I came across this website in a desperate attempt to find help with my current situation.
Although I am not the one caring for my grandmother, my mother is and I am not sure how much longer she can cope.
I am looking for some information on how to "cope" with living with alzheimers disease and support groups or any other kind of information for that matter.
My mother is playing the martyr a bit on this, but she still is in some sort of denial that this is even happening. I feel that she is not being proactive about any of this and I want to help, but only if I have my ducks in a row...
I feel that seeing things from an outside perspective gives me an advantage of sorts. Although I cannot begin to understand what my mother is going through, I want to help. I can't have Grandma move in with me, I would like to be there for her as much as I can.
Can anyone help???
It would be very useful if your Mom could contact this website and tell her story. I came across it almost by accident at a time I was almost climbing the walls in frustration. I was Mom's live in caregiver for 5 years. Many do it longer than that.
Most of us begin by being in denial, and then get upset with the victim for all the weird things they do. We try to explain things to them, "look, all you have to do is carry this ID tag so someone can send or bring you home if you get lost." "You need to take a bath." "You have to stop forgetting food on the stove." "Of course this is your granddaughter, not your sister!" etc. Then we go on to tell the world and especially our non resident siblings how awful it all is. They react with disbelief.
FINALLY we get the point. The person has Dementia! They are not going to start remembering their ID tag, the pot on the stove, whose name is whose, or anything else, in fact they are going to forget EVERYTHING.
My Mom forgot how to shower. She forgot how to chew and swallow. Eventually her body shut down, not able to process the little food she did eat.
It is a fatal disease. It needs the help of professionals. You can't go by what the patient tells you, which is usually, "I am fine, what is wrong with YOU?" or by far off relatives who say "here's what you do --- give her more water to drink, and watch less TV."
You find a doctor who specializes in the ravages of age and Alzheimers. You follow their recommendations, which will be either full time care in the house by shifts of paid health aides, or entry into a nursing home.
You get the sick person professional help - and finally, after a few rebellions and disasters, lo and behold ! You have your life back, what's left of it.
I advise your Mom to come here for help, but she can also find a local group that meets in person, and share ideas and coping methods. It is a hard task. Not everyone is suited for it.
You can help by encouraging your mother to get professional help for your grandmother, to the extent of having her move to a nursing home when the right time comes.
Believe me, in my case we were all happier, most of all my mother, the patient (who since passed away at age 99) when she finally got the full time care she needed.
Last edited by Martha H; 08-09-2008 at 02:04 PM.
The only thing I can think of to add to Martha's excellent post is that your family should make sure the ducks lined up in a row include a medical power of attorney, a durable power of attorney and, if she is able to give them, your Grandmother's wishes concerning end stage care.
I suspect the most difficult thing for your Mother will be admitting that she needs help in caring for her Mother. That is a VERY big step. I was lucky enough to have found this site and to have realized that I was not the only one going through this.
My husband is now in a local facility where he is getting far better care than I could ever have given him. I visit for a few minutes everyday so I have a very good idea of what transpires there.
It was only through reading other's experiences that I was able to get past the preconceived ideas so many of us have concerning care outside of the home.
Please have your mother come visit us.
I third what Martha and Raffer have already said. I was your Mom. Trying to keep Mom and Dad (both have dementia) at home. Even with a sitter it was not working. It was the great people here that made me realize I was not only in denial but fighting a losing battle against a disease that was not only consuming my parents but also consuming me. My parents are now together in a nice Assisted Living apartment that specializes in care of dementia patients. Mom is not always happy with this arrangement but I know it is where they need to be..... and I have gotten most of my life back as well.
You might want to call your local Alzheimer Association Chapter. You can find them by searching the internet. They will have information, counselors, and support groups that may benefit your Mom. Some chapters are better than others but it is your best local resource.
Welcome to the forum. You have found a great place for information, ideas, support, and venting. We have all been there or are there. This group has put sanity back in my life. Hopefully it can do the same for you and your Mom. You are both welcome here. My heart goes out to your Mom as well as your grandmother. I am also impressed with you. You are a wise daughter! I will keep all three of you in my thoughts and prayers......