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ocdsux108 08-01-2008 08:19 AM

Please...need advice!
 
I'm going to visit my grandmother in her nursing home tomorrow morning for the first time. I haven't seen her in 12 years. She's had alzheimer's for quite a bit now. My question is: How do I treat her? Should I talk about the past with her? How do I separate myself from the fact that she probably won't remember me 10 minutes after I leave? This visit is going to be emotional for me already, so I need to know how to cope and deal in front of her. Thanks!!

ibake&pray 08-01-2008 09:34 AM

Re: Please...need advice!
 
[COLOR="Navy"]Oh dear. My sympathy first off. I would go in and say hello and give her a big hug and say Hi Grand mother! Or whatever you call her. You can ask her if she remembers you. She probably won't.

Treat her like you would treat anybody that is elderly that you haven't seen in 12 years. If you have children, show her pictures. Chat about your life, what you are doing, what your life is like, how does she feel, etc. Chances are that if she is real bad you won't have much of a conversation. You may just end up taking a walk with her or just holding her hand. Is someone who sees her alot going with you? How do they say she is doing? that is always a help if you have some idea what her mental state is...

The best you can do is just to go in with a cheery attitude and play it by ear. I wouldn't plan too much. If she is in the later stages, don't be startled by how little response you may get, or the strange conversation you may have. She may be living 20,30 40 years in the past. Or she may think that you are her sister or mother. You never know. Just keep an open mind and go with the flow. It's the best you can do.

Is there some special little treat that she has always liked that you can take with for her? Or a little flower or two. Sometimes little things like that brighten their day.

Don't worry about the future-enjoy the visit with her and be thankful to see her rather than think about her not remembering that you have been to visit. Instead think that you have brightened both her and your day.

Good luck.[/COLOR]

ocdsux108 08-01-2008 09:41 AM

Re: Please...need advice!
 
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]That makes alot of sense! Thanks!! My aunt (her daughter) is going with me. She has her moments where she still remembers but then, it slips away...so sad!! My dad and her do not talk and haven't in about 15 years so I'm going to be careful to not bring him up, as the circumstances between them will probably upset her. I plan on bringing cookies and some pictures of my hubby and daughter. I hope she enjoys the visit!! I'll be sure to cry AFTER my visit...
Is it as hard as I think to see someone like that...forgetting everything? I'm really nervous because I haven't seen her like that before. [/COLOR]:(

Martha H 08-01-2008 10:28 AM

Re: Please...need advice!
 
She will love the pictures, even if unsure who they are. As for cookies, make sure she is eating normal foods first. My Mom was put on a diet of pureed foods because her Alzheimer made her unable to swallow - this was in an advanced stage.

Otherwise, be friendly, smiling (even if you feel teary), happy, upbeat, tell her she looks great, admire the place she is at, and hug her, hold hands. stroke her hands, bring some hand lotion and rub it into her hands, ask her if she would like some nail polish on her nails and give her a manicure if she does .. my daughter gave Mom a manicure 3 months before Mom died, at a stage were little else seemed to interest her, and she loved it.

love,

Martha

ocdsux108 08-01-2008 11:03 AM

Re: Please...need advice!
 
[QUOTE=Martha H;3672386]She will love the pictures, even if unsure who they are. As for cookies, make sure she is eating normal foods first. My Mom was put on a diet of pureed foods because her Alzheimer made her unable to swallow - this was in an advanced stage.

Otherwise, be friendly, smiling (even if you feel teary), happy, upbeat, tell her she looks great, admire the place she is at, and hug her, hold hands. stroke her hands, bring some hand lotion and rub it into her hands, ask her if she would like some nail polish on her nails and give her a manicure if she does .. my daughter gave Mom a manicure 3 months before Mom died, at a stage were little else seemed to interest her, and she loved it.

love,

Martha[/QUOTE]

She is still eating regular foods...thank goodness! Manicure is a terrific idea!!!

ibake&pray 08-01-2008 11:40 AM

Re: Please...need advice!
 
[COLOR="Navy"]It's not hard to see her. She's going to look just like every other little old lady you see. There isn't some certain flashing sign that says Alzheimers...she will just look like your Grandmother,only older. Don't let the perception of the disease color your visit. Just go with a big smile and enjoy the time you have. That is what is precious.

You dind't say how old you daughter is, but perhaps she could make a picture for her if she is of that stage. They like to have things on their walls from the family...Or make a collage of pictures from your family if you have time. That's something that she can look at also. Or a small photo album that you can leave behind. Cheap necklaces are good also.

Go and have a good time. Tears are for the car on the ride home...trust me we have been there. That's what's the towels are for....Enjoy your visit.[/COLOR]

Gabriel 08-01-2008 12:51 PM

Re: Please...need advice!
 
I totally agree with Martha and IBake. Don't preconceive what may be. Just go in and enjoy the grandmother you have not seen in so long. Go with her flow. If she does say something that you find a little off just remember that it is her reality and not to be argued with. It is all about having a good visit, making her and yourself feel comfortable, even if the facts are a little off. If your grandmother smiles and you smile then it is a good moment for you both. Pictures are always fun. Treats are appreciated. Even if she can't remember remember later, you gave them a good feeling for a while and that is what counts :)

Hope you have a wonderful visit!

Love, deb


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