The last three days with my parents have once again been eye opening. Mom's temperment is better. She is not socializing but at this point has lost the resentment. So that is good. She and I did enjoy watching the debate Wednesday night and our favorite college football team play ball on thursday night. I also managed an outting with Mom and Dad on Thursday. My is spry and charges out ahead while Dad shuffles along behind. It is fun to keep up with the front and the back
I noticed on Wednesday night that Dad was talking in his sleep. I never could figure out what he was communicating but there was a lot of it. Thursday night the staff woke me twice checking on Mom and Dad and picking up the trash. The third time I heard the door open, nobody said anything, so I rolled over. Some time later the staff brought Dad back into the room. He was fully dressed and had gone out to "check on the little boys". He "had done nothing wrong" and didn't know what they brought him back. So coaxed him out of his clothes, put him back to bed, and waited until I thought he was asleep... only for the aids to bring him back, fully dressed, again.... and we repeat.... So I finally hid his shoes. He doesn't go anywhere without his shoes. He woke me two more times, again fully dressed, headed out to either patrol the halls or to check on the boys. His last venture up was at about 6 am and the cleaning crew woke me before 7 am cleaning the bathroom. I had only a few minutes of sleep here and there all night so I crashed at that point.
Mom, who had slept through the entire night, without rolling over, had no clue what had occured during the night. She woke me at 8:30 am, bright eyed and bushy tailed. :::ARG::: The Dad slept until 11 am. They tag teamed me. So yesterday, I could truly empathize with those that have wandering loved ones.
Dad did this once before, not long after he moved to AL. It happened a few nights over a span of a couple of weeks and then stopped. I can only hope this will be the case this time.
Mom has stopped prompting Dad to shave, bath, or brush his teeth. With encouragement he usually does it but she's not aware enough to help him. She is also forgetting such activities herself. At least I know they were both spit shined before I left even if Dad was close to brushing his teeth with hand cream at one point. I noticed two tubes laying by the sink. Both were blue and silver and "Sensi" something. Dad picked up one and put it on his tooth brush. I picked up the other to discover it was sensidine toothpaste. So I quickly looked at the one he had put on his tooth brush and it was sensicare hand cream with zinc oxide in it !!!ARG!!!! I did catch his hand before the brush went into his mouth, found him a new tooth brush, and threw away the old tooth brush and the hand cream. I have said before.... less is better when it comes to confusion and not sure who is bringing all the tubes and bottles of stuff I found when I was there.
Guess what I am saying is the slipper slope of dementia has us slidding right along. Despite the lack of sleep.... it was a good visit. My Dad made me laugh more than once and Mom was, for the most part, in a better mood.
I'm not sure if I should be pleased or sad at the changes...It sure sounds like Mom is slipping faster and faster than before..If she isn't watching over Dad or herself as carefully, the hill is getting alot slicker and that slope is going to get steeper hon. It's a sign that she is losing ground-not that I have to tell you that-when she is losing interest in her own personal cleanliness-much less in her hubbys'. My heart aches for you as I feel as I am reliving Mom's demise as she went down that hill just a few years ago with Dad not too far behind.
Dad's going out is a puzzlement. Is he sleep walking? Or is he awake? I know your place is staffed 24/7 so he can't get out of the complex so that is good, but what is driving this? Does he remember being up? This makes me tired just reading about it. I wish you would stay for a few night to see if it was just the excitment of you being there or if this was a new pattern that has started. Perhaps it's time for something to help him sleep so he stays in his bed all night? There are non prescriptive things..would it be worth a try? I worry about the being up and about all night. That's a bit upsetting.
Which one of your naughty sisters brings all the extra junk into the bath? Don't they understand that's only confusing to the elderly? Much less the two of them who can barely get through the day?
I'm glad that went, but sorry that you didn't get much sleep. Guess it's hard beeing so old that you need sleep, huh? - just kidding...... I'm glad you went, but there's been a change since the last visit already.... Don't you find that every time they have an illness it seems a)harder for them to recover from; b) they fall farther down that da#n hill.
I'm with you on the changes IBake.... it sadden me that Mom has is slipping futher away but there is a measure of relief that she was not distressed.
Dad's night time activity was a puzzle because he usually sleeps thought the night... or at least we assume he does. He was definitely awake. He had a mission to take care of and protect. He did not do it the first night I was there but did the second night. It is hard to tell if this was the first time or if it happens again because neither of them had any memory ot if. As I said Mom slept through it all. That is why I informed my sisters that lived there and talked to the staff the next day.
My sister is still in the mindset... if Mom wants it she should have it.... even though her confusion prevents her from making good decisions. Beyond that, Mom doesn't know she wanted it once it is there. I also found another stash of carbonated drinks... while we battle dehydration.
Dad did look at me a couple of times and ask me my name. I smile and said puddentang to which he replied... and if I ask you again you would tell me the same. I nodded then ask... what is my name? He would say Deb and then add, but I didn't know you were that old. I would walk out of the room to do something, come back, and we would repeat the process. He would forget I had been there just minutes before.
I also arranged for our family Christmas to be in the guest dining room of Mom and Dad's facility to help prevent any melt down that Mom may have being at my sister's house (like the last few times). It will also shorten the exposure time for Mom and Dad. They will not have to travel which is tiring as well. I planned it for mid day when Dad is at his best. I just hope the sisters agree.
I find that each time I visit, illness or not, they seem to have slipped a litte. Each slid presents a new problem but sometimes it does eliminate a problem of the last level. I guess with this disease, because we all know the prognosis, you have to look for the good whever you can. Beyond that..... I am absolutely too old to go without sleep!!!!!
PS..... I am still smiling because it is what it is and I have to take the little bits of good and hang on to them
"I didn't know you were that old" is typical of the later stages of AD. That is why he is getting up at night - he thnks he is a young father and, as he said, is going to check on his boys. (I assume he had boys too?) When he gets out in the hallway and doesn't know where to find the boys, his confusion must be quite terrible.
My Mom had a visit from a niece the summer before she died. L was always a favorite of hers, and they got along so well. That day, she didn't know who L was. When my brother told Mom ,"this is L", Mom said virtually the same thing as your dad -- "how can she be this old?" In her mind, it was 10 or 20 or even 50 years earlier. This is very typical in this disease, and one of the reasons the AD victim is always wanting to go home. Home is where he or she lived 50 or even 70 years earlier, and there is no going back there ...
Deb, Dear dear Deb,
You smile because you can grit your teeth when you smile-you can't do that when you frown-got you on that one! Been there, got both the towel and the T shirt! Hard though, isn't it. [pat on the back]. Somehow you hope that you will ALWAYS be remembered by your parents.
I know that Momma didn't remember me for the past or I should say last two years. There were two moments, but for the most part, she didn't have a clue who I was, and it was sooo hard. I would land at the airport, gather our bags, get the car. The whole time I was rushing Craig, Hurry, hurry. I want to see Mom. I know she'll remember me this time. We'd drive across Mpls. to the home, sometimes we'd check into the guest room first, sometimes not, go down to the locked wing, Momma , Momma- do you remember Me? Who am I Momma? I don't know, Betty Jane? (her younger sister). At the end of the visit whether it was a day (never a day when you fly that fay) we would leave and I would tell her, remember I love you Momma...and I would walk down the hall, my heart sore and aching with pain that my mother, who always told me that I was the light in her life, didn't remember me again. Even though you know it is the disease, your heart doesn't understand that. YOu brain does, but your hurts deeply with aches that suffer long silently
Here is my suggestion for the sisters, for what it's worth. Remind them of how awful the holidays where last year and tell them what you have lined up. End of discussion. Tell them this is for Mom and Dad, not for them, and if they aren't in favor, then it would probably be best if they do not come at all. In all honestly, probably the best thing would be to not include your parents at all, but I know how important family times are. It would be either at your paretns place where they can retreat to their apt. when they have had enough, or nothing. I think you have made a wise decision. Too much activity will set them back or down the hill. And by Christmas you have no idea how bad they may be. You have made the best decision that you can for the future at this time. Now you need to nail your feet down and don't back down. No playing the mediator on this one girl! We will all stand behind you like the Verizon network, 'K? Hang tough!