As you know my Mother has alzheimer and in the last six months she has lost two of her best friends. The first time I went to the nh to tell her about her best friend dying, I was ready for her to cry her eyes out and be very upset. When I told her, she said oh really, was she still living at the Morris house? (this is where the friend had lived probably five years ago). No emotions, not anything. Now another one of her best friends has died and I went to the nh yesterday to tell her, and she said I know I about fell over when I read that in the paper. (I had not realized it has already been in the paper) Where are the tears, the emotions, there are none and this really concerns me. Is this part of the disease, does this give you some idea what stage of Alzheimers she is in? Has anyone else dealt with this?
My dad has Vascula Dementia, and Nov last year, my daughter( Dads Grandaughter) died of Lung Cancer
Dad was in hospital at the time due to a fall, and having a hip replacement. When he was told about Sharon,
he just replied Oh, and then went on in big detail about how this doctor who was a friend of his, had been and told him he could go home for the night, and com back in the morning.
( All made up fibs)..
But what got me was , No emotion, just like you say in your post, it was like iI had told him it raining or sunshining. there was nothing
I wanted to scream and shout at him that his grandaughter, my daughter had just died, didnt he feel anything?? But then on reflection, he prob didnt.
Also noticed when I tell him something, he dosnt really listen esp if he has something on his mind, he talks over you , and you just wasted your breath telling him whatever you said...
As for what stage your mother is in, have you read the post 7 Stages of ALZHEIMER'S ? I had the same question, and after reading that post got a better idea of where my dad is.hope this helps
HI...We too have had to deal with loss and for us the consequences of telling mom..when her sister died, she was strong and held herself together but after the funeral she drifted further into the rabbit hole of dementia..it was a bad break and it took us a few years to get her stabilized...then her husband died and though the decline wasn't as bad it still was a decline. Now her best friend in life died this past September and we decided to not tell her. She lived on the opposite coast and so far we have bluffed our way through. Mom knew her friend had been sick so we tell her that she is in a hospital and is unable to talk..we tell her that she is resting comfortably. Her friend's last words were a message to my mother..she said, "tell her I love her". Heartbreaking.
After both her sister's death and her husband's there were never fits of mourning...but sadness for sure. It was contained but the sharp decline in the disease is how it affected her the most.
Absolutely. This is a part of the disease. They lose their ability to empathize and sympathize with others.
It may help to remind yourself that her mind has regressed. Eventually it gets back to her own childhood. Like a 2 or 3 year old who has no ability to comprehend death. This happens in the late stages of the disease.
My Mom forgot that she had ever been married or had children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Once in a while, a light switch went on and she temporarily remembered someone, like my son in law (her granddaughter's husband.)Otherwise she would say, "some people were here but I don't know them." It was her sister and her nephew.
Just imagine if her sister had died first and we had told her - what emotions could she show about a woman she didn't remember ever knowing?
Since your Mom remembered the house where her other friend had lived, she still has some intact memory, but it apparently does not reach as far as to remember any feelings she may have had for this woman.
It is a sad, long, slow decline. Sorry you are going through her suffering.
my mom has vascular dementia and usually forgets what we tell her. but if i told her something bad, like a death or someone being very ill, she will start to cry. she would get the story mixed up, but she would somehow remember. so we decided not to tell her anything bad at this point.
We have noticed the same thing with Mom. During the summer my dad went into have Major back surgery 5 veterbraes fused. It was big surgery and actually dad's first time ever in the hospital at the age of 78. First time for surgery. Well, the morning I was taking him in Dad says bye Nell to Mom. Of course she had already forgotten where he was going. So I explained again about how he was going into the hospital for back surgery and would be there for many days. She just looked at him and said oh bye. Nothing more nothing less! It was as if he was going to the supermarket to get milk. I thought it was a little odd. Then when I came home, I once again mentioned how dad was in surgery now as we speak. Nothing! no response just a "Oh". There have been people that we know that have past away recently, I know 2 years ago if I told her the news of these people having died she would be so upset and bothered by it. Now there is no response. It is the disease that has made her all self absorbed within herself and for herself only.
This has been hard for dad to accept.. He constantly says to me: "Your mother used to be the most caring woman in the world". I say to him I know she used to be! It kinda sad!!
Helen...so sorry for the loss of your Sharon...so many challenges in your life....
I sure agree with Martha...this is part of dementia/Alzheimer's. So much of what we know so well about our loved one changes...it's not their fault, or lack of compassion...simply the progression of this horrendous disease.........Pam
You get one of two responses. It is either flat with no emotions or they get upset all over again. Dad with his vascular dementia tends to get upset. His mother died in '83 but if he ask about his mom and someone says she is not alive, you can see the fresh pain in his face. On the other hand Mom with her ALZ tends to shug her shoulders.
Mom has become very uncaring. She never hung up the phone without saying I love you. Now she will just hang up without even a good bye. Illness, death, or other bad news doesn't get the same reponse it used to but gets little or no response. Dad on the other hand is still as caring as he always was.... every time he hears the news. Each is so very different yet the same.....
Like Martha, my dad has forgot his children and grandchildren, and would say " someones been, but dont know who"
and Pauline, you put into words the reason why my brother dosnt help me look after my dad any longer.(all self absorbed within himself and for himself only.)
I have tried telling him that its part of the disease, but he wont have it, it just dad being selfish.
If dad is in the place where he grew up, he will constantly ask about his dad , and his dogs, then he will get upset if we say grandad died 20 odd yrs ago.
But if we mention mum, who died 15yrs ago,threre is nothing. He never mentions her or anything about his life with her, even though they were married for 50yrs.
I remember another incident from Mom's early days at the NH. Someone told her, or she saw on TV, that a little redheaded girl had suffered a bad burn. When my brother went to visit her, she thught it had been his grandddaughter (who has black hair!) and repeatedly wanted to know if the little girl was OK, is she recovering from the burn? Later she showed no such concern for anyone. That 'button' switched off, just like the memory button and the appetite button. No response to tragedy or comedy.
Thanks for the invite caringsister, been over and its great.........and for your lovely words xxx
the button switch you talk about, Its the appetite button thats giving me problems at the moment.
He seems to go for weeks eating everything you put in front of him, to eating nothing. I keep throwing food away that he hasnt touched.
He is back to going to his little pub at night and having 2pints of beer, so I know that could take his appetite away.
He is also back to spending his day in bed again, most days hes only up for 4 or 5 hrs, before he back in bed again, and hes sleeping as well.
When I go in, I make him a cup of tea first, and then wake him up, and get him to sit up, but as soon as I go out the room, he falls straight back to sleep.sitting up.
Even when he is awake, we get no conversation out of him,he will answer you,but then he back to staring out the window. I am running out of things to talk about too!
Its true Helen the dialogue of conversation we hold now with our loved ones is very LIMITED and very SIMPLE. Less is better!! Mom has retreated to sitting by the window in her room. She is lucky she has avery peaceful and calming view to look at everyday. She has a big picture window that overlooks woods and a skyline view . It must have a very calming effect for her. Sometimes when I walk in the room it takes her awhile to even realize I am present. Then when I do speak it takes her awhile to respond. I can see her trying to put together in her head WHO I am and WHAT I just said??? I just stand there very patiently and wait for it to all come together for her. Everything is done is slow motion these days.
Justcome back from dads, and to be honest, I gave up today trying to make conversation.
He was in bed asleep as usual, woke him up with a cup of tea.
Got the usual greeting of" hey up gel, didnt know you was here" then eyes shut, and back to sleep..
Went in bedroom at least 6 times trying to make conversation with him. Its like he cant be bothered, and dosnt want to know.
I made his tea, and left it on his bedside table and came home..am I mean?
Oh Helen...you're not mean.......just a very caring daughter trying so hard to get back the father she needs and remembers so well.
I'm so sorry...he'll never ever go back to how he was before. It sounds like he still recognizes you, right? I am also surprized he's still able to go out at night...must be an old pattern in his life that still seems familiar.
Keep sharing here...expressing concerns and challenges somehow helps...we're here for you.......Pam