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Old 12-11-2008, 05:06 AM   #1
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I have a question

We all keep writing a lot about the minds of the AZ and Dementia patients. While a lot of what's written here seems to follow to the 'letter' what my mother is going through, there's still a lingering question.

It seems as if my mother is very able to understand exactly what is being said around her. I tell my sister that our raised voices is what she's reacting to, my sister says 'no, its the topic' (ie. nursing home, medicine, etc)

Personally just because my mother answers yes or no questions by nodding her head and give the right answers most times, Sister firmly believes that mother is in that body and its just that her brain won't let her mouth control actual verbiage. She clings for those minor times when an actual word pops out.

Most of you still can dialog with your parents? We can't. All she continually says is "ah, ah, ah" or screams while also banging her hands or feet. But she also has enough sense to pick things up and throw them as well.

Two other things:
1) she absolutely hates my sister talking to anyone whether its in person or on the phone. Sister says "of course, because she knows we're talking about her".

2) mirrors: One minute she's pointing and screaming so I think we need to cover the mirrors and the next thing is she's straightening her hair. Is she afraid of her reflection? do we cover the mirrors?

 
Old 12-11-2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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Re: I have a question

Caring, I think that it isn't the subject that your mother is responding to, but the inflection and the tone of your voice. By this point she has lost her ability to follow the conversation, but she can respond to the tone of your voice. Much as children respond to vocal inflections, so do our loved ones. You could just as well say to her "I hate you" in a sweet smiling voice and she will smile and nod her head because she is responding to the smile and sweetness. Your sister is only hoping that she is responding to the topic. I don't think your mother can caring on that level of cognitive ability.

My mother carried on a conversation that only she knew who was in it. I am sure that she was perfectly sane in whatever world she was in, but it made little sense in our world. A few words came out, but that was about it.

As far as the mirrors go. She is probably thinking that that is another person that she is seeing in the mirror and much as she hates when you come over, she also doesn't like having another "person" in the room with her. She doesn't associate that person in the mirror with it being her own reflection.

The reason she hates to have anyone take to your sister isn't because she thinks they are talking about her, it is because the center of attention is no longer HER. The world as she knows it is her and when your sister isn't focusing on her, then she gets upset. It isn't because she is paranoid that she is being talked about. I don't think your Mom has the mental acuity to think at that level. You are giving her far more mental ability than she has at this point in her life. She just doesn't like interruption in her universe.

 
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:56 AM   #3
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Re: I have a question

If possible take the mirrors away. Seeing them covered may be scary. Back in the old days, some people covered a mirror after someone in the house died.

I also think she sees it as a stranger in her house. As for overhearing conversations, you could both be right. She may know they are talking about her and resent it, she may also miss being the center of attention.

At any rate, loud voices and an argumentive atmosphere is not doing anybody any good. Try playing soothing music. Try giving your angry sister more relief. She may be on the verge of a breakdown.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 12-11-2008, 08:05 AM   #4
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Re: I have a question

Dear Caring,
I can only tell you my experience with my Grandma who passed at 97. She had alzheimers.
In the last stages Gram would answer questions with a "yes" or "no". Sometimes the answer would happen to be correct. Its kind of like the "lightswitch" would be on then in a mini-second its "OFF". Towards the end Gram no longer acknowledged when you came into the room, nor did she care. She also did not like the image in the mirror. She would say there was an old woman in her bedroom......How sad.In her mind she was a small girl asking for her Mom and Dad. Of course the image in the mirror frightened her. Towards the end she never looked.
I'm so sorry for your sister and you. Grams disease was so terrible for us and her I still shudder when I think of what we all went through. I do understand and feel so bad for you all.
Love Chris

 
Old 12-11-2008, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: I have a question

thank you for each of your responses. You gave me much to read, absorb and acknowledge.

We got good news from the attorney. Apparently the irrevocable trust is going to protect the monetary BUT most importantly the house assets. Its been past the "look-back" period so he feels that they'll take Mom's social security check and that would be all they could attach themselves to.

Of course, this will allow Sister to hopefully get back into the workforce. I think at this point she needs to look at training for something that will render more money to her than just clerical positions but who knows, its her life. I can't allow or give her time to adjust and be there at the NH everyday, all-day for Mom and I'm glad to have read in another post that they may forbid contact for a few days or weeks. I think Sister needs a forced-separation from Mom because nothing I say does any good.

I agree loud voices don't cut it and I keep trying to stress to Sister that we eliminate it as much as possible. She's just so frustrated as is understandable. She said she can keep Mom at home if she'd just shut up, she's amazed that Mom doesn't get larynjitis(?sp). The constant noise, be it either voice or banging is driving her nuts. Mother doesn't appreciate music, movies, TV or anything. As you said, if she's not the center of attention, all hell breaks loose. If she's on the couch she wants sister on the couch!.

While I keep telling her to stop the Aricept and Numenda she keeps saying that she needs it -- that the doctor wouldn't prescribe it if it wasn't to do something. I said it is doing something, its slowing the normal progression of life. At this point, it's also keeping her wired throughout the day, so much so that the Ativan doesn't last as long as it may if she wasn't taking this other stuff.

But as I said to my sister, I can't do much more than give you my opinion. You're the one in the house with her. If she was to eliminate the Aricept and Numenda then maybe I'd be able to spend more time over there. As it is, I can't go over and even have a few sentences with Sister without Mother getting all bent out of shape and screaming.

As said before: God Bless Everyone. Thanks for the feedback.

 
Old 12-11-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: I have a question

I'm late to this discussion but was totally wrapped up in the fact that Mom doesn't think her perm worked. It can't have anything to do with the fact that her hair is difficult and she no longer has the ability or patience to do what she needs to do with it !!!ARGG!!!

IBake is so very right... they are not necessarily responding to the words but to the body language in inflections they hear. They definitely pick up on the emotional impact of language long after they lose the words. Mom may respond in a way I think is appropriate.... but with further conversation I realize that she had NO idea what she responded to and didn't even remember being ask. Then I realize that her answer was actually in no way related to reality. But it sounded good at the time She still has her intellegence and in the moment she can come up with something that seems ok...... but when we revisit the subject a short time later the results are different.

We are just reaching the mirror issue. Just this past week Mom was scared by the "old hag" that she didn't recognize in the mirror. In her better moments she blames the perm. Sister even took her outside of the facility, to a very upscale shop, to get a way too expensive perm and 24 hours later Mom is saying it didn't work. I know I have two issues working here. First she is no longer able to do her hair to her satisfaction and second she is beginning not to recognize that old lady in the mirror. There are only two mirrors in their apartment. One is part of the dresser and the other is permenant in the bathroom and neither can be easily removed...... so I expect this issue to continue for a while.

Your Mom's need for your sister to be by her side continually is as IBake said. It is her self centeredness created by the disease. It's all about her. Beyond that.... that is exactly where you sister has been most of the time for years so why should it change now? Your Mom doesn't remember those moments your sister had outside contact... she just remembers that sister was right there beside her.

I am so happy that you found out that the house will be protected. I am sure that puts your mind at ease. Hopefully you will find placement for your Mom soon, your sister will adjust to a life of her own, and you can get back to your life as well. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers....

Love, deb

 
Old 12-11-2008, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: I have a question

Oh my goodness deb your description of your Mom in your second paragraph is "exactaly" like Mom. You think she knows what your talking about and she'll give you an answer then 5 minutes later I realize she had no idea about the subject matter that we just discussed.

Everyone tells me "Oh your Mom answers all of my questions". Oh yeah!!!!! She just answers so you'll shut up and stop asking. Drives me nuts. PT help and visiting nurses say "Your Mom does wonderful. Answers all my questions". I ask her "What questions". "Oh like, Do you remember me"? and she said "yes". Well no kidding she says she remembers everyone. What is she supposed to say "No, I have no idea at all who you are or where I am"!!!!!!
!!!!!ARGG!!!!!!!! Thats a good sound for my frustration. Thanks deb.
Love to all
Chris

Last edited by DrewsG; 12-11-2008 at 01:15 PM.

 
Old 12-11-2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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Re: I have a question

hehe Chris.... do we have the same mother? The PT girl finally ask my sister the other day....."How much does your Mom remember?" Mom would answering all her questions.... then she realized that the next time she ask the same question the answer was different. !!!!!!!ARGGGG!!!!!! is my new sound for all that spins in my life. Maybe we should take up swords and consider outselves pirates! Let it be our determination to get where we want to be

BTW... how is the knee Chris?

I'm just happy that Mom is happy today.... doesn't like the perm but at least she's not crying about it

Love, deb

 
Old 12-11-2008, 02:02 PM   #9
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Re: I have a question

OH THIS INFORMATION IS THE GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS

our family has made it thru this peirod because i teach leadership training and have applied everthing i know too helping me ma

it's is all about body languae and tone of voice, WORDS HAVE NO MEANING, NONE NADA

from a teeney weeney babeeeeeeeeeee we learn

60% Of communication is body language

30% Tone of voice

10% Words

That means memory wise for alz patient, things will work in reverse to the last day, they have these strongest and most permanent memory bank for body language, then tone of voice, then words.

with no short term memory words have no meaning, nada

soothing pleasant tone of voice is oh so soothing of the savage alz beast

for us to do that our own body language has to be, is forced to be non-threatening, open and accepting

thus, the patient SEE's our happiness and aceptance of them, and in the inner bowels of the brain get's a weak signal that says this is good and respond likewise

in kiss terms, YOU TALK YOUR WAY INTO SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS, that is the big kahuna, one item we always have control over

a sharp tone triggers in the alz brain PANIC PANIC PANIC, which is confirmed in the brain by the body language, what they see and what they hear is in alignment, there brain is actually working correctly at this moment, and thru a billion lines of code of habit built up over a life time, it reacts


if this is one thing i would scream from the roof tops the rest of my life it is this

TONE BABEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, Like a great love song, it lifts our hearts and souls









Quote:
Originally Posted by DGabriel10 View Post
I'm late to this discussion but was totally wrapped up in the fact that Mom doesn't think her perm worked. It can't have anything to do with the fact that her hair is difficult and she no longer has the ability or patience to do what she needs to do with it !!!ARGG!!!

IBake is so very right... they are not necessarily responding to the words but to the body language in inflections they hear. They definitely pick up on the emotional impact of language long after they lose the words. Mom may respond in a way I think is appropriate.... but with further conversation I realize that she had NO idea what she responded to and didn't even remember being ask. Then I realize that her answer was actually in no way related to reality. But it sounded good at the time She still has her intellegence and in the moment she can come up with something that seems ok...... but when we revisit the subject a short time later the results are different.

We are just reaching the mirror issue. Just this past week Mom was scared by the "old hag" that she didn't recognize in the mirror. In her better moments she blames the perm. Sister even took her outside of the facility, to a very upscale shop, to get a way too expensive perm and 24 hours later Mom is saying it didn't work. I know I have two issues working here. First she is no longer able to do her hair to her satisfaction and second she is beginning not to recognize that old lady in the mirror. There are only two mirrors in their apartment. One is part of the dresser and the other is permenant in the bathroom and neither can be easily removed...... so I expect this issue to continue for a while.

Your Mom's need for your sister to be by her side continually is as IBake said. It is her self centeredness created by the disease. It's all about her. Beyond that.... that is exactly where you sister has been most of the time for years so why should it change now? Your Mom doesn't remember those moments your sister had outside contact... she just remembers that sister was right there beside her.

I am so happy that you found out that the house will be protected. I am sure that puts your mind at ease. Hopefully you will find placement for your Mom soon, your sister will adjust to a life of her own, and you can get back to your life as well. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers....

Love, deb

 
Old 12-11-2008, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: I have a question

DGabriel,

Curtains, pretty pretty pleasant colorful uplifting curtains, a monument to tasteful decorating

should blunt quite a bit of it

 
Old 12-11-2008, 02:18 PM   #11
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Re: I have a question

My knee is feeling fine. It lets me know once in a while that its still there and OLD!!!!!! Thanks for asking. I'm so glad that is gone for now at least.
Moms Dr. visit is tomorrow. Then INR test and then we can pick up her new glasses. She has not said one word about her eyes. !!!!ARGG!!!!!!!!! About a month ago she was "going blind" according to Mom. "This is it!!!! I pray the good Lord takes me if I go blind". I took her to the Dr. got new glasses. Not much of a change. Not a word since then!!!!!! My goodness she can drive me to drink. She's something else. Got to smile. I almost forgot about those glasses. Can't imagine why?
Love,
Chris

 
Old 12-11-2008, 03:09 PM   #12
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Re: I have a question

The tone is everything, really. Say it nicely and you can say anything.

(I use this method on my daughter's fat incontinent cat ... I say, "Milo you stupid idiotic fat cat, did you pee on the rug again?" in a sweet tone. I might as well be saying ''oh you sweet cat, I love you so much.'' He buys it. He loves me. I can't sit down on a chair without him climbing up behind me to paw my hair.)

It's the tone that makes the music ....

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 12-11-2008 at 03:11 PM.

 
Old 12-11-2008, 07:59 PM   #13
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Re: I have a question

Chris... it's call their obcession of the moment. Problem is we don't get done with one obcession before they are on to another one. Oh, and throw the hospital visits, uti, and other measures of confusion in there and waalaa... you have forgotten glasses or something else falls through the crack. Isn't it amazing how we can only do about 10 things at once successfully With all you have been thought I am amazed you remembered the glasses at this point!!!!! I do hope the doctor appointment tomorrow goes well. Keep us informed. ...and glad you knee is doing better.

Curtains... hummm.... that has potential Thanks!!!

Love, deb

Last edited by Gabriel; 12-11-2008 at 08:02 PM.

 
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