (vascular dementia) is easier to take or not compared to Alzhemiers. I know both suck. But some days Ma is so damn sharp and the next day she has no recollection of events that just happened. She can play a mean hand of 31 but if we stop for a minute she wonders why there's cards on the table. From all my reseach on both diseases, one goes in steps the other in a downward slope. I think MID gives us false hopes when there's such good days. My head knows the outcome but my heart thinks otherwise.
I read yesterday that a woman who is 102 just shot a hole in one. Can you imagine the only problem with your elderly mother is that she plays golf better than you!

 
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