my dad brought my mom from the nursing facility to my house yesterday for thanksgiving. the came about 2:00 and didnt leave until after 8. it was way too long for my mother so i had to kick my dad out(nicely). my mom was ok, but her dentures kept falling out, she was barely able to chew, she became quite confused and started crying. i had about 14 people and she knew everyone. one of my dogs started barking and she became panicked. i held on to her and walked her to the car. my dad brought her back to the facility, but she wouldnt cooperate. she told me thru the nite that she has been raped every day. of course i dont believe her. they just want her to get ready for bed time. she is quite stubborn. i still plan on taking her out foe excursions, but i want to know if i am hurting her in any way. i need help and so does my dad. any advice would be helpful. thanks, debbie
Sorry your Thanksgiving wasn't exactly as you hoped for. I finally came to grips that mom wasn't coming home for dinner yesterday afternoon when she started talking about needing a tampon. She really was asking about needing a new pad for leakage. I realized that she really doesn't know what's going on; confused as to what she needs; so why put her through leaving the facility just to make me feel good that mom came home for Thanksgiving? If she'd have said something like that at the table, my boys would have been embarrassed..not to mention if she really did need a "change", I wasn't prepared to do that whatsoever.
Hate to say this, but it just isn't worth worrying that mom will not cooperate going back to the NH (I've had trouble in the past just getting her from there to a specialist and back) not to mention that all the excitement of people and noise and our dog could upset her. She may have been ready to leave 20 minutes after I got her over here for all I know.
As far as hurting your mom by taking her out...not sure really...but if you struggle to get her back to the facility and she really doesn't enjoy her excursions, it might not be worth the effort.
I know I did best in just visiting and realizing that she's in a NH for a reason. Holidays will never be the same, but when I think how many others, no matter what the circumstances, will have a holiday w/o their loved ones and it could be much more tragic than me missing my mom...I'm thankful for the little family I have left to enjoy the day with.
Last edited by sunnydaze1; 11-28-2008 at 08:04 PM.
It's just that the Alzheimer victim changes entirely - what used to be their greatest joy is now a big hassle. We always thought my mother would be deleriously happy if my niece and nephew would bring their child to see her at the NH. The baby was only 3 months old when Mom had to enter the NH. Well, they made the effort and came once in a while - Mom showed no interest whatsoever n this great grandchild. She ignored her entirely and was not quite sure why they were there.
Eating a wonderful home made dinner used to be her joy. My Mom grew up during a period of starvation in Germany (1908 to her emigration in 1924) and had never know the variety of foods we have here. So any big family dinner was for her a huge highlight and fun.
After getting dementia, she didn't enjoy eating. Even at restaurants she complained about the food and sent it back. Too hot, too cold, too tough. She picked at her plate.
Instead of being interested in all the many conversations going on at once, instead of telling her same old jokes and family stories, instead of being happy and satisfied, she felt strange, out of place and threatened.
Once she was in the NH she never took part in family dinners again. When we asked her if they had a special meal for Thanksging at the NH (which we knew they did) she said 'they will, when Thanksgiving comes." not knowing it had come and gone.
Two of her greatest sources of joy were gone - family and food. But Mom still enjoyed nature, being taken out in the wheelchair to the beautiful garden in an inner courtyard, the fountain, the birds, the flowers in spring and summer and the snow and feeding birds in winter. She also enjoyed company, and it didn't matter if she knew the person or not, she loved to talk. She made frineds with another NH resident and they talked about all the things they had done together in the old days, when they didn't know each other.
Life becomes more simple, and anything complicated just confuses them.
Still, each one of you did your best and did what you thought was right, and that is good.
You are so right in what you said at the end of the previous post: "Life becomes simple anything complicated just confuses them".
I have come to realize that with mom: Less is better.
I only wish I could convince dad to realize that. He is on a whole different intellect then her and continues to try to talk to her that way. It only overwhelms and irritates her. Then in turn he becomes aggravated.
Pauline, YOur dad is still looking for his wife unfortunately. He keeps hoping that if he talks to her that way that one day she will miraculously reappear. I watched my dad do the same thing. They can't seem to get past the fact that the person that the see is no longer there. When you have lived with someone for -in daddy's case-63 years-it's hard to understand that that person is no longer there and won't be coming back. And then you get people who -although they are trying to be helpful, tell you, if you just work with her and do mind games such as the school kids do, she will regain her mental ability. This provides them with a false hope that you and I both know won't work. But because it has come from someone who is of their generation, then will listen to. Ah, the trials of being a daugter...
Hang in there Pauline, keep presenting the information in calm factual ways. I always would say, Daddy, you know that Mom can't understand that...... and proceed from there. It would take constant hammering to get it through.
I have come to realize that with mom: Less is better.
This is so true. My wife is not in in a nursing home, she still does OK at home, that is as long as she is at home. We went our daughter's for Thanksgiving, my wife as able to make rolls, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce at home the day before. She did a good job on them.
When we got to the daughter's house, one of our older granddaughters said she still had a lot of work to do, making dressing, finishing the turkey and making some of the vegetable dishes. My wife said she didn't know why everyone had so much work to do she did most of the work the day before. Fortunately she said this to my cheerful granddaughter, who took it in stride. My wife was a bit of a pill as the afternoon progressed, but we were able to keep her distracted and redirected.
When we got home she said she didn't know why nobody ate her rolls, she took two pans, they ate one pan, we brought twenty rolls back home. There were only five of us there at the dinner. Thirty or so rolls was a lot of rolls for five people.
The truth is they do so much better in their little world, at home or at the NH wherever their most comfortable world is.
Thanks for the towel of support!! Yes, I will continue as you said to give Dad those friendly reminders that Mom is not quite understanding what you just told her. I know he misses the wife he has always had and it must be devastating to loose someone mentally after 58 years of marriage. Each day I do see him making progress in that area of ACCEPTING her the way she is. Acceptance is the key to dealing with this disease.
polina, my dad is the exact same way its uncanny. i guess martha summed it up best. i still will try at least 1 more time to take my mom out otherwise i will feel too guilty. also for a shorter excursion.
Perhaps you could try one very short littlle trip out. I wouldn't do anything to big that could cause more confusion. I really believe the less they are taken out of their element or environment the better it is for them. Perhaps you can just find a nice little sitting room to take her to in the facility and just visit with her. My mom is in a rehab. I know that is a little different then being in a NH because supposedly she is coming home one day. She has been there for a month. I spend time with her by bringing her downstairs in the foyer of the facility where it is nice and bright. There is also other people sitting there with family members. I find she is very content to sit and people watch. We don't hold to much of a conversation. As she is unable to. We just sit together while she watches the people coming and going. She seems to like this. It gets her out of her room but yet she is not out of her element completely. If you could just find one little simple thing that she is content with doing but not to much would be good.
Debbie... I am sorry that Thanksgiving didn't turn out as well as you had hoped but it is not surprising that your Mom was over stimulated and deteriorated as the day went on. I agree with IBake about your father. My Mom, even though she will tell you that Dad has dementia, still expects him to be the same person she married. I know that currently part of the reason is her dementia but she has always been this way. She never has really accepted his inabilities..... and no definitely doesn't even recognize her own.
We didn't take our parents out for Thanksgiving this year. They are on yet another virus quarentine so they have been eating in their rooms. They did open the dinning room on Thanksgiving for the big turkey lunch. My Mom had no idea why they opened the dinning room for one meal. Sister 3 went over in the afternoon and Mom had no clue it was thanksgiving.
In the process she took the foam pillow out from under Dad's chair cushion that made it easier for him to get out of his chair and delivered his wheel chair to the front desk refusing to have it back in the room. She also returned the rugs to the bathroom floor. Even though Dad has fallen several times she insist that he is fine. In her eyes, when he is sitting in that chair, he is the same man he was 20 years ago. It's denial.... they want what they have always had and can't see what is before them. Just do as I do... gentle reminders of what they can and cannot do....
Less is more, short trips to less confusing places is good.