My mom has been in an AS Liv for two weeks now and on ativan and celexa. She is fine when on these drugs. She accepts the situation. When not on the ativan she gets very upset.
yesterday was the first day i could call her. She wanted me to visit her and told me all about her new apt. She seemed really in good spirits... then right before we got off she said--
"I need to talk to your daddy about this house we are living in to see if we want to stay here."
I said "mom, where are you, are you in your room?"
She said no she was near the living area. I imagine the nurse heard her.
I don't know why that shocked me. she has been doing it for years, but for her to be no better even on these meds, is depressing.
I told my sis what mom said and she said the nurses are used to it by now.
I think I am going to have to cry every day until I cannot cry anymore. My mother is still beautiful and healthy in physical appearance. And her mind is going going gone.
She is 80 and looks 70. The head of the place said my mother was the "social butterfly of the yellow neighborhood yesterday."
Then my sis and I called. I was so excited to talk to her but, then she had a bad evening, because she was convinced I was coming to take her "home."
yesterday was the first day i could call her. She wanted me to visit her and told me all about her new apt. She seemed really in good spirits... then right before we got off she said-- "I need to talk to your daddy about this house we are living in to see if we want to stay here."
Wow! Bet that was a shocker. Looking at it here, I am seeing that she still trusts you very much. Perhaps what she is saying is that she wants to talk about where she is staying and she was telling you that in confidence. So, when you go to see her, "Oh Wow Mom this is really nice!" do this every time in case she forgets. My Friends have told me that for their Mother they have created an album, I think they got the idea from the movie "NoteBook". In the Album are pictures of their Mom, of the land that she helped to save, of her childhood and many friends. Each person who visits is asked to bring photos with a note of memory that can be added to the album. Each time they visit with her, they sit and read from that album. It eases them. Best of luck to you.
It is a shock, and very scary when your parent does not seem to improve -- but you have to expect that in Dementia. There may be a few lucid moments or even days, but in general, the memory gets worse and worse, not better.
If your Mom is enjoyuing the new place, feeling happy, making friends, that is a huge blessing. If she ever says she wants to go home, put it off with a change of subject. Distract her. When it 's time to leave give her a hug and say, 'bye bye, see you soon.' If she says, "I want to go home," say "we can tak about that next time, bye now." and go. Fast.
Usually the moment of parting is painful for all concerned, so don't drag it out. My sister made that mistake. She cried, she clung to Mom, she said all kinds of impossible things, "I wish I could take you home with me!" etc. Both cried, sobbing loudly. The nurses shook their heads and spent the next hour trying to calm Mom down. This happened on sister's 2 or 3 short visits each year. She was going back to her home state far away, and every time the parting was an oscar winning theatrical performance. My brother told me all this; he was there every day.
When I visited Mom I made a special point of making the goodbyes, on my last days of my visits, very light hearted and pleasant and quick. "Well Mom, I'll see you soon. I really love this place. It's great to see you looking so good. Take care." Then GO! Walk, don't look back.
Mom was NOT upset and hard to handle after my departures.
Its going to take a long time for your Mom to adjust to her new place. You must look at the positive things concerning her and try your best to ignore the negative things that she may say. Thats easier said than done I know. Its been almost two years and Mom still misses her home. Of course what she misses is her independence and healthy mind. Her life.........Who wouldn't??
One positive thing is that your Mom is not sitting in her room. Thats wonderful !!!! Mom would not leave her place for anything unless we were with her. Just meals. It took quite awhile for her to leave without feeling frightened. Finally her Dr. told us to "back off". We did and she improved. Mom will also say some things that surprise me. Its just a temporary lapse in memory. She knows her sister is gone but will say "I need to call Sis. I haven't talked to her". To tell you the truth, I'm so thankful Mom can still talk. Gram couldn't make her needs known. That was hell.
It will take time for all of your family. Good luck, it will work out. It truly will.
I have had the same experience about different subjects Golfhat and I am no longer suprised by the bizzare questions. Dad will ask if Mom is coming to spend the night. He's not talking about my Mom but about his Mom that died in the mix 70's. When he was at home he would be acting just as lucid as you and I, getting the cereal out of the cabinet and fixing himself a bowl of cereal just before he ask if his brother had already eaten breakfast and left. His brother had been dead since the 60's. I have gotten so used to it that I just give an answer and keep going.
After 16 months my dad still thinks he has taken Mom on a vacation to a nice hotel. He frequently ask if the bill is paid or how much he owes. Yet, he says he likes it there "up on the hill" very much. I have to remember that it is the current memories that go first. he doesn't have a clue how he got there or why but it's nice so he enjoys it most of the time.
On the other hand, Mom, hates it. She rarely leaves the room without a companion and much encouragement. She complains about being in the room all the time but doesn't have a clue how to do anything different. It has only been in the last few months that she stopped talking about going home. Now she doesn't have an alternative to go to... she just hates where she is.
As for the memory books. We have done that for Mom and Dad. Dad has a cross stitched pillow I did for him with all the important life information on it. He will pick it up and read it repeatedly. Sometimes he talks about the person on that pillow in the third person as if it was not him. He mistakens his daughter for his sisters frequently because in his mind they should be the age of me and my sisters. Just last week, Mom who had been so good at recalling names to go with faces in her memory book was unable to do so. She got up, closed the book, and went to one of her rut stories that we have all heard 100 times. They are good for jogging memory for a while but eventually they lose even the pictures they might have had.
It is all part of the disease. While I was there last week Dad was having much conversation about the men that were killing hogs and how they were mishandling the meat. I am glad I know the process because I had to assure him that they were doing what they should. He got up repeatedly during the night with the need to go be sure for himself. He hasn't been involved in hog killing since the 40's.... But that is where he was regressed to on that night.
It is what it is... you just have to go with it. If your Mom is happy where she is just be thankful. Answer her questions in a way that makes her happy and then go on because she will ask you again and again.
hi golfhat, i am in the same situation you are, but my dad is alive. my mom says the most shocking things and i cant believe this is my mother. its so horrible to watch and i do cry all the time. sometimes i think she is getting better, but i know this isnt so. it only gets worse and sometimes i think i cant go on. i have no choice. accepting what is happening helps, but its still your mother. debbieg
YOu know, your Mom might have some sundowner also, Where she has issues that flare in the late afternoon and early evening. Why don't you try calling her in the afternoon or in the morning and see if she isn't better then? I bet that she is happier and more cheerful earlier in the day.
You will find that alot of the AZ. patients get worse in the evening and they tend to have their meltdowns during that time of the day.
If you find that your mom is having bad spells, she might do well with having an antidepressant to help her get over these times. It's a big adjustment and a med is often in order to help them get through this time. It's a hard adjustment and it often makes them forgetful of where they are and if they are even with loved ones who are still alive or not.
Don't take it too hard. There's not much you can do about it. So don't sweat it too much. Just continue to be upbeat about it and tell her how great it is and how wonderful it is. Just be pleasant and firm about her staying there and how it is her home now. It is the safest and best place for her to live and be taken care of. I know how tough it is, paste on the smile and then cry after you get out the door.
And here's your towel...and we're here for you....
yes, you are not alone. and i have found that the decline in memory goes sideways before it goes down (some memories retianed but not accurately) but yes, it does go down. just sometimes blindsides you first. my mom had taken a tranquillizer for over 20 yrs before she was diagnosed. upon diagnosis her Dr. slowly withdrew the tranquillizer and upped the ALZ. meds. for awhile all was good (or not worse), now she has fallen to a point where the meds (or lack thereof) are not working. Alz meds are doing nothing but keeping her awake. not keeping her alert. just awake. not a good thing, when you're getting dilusional. so now i say, i don't care about the cognative decline, could we just keep her asleep for 6 hrs??? another fight with Drs. are they really on our side???
My mother's GP had had personal experience with an Alzheimer loved one. As soon as he (finally) made the diagnosis, he said "nursing home." My family was not ready to accept it, but he was right. Only it took over a year, a fall, a broken hip and being wheelchair bound before Mom actually did get into a NH.
Doctors who have not lived with dementia are just as gnorant as the rest of us ... they depend on drugs, or ''reasoning" ("tell your father that he shouldn't drive any more") and the caregiver gets so frustrated that the death rate among caregivers is higher than in the general population. We do not find the time to take care of ourselves.
Good luck, and may God bless you and all caregivers.
deb, I have said the exact same thing numerous times. I told her Dr. more than once 'If you could spend 24 hrs. with Mom you would "get it" but you have no idea.......none.
Martha, you are so right. My Moms GP is a very good Dr. compasionate, caring, always tries what ever we want to try with Mom. But he still does not have any idea. Just reason with Mom she'll come around. Is that right??? Let me introduce my Mother to you Dr. aparently you've never met ???? He just smiled at me. Mom is sitting there and says "What are you talking about? He knows me I've been coming here for years"!! I just wanted to be sure Mom......
I hear the sorrow and pain in everyones posts. It always comes down to the fact that this is our Mom or Dad and there is nothing we can do to fix them. We want them like they were before. We love them so much and we watch the decline and its so painful. As caregivers we do the best we can and try to remember "It is what it is" we can't change it. Acceptance.........one of the hardest things in the world. It has been for me. When I first knew something was wrong I thought that acceptance meant giving up on Mom. It doesn't. Its just reality.
You are right Chris... acceptance is not giving up on Mom. It's facing the reality of the disease and what is happening so you can do a better job of taking care of her. It helps us understand that they are truly doing the best they can. It helps us not to expect the impossible from there. I helps us know what is coming so we can be prepared. In the mean time we don't give up, we work hard to make it the best it can be. Yep, there are days I want my real Mom and Dad back... not the imposters that I have now...
I have to tell you about our last meeting with mom's neurologist. After testing her he sat down very close to me and described the slow steady decline he was seeing in my mother.
He sat almost nose to nose with me..and at one point put his hand on mine and said, "I understand. My mother is 95. She was diagnosed ten years ago, so I understand what you're feeling. I understand what you are going through. She still knows me but sometimes (and his voice cracked here ) sometimes she call me daddy".
I was surprised he shared that with me. I have only met the man twice in the last year but I am glad he did. It does make a difference to know that he gets it.
What a wonderful thing for him to do for you. It had to be comforting to know that they man who is responsible for your mom's medical care really does understand. I would love to find a doctor that is that caring and understanding of this disease!
Acceptance.........one of the hardest things in the world. It has been for me. When I first knew something was wrong I thought that acceptance meant giving up on Mom. It doesn't. Its just reality.
Chris...so very true... Once this sinks in, it seems to be a whole different battle. We are no longer blaming our loved one...or expecting what they can no longer do. Just such a difficult reality to accept.
Meg...what a wonderful thing to share! We were fortunate with Mom's doctor also...but not so with both inlaws. Hold on to that compassionate and understanding fella!..........Pam