My 91 year old mother was diagnosed last week as having late moderate to early severe stages of Alzheimers. I need an opinion. The doctor told her that she has Alzheimers but she keeps saying she feels fine and is not sick. I have a copy of the report. Should I share it with her so she can see what the doctor wrote or would this be a futile attempt? Maybe by showing her the report is more for my benefit in trying to make her understand this disease and what stages will be coming in the future. Thank you
I would not even mention that word to her. It is too scary. Everyone her age has had friends who wound up totally irrational, and they had it. She knows all about it.
Tell her you are happy that she feels fine. If the doc prescribed pills, tell her these will help your memory. (Maybe they will, maybe they won't.)
Mild to moderate AD victims can still do a lot for themselves, but it progresses. At her age it progresses slowly. My Mom was also 91 when she got Dementia, and died at age 99.
You have to start protecting her more. If she lives alone, someone should be there with her all day and night. The ideal would be an assisted living arrangement where she has her own room or apartment but is in contact with the helpful staff, who will see to it that she takes her meds and keeps herself clean and fed etc.
You may not already have POA regarding medical and financial affairs, if not, this is high time to get it.
I wish you luck on this long and sad journey. My mistake was not getting Mom into an assisted living or nursing home sooner. I was the 24/7 caregiver and it was really hard on me, mentally and physically, as she got worse and worse. Looking back, I think even a year sooner would have been so much better for me as well as for her. She needed more help than I could give. She was frustrated by simple things like bathing and getting dressed. All of that became routine at the NH and she had less to worry about. Mom broke her hip at age 97, had to go to a rehab center, and never was able to go home. She died there at age 99. Actually she enjoyed most of her 2 years there. She loved the games and discussions, (always appropriate to a person with memory loss), made friends, and the nurses and aides treated her like their own grandma.
I am not trying to be mean, but why do you need to make her understand that she has a horrid disease? If she chooses to think that she doesn't, so be it. Deep down she probably does know, but let it be.
What a social worker told me was...(and I should know better, being one myself) you have to consider if you are doing this for the patient or for yourself. What good is going to come of her being forced to acknowledge that she has this/ Hmmm? Will she get better? Will she live longer? And trust me, you won't feel any better for her having that realization... let her be, she is just fine in her own reality.
When Mom was diagnosed she was basically at the same level your Mom is now. After her follow up appointment she did read the diagnosis report.... over and over and over. The next day she didn't even remember going. Later she found the diagnosis report and swore it was somebody elses. There was a time when she realized what was happening to her.... and she hid it well. By the time she was diagnosed she had no idea what was going on in her head. Now, she knows she's ok and the world is going crazy around her. She can't understand what is happening to her and there is no reason to try to pound it in her head. So be happy she feels fine and is healthy. Do all the things Martha said and keep coming back here. We are all where you are, have been where you are, or will be where you are. It is a great place to connect with those that truly understand.
I wish you well and will keep you and your Mom in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you all for your advice. I've decided to take all of your advice and not go over the alzheimer's report with my mother. You are all correct in telling me to focus on how healthy she feels and enjoy doing things with her that will make her happy. Lucky for me she is going to be moving into assisted living instead of living in the independent apartments at her life-long care facility. I have been overwhelmed by all of the information that I am getting regarding this disease. Hopefully they will find a cure in the near future.
Even my dad has moments of clairity. He will start a sentence...."I was....." and just wander off, and there is no way I can even help him finish his thought, and he'll look at me and say, "What the hell is wrong with me?" That breaks my heart. So I look at him, square in the eyes and say, "Well, daddy, you're 82. Sometimes a body just forgets." And I smile at him. And he smiles back. And we move on.
I would never tell daddy all that's going on with him. Although it's my cross to bear as far as caring for him, it's HIS cross to bear living with it. And I can't even imagine what it would be like to be "in there", unable to even remember to brush my own teeth. To have to eat what someone else decides I need to eat. To be told when to go to bed.
Thankfully, he is so demented now that he forgets to be resentful.
It's one hour at a time, jp. Rejoice in every special moment. They will become fewer and farther between. And don't tell her. Ever.
My Mother has Vascular Demetia and we had to put her in a nh in July, 2008. She started wondering at night and I could not keep her safe, and still make it to work the next day. My Husband quit his job in April and we brought her to our home and we were going to take care of her. Well that lasted until July. I feel like such a failure. I feel there was a lot more I could have done. Then I had to deal with family members who did not want to help care for my Mother tell my Mother that she did not belong in a nursing home, that they have heard about dementia and she is nothing like it. My Mother even asked me if I put her in the nh just to get rid of her and get on with my life; which could not be farther from the truth. I love my Mom and am so angry with this disease she is a wonderful person, who has a heart of gold, that worked 30 years, just to give the nh all of her money. I do not know why I am writing I just know that my emotions are all over the place and I am so angry that anyone would put in my Mother's head that I just do not want her in my life. If that were true I would not have become her Power of Attorney, would not have moved her in with me, and checked out every option I could before putting her in a nh. Did I do all I could do? I hope so, I can only take it one day at a time.
you dont have any choice, the money goes to the the nh. It doesn't pay to own anything when you get older, if you have something it ends up there. All of my mother's friends who had zip didnt have to pay a cent but i wound up taking out a new loan on our jointly owned apartment building, just to give all 140k to the nursing home,. It sucks
big time. I promised i would not put her there, that her money would not go into that black hole but i tried, i am disabled and it nearly killed me , finally it was just too much and i was lucky and got her into a first class place, but you pay first class rates too.
It is only money, i just keep telling myself, less for the useless brothers to fight over. You have my deepest, your hear will not fall off, sometimes you will wish it did.
It is truly sad what this disease not only does to our love ones but to us. My mother was placed in an assisted living facility in October. She is having a very difficult time adjusting mainly because she becomes so confused. She tells everyone that I'm to blame for her being there and that I'm such a bossy person. I understand now that this is the disease talking. She continues to phone me on a daily basis--six to ten times a day long distance. Most of the time it is about the same thing--I'm not to go driving in the snow. I keep telling her that I'm not going anywhere and she doesn't need to worry about me. That isn't working but I continue to understand why she is doing this. My mother is a former senior olympian and what has helped lately is the caregiver at the assisted living faciilty allowing my mother to walk a long hallway. My mother thinks she is competing for a prize for the one that walks the most in the hall. She walked three miles yesterday according to her caregiver. I'm lucky at 91 that she can still walk without assistance. Hey, the more she walks the less she will be calling me! Thank goodness for this message board. It is helping me keep my sanity!
That's the way you have to think. If she's walking she's not calling you. If she is calling then be thankful that she is able to use the phone and concerned about your well being. That will pass. On the days Mom is in a good mood, even if she repeats the same story 20 times I am just happy she is in a good mood. If she is in a bad mood I am thankful it is not worse. If she is in a really bad mood I have to be thankful that she can work up that much spunk. Yep, I am one of those eternal optimist that always sees the glass half full. Drives my sister insane but it keep me sane Today was a good day for Mom..... I even heard her laugh. She laughed every time she told me the same story..... about 20 times lol