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Old 06-16-2008, 01:31 AM   #1
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suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

HI .....I am hoping you all can provide me with some suggestions for my Mom. I will try to make a long story short----

My Grandmother has had alzheimer's/dementia for going on 10 years. Her Mother (my Great Grandmother) suffered for 20 years before she passed away in 2000, and my Grandmother ( I call her Mimi) was her only child and caregiver. She was in a nursing home ( Skilled Care) for those 20 years b/c she fell and broke one hip, and while in there recuperating, she fell and broke her other hip and was wheelchair/bed ridden for the remainder of her time here on Earth. No one in my family was thrilled with the Nursing Home she was in, but it was directly across the street from my Mimi's house, and it was not a horrible place, just had a lot of turn around in the department where my Great Grandmother lived.

Once she passed away in 2000, my Mimi started showing signs of the disease herself. She barely had a good year, before I had to move in with her, in 2001. I lived with her for about 18 months-----then I moved out b/c my significant other and i had built a house together-====and i was 23 by then, and it was time. She stayed alone until 2004----with myself or my mother coming to see her every day. She was fine during this time.....

She went to live with my Mom in the Fall of 2005-----and stayed there until the Summer of 2006-----She insisted that she wanted to go back home---
so my ingenious (read: STUPID) Uncle took her home one weekend, and was like, it won't last the night, and she will be back at Jackie's ( my mom's house)..........UUUMM---no, not really-----she was there ( at her own home) until May 12th when she was placed in an AL facility. My Mom had to move in with her that weekend that my Uncle stupidly took her home-----so my mom gave up her house ( she didnt sell it, she just left it empty, b/c she knew she would want to go back home once she was no longer able to live with Mimi)--------so mom lived with her for two years June 2006-May 2008--------she gave up her life so that my grandmother could continue to live in the home she knew-----and to be as happy as possible.

Now I need to ,mention--in addidtion to the stupid uncle, I have one other uncle who lives in this state, but in another city......I also have two aunts ( married to the uncles) and they have been in the family, for over 25 years each---but they dont feel its their responsibility-----each of their parents have passed-- The Aunt that lives in another City is helpful and proactive to solve problems---but is not HERE in the every day hub bub of the situation, if you know what i mean.

This all leading up to the situation at hand-----Mimi was placed in the AL fac. May 12th------She is MISERABLE-----OR so we think-the place is VERY nice---LOTS of activities, very helpful staff, day outings, etc----does not have the stinky smell that nursing homes can be known for....you know what i mean.
We had to take her out for my cousin's graduation, when we took her back, she didnt remember being there in the 1st place, and cried and cried.
This is KILLING my mom---She feels responsible b/c she is the one who had to say, " hey, I cant live with her anymore, something had to give"----

Mimi had reached the point where she has had a day time caregiver for a year----She was beginning to not recognize her home, she is beginnng to forget people----She is losing her emotions----YOu know, cannot really laugh anymore, makes comments about not wanting to "be here ( on Earth)" anymore.......When she has been with one of us all day, taking her places, doing fun stuff, she can't remember, and gets mad the minute we would get her back home, saying she guessed she would just sit there all alone, like she had all day.....not to mention the norm-----repeat, repeat, repeat-----unable to keep up with where we are or what we are doing-----even if its obvious-----

Here is the problem----Ever since she went in to the AL, she is demanding to go home----she was taken there under the guise that she was going to PT for her back-----she is very arthritic, has had two shoulder replacements, and has very gnarled hands ( This is a good time to mention----My Mimi was an RN for 30 years-----she is not dumb when it comes to medical practice)

Now today---she actually managed to get to a phone, and a nurse had to have dialed, b/c she has NO idea what my mom's cell # is---but she called my MOm, in tears, telling her to come take her out of that place.....My MOm of course went up there, to check on her----and she is demanding that my Mom take her out of there THIS week...and I am so afraid my mom will do it.
My mom is not in the best of health herself---she is a 4 time cancer survivor---she is having some other health issues that i think stim from the stress of this situation------and I am worried that if she continues as the primary caregiver for my grandmother, that I am going to be doing this for My MOm in 10 years, and she is only 48 years old!

Now, I have helped care for Mimi for all these years----my Uncles basically just have been in denial ( the Aunt that lives in the other city, she really got the ball rolling for the AL)......The uncle that lives in town, basically feels like his life is too important, and that they have too many things going on in their lives to drop everything to go visit or help Mimi. Now of course, he is more than willing to manage her money---and make sure that HIS kids have at least some important piece of something that belonged to my grandfather---mind you my sister and I feel that that is not necesary b/c, yes, my granddaddy may be gone. but Mimi is still here---so nothing is ours until she is with him in HEaven. And even then---I am not going to be knocking down her doors to take stuff===that is just so wrong........

The uncle in the other city is okay----just never here----doesnt call----but will listen if my mom calls him b/c she is having a hard day------or whatever.

But dont you all think that my mom would be making a huge mistake to take Mimi out of this AL??? I feel like its wrong for her and Mimi------My mom NEEDS a life---her marriage ( she and my dad are divorced---for many years----so this is my step dad)--has suffered greatly----my step dad has been great---but this has been really hard-----she showed up at my house back near the 1st of the year---Mimi's heat was out----and she didnt leave for 3 days!!! the heat was fixed in 1 day---and I think its b/c she just couldnt face the reality of going back to Mimi's house----I cant tell you how many times she has called me crying----frustrated, ----its really tough----I have been there too----i know each and every one of you have also----

on top of dealing with helping my MOm---I had foot surgery on May 12th ( ironic----same day as Mimi went to the AL)---I cant drive---I cant help----my boyfriend takes me to see Mimi--but it cant be as often as I would lke right now. I also have another Grandmother ( dad's mom) that is dying of cancer----so I have one grandma, who cant stand to be alive b/c of what a disease has done to her brain-----and I have another grandma who wants to live, but can' b/c of what a diease has done to her lungs, and multiple other organs.

My mom is very religious and I am sure she has been praying about this---but I want her to be realistic---my mom is the "wear the weight of the world on her shoulders" type person-----she feels like she owes it to Mimi to care for her----and i understand that----but i also think my mimi would understand IF she could see herself-----Mimi is very demanding when she is with my mom----the last few months, Mimi controlled mom's every move-----even if i came to stay there, so that my mom could go out of town, or whatever, she would be mad, and would constantly ask when mom was coming home.

I also have to wonder-----do you think they are really THAT unhappy in these homes----especially when we are not there??? I cant help but wonder---the nurses are saying, Mimi IS participating---In BINGO, in outings, in dancing, in church, etc------I cant help but wonder if the tears and all that happens when she see's us???? I dont know---I am grasping at straws.

ANY help or advice would be nice-----My mom just seemed so down and sad on the phone tonight----and I want to help----but I am better at just being "resolved" sometimes to certain issues---and my Mom is not-----
I had a very bed experience when I was 16 and my Grandaddy died----I had PTSD for two years, in trying to deal with it ( i was VERY close to him---he died of brain cancer---and yes, this is Mimi's husband--and on a side note---she was HIS primary caregiver when he had cancer 1996-1997)-----and in learning how to recover from that, I learned how to face issues head-on-----instead of being in denial-----and I am afraid that is part of Mom's problem--I think a piece of her is in denial over all of this also---she KNOWS Mimi has the Alzheimers----but she is in denial over the decision of what is BEST for Mimi------

I am SSSSOOO sorry for the long post-----but I figured all this background would be helpful------Again---anything you can say is helpful-----I am going to pass anything on to my Mom-----she knows I have found these boards helpful in my foot surgery recovery-----so i am hoping this board will be of much help-----I have already read several posts and realize that some of the symptoms and stories ---are so similiar to Mimi's-----


anyway---God Bless---and I am eager to read your replies.

 
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:43 AM   #2
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

It would be a sad, tragic, miserable mistake for anyone in your family to remove your grandmother from the nice AL she is in. How did it happen that an uncle just went and took her home and dumped her there, years ago? Did he have Power of Attorney over her affairs? It seems to me that too many people are making independent decisions. (too many cooks...) One person should have that POA and all decisions be left to him or her. Logically it should be your Mom.

Of course "Mimi" complains and wants to go home. There is not a dementia patient in the world who does not vaguely remember better times, whether in their previous home or the childhood home with their Mommy and Daddy. So they cry and want to go there - where they were well, young and fit. However, taking her physical body to some other house does not at all do that! It just places the burden on someone else to be on duty 24/7/365 and go stark raving mad.

Your mother needs to have a harsh talk with the whole variety of aunts and uncles, and make sure everyone is on the same page. That page is "she stays at AL!" Taking her out for visits is a bad idea. Visit her there! If she talks about going home, make some excuse. "Soon. Whenever your test results show that you can go home." Anything.

Eventually my Mom adjusted to the NH and was happy there. I had lived with her for 5 difficult years.

You and your Mom have already done 'beyond the call of duty" service. Now it is time to make sure nobody again gets the 'brililant' idea of taking her home. Her home, in fact, ought to be sold, rented out or otherwise closed to her for all time.

Good luck!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 06-16-2008 at 04:45 AM.

 
Old 06-16-2008, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

I totally agree with Martha. It would be tragic if your Mom decided to take Mimi out of AL and bring her home. Mimi would be no happier there then she is in AL. She probably doesn't even know the house that you think of as her home. What she is looking for is a recreation of a long gone memory when she was mentally and physically healthy. And nobody can take her back to that time. Her mind is confused, she wants that confusion GONE. Nobody can fix that for her.

I am dealing with much the same thing with my Mom. She cries and wants to go home. She can put us on a painful guilt trip. She thinks if we just take her home and leave her then all this craziness will go away. When she was at home, it was crazier than it is at Assisted Living. If we take her home for a visit it is followed by episodes of anxiety and depression. Even a day trip sets us back to the readjustment mode. We have had to deal with months of pleas and tears as she grieved for her past life. She daily verbalized that she would rather be dead than where she is now. She disowned us daughters repeatedly and blamed it all on us putting here where she is. But now it is getting better. She still talk about going home but now without the exaggerated emotions of earlier. The difference is medication.

You didn't mention what medications your Mimi is on. Is she on any antidepressants or antianxiety medication? If so it's obviously not working and needs adjusting. My Mom was finally sent to a psychiatrist that is familiar with ALZ. He has changed her medication and the changes are just short of amazing. We have stopped taking Mom back home but we do visit with her there in AL often. Rather than taking her out we incorporate into her day. The four sisters all understand that she will NEVER go back home or home with any of us. That is not an option. She is exactly where she needs to be. It has been 9 months but I actually had a good weekend with her this past weekend without the tears. Yes, she did mention going home but it was not with the overwhelming anxiety of the past. So the first thing you need to do is talk to your Mimi's primary care giver or the AL physician about this situation and see what you can do to help your Mimi. This anxiety is not good for you Mimi and can be controlled. Under no circumstances should your Mom take her home.... especially in this condition.

Welcome to the board. I hope something that is said will help you. So many here have walked where you are and I know they helped me tremendously as I wandered through the same maze of confusion that you are going through. Hang in there..... and keep typing

I will keep you, your Mom, and Mimi in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, deb

 
Old 06-16-2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

The only person you should be concerned about is your significant other and yourself. You are the only person you can change. You need to back off of mom and grandma ...you did far beyond what a normal child of all this confusion should of done ...the adults should of been the ones to care for the other...not you. But now you are a young adult with a life to live and it shouldn't be constantly trying to counsel your mom. Your mom is taking advantage of you(and you are letting her) and it is time for you to take back your time and spend it on YOURself and the man in your life. If your mom wears herself out with her constant worry then she too will need to go into a home and not your home. Your mom has come to depend on you far to much and too often and if you are ever going to help her 'grow up' is to let her make her own decisions and failures...there are some people you just can't help and mom seems like one of them but that is her choice...you can't change that. You might think of moving far enough away so that you aren't so easily available. If nothing else just know you did the best you knew how and now it is time for you to let others take charge...which is what they should of done in the first place...you can only help mom by not being so available. Good luck.

 
Old 06-16-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Martha gave you very wise advice. Your Mimi will do best in a routine where she is not upset. That means that she has the same routine day after day. Getting up at the same time, meals at the same time, activities at the same time. It's not a good idea to take her out of the AL. Especially when you got her there under dubious measures to start with.

Someone in your family needs to have POA and durable POA. I would hope that it is your mother. And someone should be on her banking accounts. Iwouls also hope that it is your Mom, but judging by your note my guess is that it is an Uncle. Your family needs to sit down and your mom needs to have what my kids call a "come to Jesus" meeting. In our family that means that I talk and they listen. When I'm done talking, they said "yes Mom" and leave..... Something similar needs to happen in your family. I just hope that your MOther has the backbone to do it. Unless your uncles plan on having Mimi live with him them need to listen and make plans according to what is going to be the best for her in the long run.

Your mimi is much like a toddler and needs to be treated like one. Giving into her isn't the best. Try to put her off gently and often quietly. use the sometime and when we can lines...but don't give into her and don't take her back home to live. She needs 24/7 care that is best provided by trained professionals paid professionals that are relieved after an 8 hour shift and can come back refreshed and ready to go...not someone who lives with her and gets no relief or help.

Hang in there and keep posting.....we're here for you...

 
Old 06-16-2008, 03:54 PM   #6
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Tracie,
Listen to these ladies. They have the best advice. They have helped me immensely. They helped me to realize that I and my husband could not do it alone. Not even with part time help. We were exhausted trying to watch Mom 24 hours and hold down full time jobs. She is now in a short term facility, and the case worker there is looking for long term placement.
Even here at home, she would pack a few things and want to know which one of us was going to take her home. She's lived with us, here in this house for 11 years. I think it is a long ago home she wanted to go back to. No matter how I feel about it, I know she is where she belongs and getting the 24 hour care she needs. Please, talk to your mom, tell her there is no reason for guilt, she has done all humanly possible. She now needs to think about herself, as well as what is best for your Mimi.
Welcome to the boards, and I wish you the best of luck with your mom.

Susie

 
Old 06-16-2008, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Thank you all so much for the replies----I know my post was LONG----but I think I actually really gave you the main points of the story.

Martha-----Thanks for everything you said-----I didn't think her going to the graduation was the BEST of ideas----but that was my uncles insisting that she be there----now my Mom did all of the running, and making sure she got Mimi there-----but my Uncle B ( thats what we will call him)---insisted Mimi be there. Thats how he is---insists that this or that be done----but doesn't actually DO it himself. We are trying to tell her that we have to see how her Physical Therapy goes, so we don't know when she can go home----she is of course, not very accepting of that--INSISTS that they are NOT doing P/T (they ARE---we have seen the improvement in her walking and back already--plus we have talked to the nurses and P/T's there)....
The problem is convincing everyone that she doesnt KNOW she is going to these events that they insist on her going to-----She has no idea even WHO was graduating---and we walked out the door of the Civic Center---and she had no idea what we had just spent the past two hours watching.
I know that my Uncle was wanting her there----for the pictures and this and that----but i just dont think it was that realistic of an idea.

My mom does not have a backbone-----I had to coax her to stand up to my uncles and tell them that she could no longer live with Mimi---or she would probably still be doing it. As for meeting with my uncles and aunts-----it never works------She wont say what she needs to say----and she will not stand up for herself-----I would LOVE to go with her=--but i am "just" the granddaughter---and they will not allow me to be included.

As far as the house-----Thats going to be another battle, just getting everyone THERE to clean it out, and all of that necessary work----I know in MY mind what needs to be done---and i could sit here all day and make a "plan of action"---but I know its not my place----and I dont think they would do it anyway------My one allie is my aunt in the other City---she is good at getting that stuff moving along-----but convincing the Uncle and Aunt in town to help, might prove to be a problem.

DGabriel10-----You mom sounds so much like my Mimi is right now---However, i really appreciate your suggestion about checking her meds----and I am going to suggest that they look into that immediately-----Her PCP is the only one in charge of her meds---and she is on a couple of antidepressants--and at least one, if not two of the "alzheimer" meds----Cant remember if she is on the two main ones that are on the market --Aricept i am almost positive she is still on---She also has Sun Downer's pretty bad, which I know most Alzheimer and Dementia patients tend to have-----and they started giving her a nighttime med to "calm" her, but the AL nurses had that med mixed up, and they were giving it to her in the daytime also, with her breakfast----so maybe since they have stopped that, it will help some----but I wonder, would a geriatric doctor e helpful?? or maybe just like you said, a psychiatrist would be a good idea......

I think its so sad that they wish they were dead---and its so hard for me to hear it when she says that-----and i know its the disease talking ------ and of course, my mom has been the one to take her back, on the 3 times she was out ( all of this was in the last 2 weeks, related to the graduation)----and of course, she is ticked at my mom over all of this......

AnnD------thanks for your words-----I know----When I have had a bad day, and I am fussing to my best friend or my B/F----I know I have to focus on him and I----he is very patient and very sweet when it comes to MImi-----but its not our place either to jump at 5:30pm when my Mom calls and insists that I have to have Mimi picked up by 6pm, b/c she has a meeting to be at----I go to work at 7am, and I get off at 3:30-------BUT half the time I work O/T and I am at work for 10.5 hours each day---and have my OWN plans---and have to drop them----I know----that is all part of me ALLOWING her to take advantage of me-------And I know she has done so for many years---but i guess I just feel like i have to-------SHE will lay the guilt trip on ME----I have considered moving away---but my B/F and i both have careers here---and he lost his MOm to cancer several years ago, he doesnt want to move from his dad ( who is VERY self sufficient, but its just the sense of i think being close to his Dad that is important to him)------I do live about 20 minutes across town from my mom---and she does not just drop in---but pick up the phone and insist on my help, yes, she does do that!!!

ibake&pray----I really like your "Come to Jesus" meeting idea------if i could just get mymom on that bandwagon!----my mom does have POA----and I do (believe it or not --with my controlling uncle), I do have dual Medical POA with my mom ( only being that if she is not present, I can assist in medical decisions for Mimi)----mainly b/c I have a medical training background with my profession, and I am better able to make these decisions that my uncles would be.
And yes, my uncle has ALL control of her money-----I used to take care of that when i lived there, but when i moved out, he wanted to take care of it, so he knew what her budget was ( for whatever reason)----plus he liquidated some of her money market funds, and I dont think he wanted anyone else to know what she had ( but that is another story altogether)----I tried and tried and TRIED back in 2000, to get them to get her house out of her name, but they wouldnt listen ( DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL)-----so her house is still sitting here, in her name---needing to be cleaned out and sold.....
no one in this family is in need of money----so there is no hard feelings as far as that goes------he just INSISTS on being in control of that portion of her affairs. And the bank is fine with that---Mom has the POA, but Uncle B is the cosignor on her bank accounts, per Mimi's long ago (when she was still in very early stages) permission.

I keep telling Mom that this AL is the best place for her-----she is in good hands----And I really believe in my heart, that she is not that unhappy during the day----I think its when she see's us, that the crying and things start-----The nurses keep telling us about her participation and such---and I try to keep those kinds of "happy" thoughts in my mind.


Susie---thanks so much-----I am going to try to talk to mom----I called her this afternoon and asked her if she was having a better day-----and she was like "no"-----and when she does stuff like that---i just feel so helpless----I am not like my mom----I am more positive and upbeat-----and I dont carry the weight of the world on my shoulders----I guess its where she has suffered from severe depression in the past, and i have not-----I dont like to feel sad and "blah"---and i know she is worried about MImi---and upset that she cannot "fix" this-----but what else can i possibly do???


I think i am going to tell her I have found an "online support grouP', which is essentially what this is, and try to tell her all of your suggestions----and what she does with it, is her own decision-----BUt I hope she will listen----Please let me know if you have any other ideas....

It really has helped me tremendously just to see, we are not alone. I hate it for everyone who is in this boat, but at least we can lean on each other and get others opinions-----

thank you again for all your ideas and responses--please stay in touch and let me know what other thoughts you may have.

God Bless----and many prayers---

Tracie

 
Old 06-17-2008, 12:42 AM   #8
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

It is up to your Mom to refuse to do the things that she does not think are appropriate for Mimi and to do the things she should. You can encourage her but it is her that will have to say no. She needs to know there is no guilt in doing the right thing even if Uncle B doesn't agree with her.

A geriatric physician or a psychiatrist that specializes in geriatrics would be helpful in getting her medication adjusted. Just be sure that whoever she goes to see is familiar with ALZ. As you probably know medication takes time to take effect and have a period of time it is effective so the time of day is important. It also takes a while to see what the med effects and side effects will be. It is trial and error with different meds at different times of the day until you hit the right combination but when you do life is so much better for everybody.... especially the patient.

Most of all remember that you do have your life to live. You can give good information and encourage those that have the control but it is not your reponsibility to fix their problems. Not only does your Mom need to learn to say no to your Uncle, you need to learn to say no to your Mom. Don't enable her to continue to do what you both know is not good for you Mimi. Mom might think twice if she doesn't have you to fall back on at a minutes notice.

Your Mom has the legal powers and can control Mimi's destiny. Even if Uncle B doesn't like it. If he uses the monies as leverage then do what my Mom did with my grandmother. My Aunt was making demands so Mom packed up my grandmother and dropped her off at my Aunts. She refused to help at all until my Aunt realized the wisdom of Mom's choices. It's amazing how demanding people can be as long as they are standing on the sidelines. They become much more cooperative when they are burdened with their choices.

So encourage your Mom, give her information, and help her when you can, but live your life to the fullest. Don't let the inabilities of others weigh you down. You definitely need to stand up for yourself....

Good luck and hope a solution can be found.....

love, deb

 
Old 06-17-2008, 05:32 AM   #9
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

As to her s crying when the family arrives and leaves - this reminds me so much of the many years I was a PreK teacher! Especially at the beginning of the school year, there were children who cried as long as their parent was in sight. Sometimes the parent hid behind a door 'listenng' and the child, believe it or not, sensed that she was there and kept on crying. As soon as the parent actually left, the child took a deep breath and headed for the toys!

At pick up time the same thing happened --- some children went off happily with their parents, but a few, every year, made another huge fuss as soon as Mom (usually it was Mom) came in sight. For all the world that parent may have believed he had been crying all day - although we repeatedly assured them that he had happily participated in all the activities all day long, and we had pictures, play dough sculptures, paintings, etc to prove it...

In many ways an AD patient is like a small child. Seeing the family reminds them that they have been ''abandoned" and they start to act up. Most of the time they are just fine.

We always suggested that the parent leave quickly, but did not force it. Surprisingly, or not, the mothers who had separation anxiety and didn't like to see the child becoming independent had problems leaving. I often wondered who was hurting more, the child, or the mother ...

You are doing the right thing. Try to say no now and then. If your Mom says she has a meeting, so you have to be across town in 30 minutes, say, "sorry, I have a meeting also. There is no way I can make it." Next time she may find other helpers. Your Mom sounds like she has little will power. I guess the Uncle got all of it!!!!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 06-17-2008, 08:44 AM   #10
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Hi Tracie...I'm glad you've made your way here to this forum...but sad about the reason that brought you here. I'm noticing more younger people here lately with similiar concerns. Bless them, bless them for asking questions, learning what they can about this horrific disease...and being the support their parents need!

Your Mom has born the burden of "family caretaker" for several years...and still was able to raise a compassionate and helpful daughter! Each person who posts here has a personality formed partly by their up-bringing...and yours is admirable! Don't be too hard on Mom...she's doing the best she can in many difficult situations.

You are getting excellent advice in dealing with "other" relatives...many of us have faced the same challenges. Survived?? Yes...we have. Challenged? Yup! All been there too!

Absolutely NOTHING is easy about Alzheimer's...and there are many similiarities along with the differences...but this forum provides opportunity for each of us to discuss and share information and advice. I surely agree that moving your Grandma OUT would be a regretable mistake. My Mom (starting her 10th year in a NH) acted exactly the same way. Both in-laws also affected by Alzheimer's (MIL passed just before this past Christmas) Yes...it's so hard to see, but soon your loved one believes this is her home. Those first few months are just so difficult for everyone. I remember being told "They don't loose their intelligence"...and it took me a while to realize what this means. Your Grandma is very aware of some changes taking place in her...and she's very scared. She is still somewhat able to minipulate each of her family...and that's what she's trying to do. Hopefully...the decision will be made to leave her in the safe and caring environment she is already in.

I hope you continue to post, Tracie...lots of listening shoulders here.....Pam

 
Old 06-17-2008, 02:30 PM   #11
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Tracie, one of the hardest things that we deal with in this disease is the guilt that it causes all of us to bear. I lost my father and my fmother-five weeks apart last fall-my mother had "it" and my daddy had vascular dementia and an abdominal aortic anuerism. I still bear the guilt that I felt during the time that momma was in the NH. And it was a phenominal place. I really feel that every caregiver should be given, along with their towel, a class in how to handle the guilt. Or better yet, how to pass the guilt on to those who deserve it!

You are a wise young woman who has taken a step far enough back to see the family dynamics and how it is affecting your mom and your mimi's life. Now let's see if you are smart enough to take a step farther bake to protect your life enough that you won't get sucked into the tough drama that accompanies caring and living with this horrid disease. Because your Mom can't stand up for herself, she will continue to be sucked into the black hole that sucks us dry with this "thing". You will need to keep stepping back on small step at a time. You cannot help you grandmother get better. She isn't going to get better, she will only get worse, unfortunately. The best thing for her right now is to be able to settle into the home and to be at peace where she is. Do you know that some nursing home ask that for the first coudple weeks that the family refrain from visiting to allow the resident to settle into the NH and the routine? There may be some merit to that tnought and request.

Your uncles need to either pitch in or shut up as far as I can see. I am sorry, I don't have alot of patience for those who only seem to have very big mouths and not alot of help. I was an only child and was the brunt of several relatives who felt it their duty to tell me how I should be taking care of my parents...they didn't want to help, just yap. Oh, but they were there to take my parents furniture and belongings when it was time to break up housekeeping though..... You are lucky that you will be able to help guide your mimi's health directives, and help your Mom as much as you can. Your Mom needs to be careful of expending her very existance taking care of mimi so that she looses even her relationship with her husband...it can happen. This can break up families and marriages. Caregivers need to learn to take care first and foremost of themselves or they own't have anything left to give ANYONE. It is a difficult thing to do...

good luck my dear. You are a wise young lady...

 
Old 06-18-2008, 12:18 PM   #12
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Thanks again for all of your replies.

Ibake&pray--------that must have been so tough losing your parents that close together. But I can see how wise you became in dealing with your situation. Thanks for all of your kind words.

I was able to talk to my Mom some-----Like I mentioned she knows about the healthboards, b/c of my foot recovery, so I explained that there was an Alzheimer's/Dementia board------and I told her that I had asked for some opinions. I mentioned everything that everyone said----and tried to explain to her just how similiar everyone's stories are------I also told her about the medicine/possibly seeing a psychiatrist, and she actually said that the admissions people at the AL facility, said they were shocked she had never seen one, and that just a PCP was prescribing her meds. I told her that the major concensus, is that removing her from that facility would be a terrible mistake----and she, I think, is finally seeing the light on that one.
I told her that you all are a great group of people, and have been there---and you understand the decisions, and the guilt--and everything else that comes along with the disease.

She did say that at yesterday's visit, Mimi did not cry. But she was mad, and making her demands, instead of crying. It was the, "I want to go home, and i want to go home NOW! Do you understand me?! I want you to take me out of here, THIS week!". But that was easier on Mom b/c she could talk to her---the tears I think just are what does her in, and makes her start talking about bringing her home.

On a positive note, My mom is officially moving back to her house tonite---she finally has her house aired out, after being empty for 2 years---and has repainted and updated some stuff----and I think she is actually looking forward to it.

 
Old 06-18-2008, 01:21 PM   #13
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Tracie, I am glad you had a good talk with you Mom and hopefully she will realize that being back in her own house with her life back is where she needs to be. Maybe she will also realize that AL is where your grandmother needs to be. It sounds like your grandmother is adjusting if she is no longer crying and only demanding.

I see my mom as a demanding child. She so reminds me of the way my daughter stomped her foot and insisted that she wanted something that was not good for her. As a mother you learn not to give in to the childs wants but to give them what they need. That is exactly what we have to do when the roles are reversed and we become our parents caregivers. I'm sure you Mom didn't give in to guilt when it came to letting you play in the street Maybe she will understand that analogy.

I do hope your grandmother continues to adjust to AL, I hope they get her medication adjusted so she doesn't have to deal with her own anxiety, and that your Mom find a new freedom being in her own house and decides that is the way it needs to be. I also hope that you can go on with your life without constantly being responsible for the problems of the other adults in your life.

Love, deb

 
Old 06-23-2008, 01:58 AM   #14
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

I have a quick update---My Mom called the Center for Aging, in our area, Mimi was seen there back in 2002, when her situation was worsening, and she scheduled her to see one of he Psychiatrists, that specializes in ALZ, BUT he is booked for THREE months. The good news, is that since she was seen there at least a couple of times before, the care coordinator, was going to check with the doctor, and see if we could get her in sooner, to re-evaluate those meds, and see what we can do!

Mom went to see her today, after a few days break, just due to many things, and she was doing okay, but the same old _ " i want to go home. take me home now!"----Mom just said, "Okay mom, alright, i know." Now today she WAS asking about her dog, and wanting to go home and see her---She is allowed to have her dog visit, but we are a little unsure about that-----I am not sure how well that will go over-----Mom is afraid it will upset her more---Any opinions on that????


AS for Uncle B, he was out of town, for about 5 days----Did not go see her BEFORE he left----and hasn't been to see her since he got back, so he's going on about 2 weeks of no visiting......And my mom brought up the selling of her house and they are going to do a "tag" sale----then sell the house.
The kicker to all of this??? IF anyone---KIDS, GRANDKIDS, want anything that is special, we have to pay for it, and the money will go to Mimi, just as if a stranger bought it.............NOw mind you his kids and his wife already have several priceless items---A replica of the train my granddaddy worked on, my Granddaddy's Railroad watch, My Great Grandmother's China.-----as I mentioned before, my mother and I have NEVER taken anything out of that house -----I have never felt it appropriate seeing as my Mimi is still alive.

I promise----I have stepped back----I am not nearly as "riled" up as I was even 2 weeks ago-----Just wanted to let you all know what was going on. i have stepped back, and am letting them handle it----But of course, my MOm tells me what is going on, so I am aware of the facts.
Hope everyone had a good, positive weekend!

 
Old 06-23-2008, 08:00 AM   #15
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Re: suggestions for mom struggling w/ mother w/ alzheimer's

Tracie....sounds like both you and your Mom are accepting this more easily now! (please know I sure don't mean this is "easy".....) SO GLAD you were able to make your way here...I'm afraid this journey is just beginning for you...and it's a very long road. So many here have already been on this road for much too long...and by sharing stories and information you will surely be helped. Questions you ask...and happenings you mention here will help others also.

One thing we "long-time" family members had to realize early-on is that little white lies ease the burden for us and our loved ones. For the 3 family members I have (actually down to 2 now...MIL recently passed away) those tiny fibs seemed to bring some comfort to the one suffering. It's O.K. to say..."We'll see how you are next week"....or nod in agreement when they say they're ready to go back home...they need you on their side. Often, YOU are the one they have, and of course all the resentment seems aimed at you.

In my Mom's case, she has 6 "children". I was the one that stayed in our hometown; I had more regular contact with her. She knew my children better than the other grandchildren. I was the one she called when locked out...or got lost. I was also the one that she seemed to aim her resentment toward when we placed her in an Alz. facility! (good thing I work with special needs students...it was easier for me to "go to her world" than my siblings!) Some of the brothers didn't like how I was able to do this...and there was LOTS of friction between all of us...but to this day (10 years later..) I know my communication was her needed strength in the beginning of this horrendous disease. She has not known me in more than 5 years...seldom do I get any kind of recognition at all.....but when that glimmer appears....it is certainly a gift! Of her 6 children, I have been her only visitor in several years. Their loss! That tiny miracle when that beautiful smile appears...or her hand reaches out to caress my hand makes me realize I cannot ignore her!

This disease has absolutely torn my family apart! I am so grateful for nieces and nephews who stay in contact (thank you myspace...even I'm on there!)...but the only sibling I hear from now is my far-away sister. Splitting up Mom's possessions split up our family as well.

I also wanted to mention that early on in Mom's placement (when she was very aware of what was happening)...she would use the word "Alzheimer's" with me...none of her other kids. I went to the Alzheimer's Assoc. and picked up several packets of info...took them back to Mom...and we read them together. Somehow, this seemed to help.....although she DID get get into trouble at the home for sharing them with other clients! There's information out there Tracie....and so much help will come your way by visiting HERE often!.........................Pam

 
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