Hello, my name is Debbie and I live in West Central Florida. My MIL had a massive stroke almost 6 years ago. But before the stroke, I noticed that she was unable to follow conversations, and she had a lot of nasty,spoiled food in the house, and notes sticking everywhere. I really didn't know anything much about Alzheimers at the time; but in the past 6 years I found out. The doc and neurologists both dx her with Alzheimers plus the fact that she has multi-infarct dementia from the stroke.
It will be 6 years in June and I am so tired and hubby is stressed. She has declined to the point to where she is in late stage 6. Along with all of this "new found fun things she is doing", now she seems to have lost her ability to hear (more like understand). It was difficult to decipher the wrong words before the seemingly hearing loss, ;but now it is torment. I bought the little device, you put it in your ears like on TV, and you can hear 90 feet away. Wow, that seemed to be the ticket. But now she won't use it, cause it hurts her ears. She won't use headphones cause it musses her hair. Hearing aids are out of the question. She flatly refuses that. She is 92 years old and as vain as a narcistic teenager.
Thanks for letting me introduce myself. Anybody else got any ideas on the hearing thing. The TV is killing us.
Welcome to the board, I know by now you must be hitting your head on the wall. It seems so obvious if that person wants to do something they would do what is necessary to make that happen.
My MIL is vain too. She doesn't want anyone to see her using the walker or a cane, so she just stays home and then complains because she can never go out.
Can you tell her the police came over and said that there is a noise disturbance and the tv must be turned down? Maybe she would use the headphones then. What about a set of headphones that go around the back of the head?
It is very frustrating to know that you are trying to take care of them and at the same time you feel that they could at least cooperate some. Is she living at your house?
I'm sure you'll find some other suggestions by the members on the board. Good Luck and hang in there.
My Mom passed away from Dementia over a year ago. When I was still living with her she also had the TV on very loud because of hearing problems. BUT - all that changed as she declined in mental ability. She forgot how to turn the TV on. She forgot hw to change stations. She couldn't make sense of what she was watching. Soon she lost all interest in television, having already lost interest in reading.
If your MIL is in stage 6, maybe it is time for her to be in a good nursing home? There, some other people will be gathered around the TV and it will be plenty loud for all to hear. Those not intersted can go somewhere else. I was with Mom for 5 years and she may have been at stage 5 when she had to go to the NH after breaking her hip ... but I don't think I could have put up with her much longer. She was not a difficult person, was always pretty calm and good natured, but all the problems with incontinence and potties, and forgetting to wash/wipe or how to dress or what to wear and what NOT to do with the stove and toaster, and what happened to all her money, and ''what are you doing in my house?" in the middle of the night, etc etc took a toll on me. My family and I found the NH a good solution, where she was pretty happy until she got sick and passed away after 2.5 years, at the age of 99. She had shown symptoms of Dementia for at least 8 years by then.
Welcome to the board Debbie. It sounds like you have had a long road so far. I can absolutely relate to the hearing problem. Both of my parents have dementia. Dad has vascular dementia and Mom has ALZ. Both have a hearing loss as well which was diagnosed before the dementia. Mom also has a diagnosed verbal processing deficiency so she doesn't understand the spoken word as well as she shoud.
Dad rarely gets out of bed without putting in his hearing aids. If he does forget a simple reminder and he will put them in. But he had worn then for years before dementia. He has less trouble processing what he hears but forgets it almost immediately.
Mom on the other hand is the poster child for vanity. She refuses to wear her hearing aids. Head phones are OUT. She hates ear buds. The TV is loud enough to hear it in the next city. But I have noticed that she reads the scroll lines rather than listens to the voices. That is one reason she watches the news so much. They have great scroll lines she can read. Even what she hears is not processed correctly. Then she forgets what eventually does get through. My sister has made a crusade of getting her to wear her hearing aid but even when she does the auditory processing is not there to understand what she is hearing so the effect is the same. Mom has two good hearing aids for the same ear because she "lost" hers under warrenty, had it replaced, and then found the first one in her winter bathrobe pocket the next fall.
Funny story about hearing aids. Dad had one that was not working at all. He had been wearing it for some time broken when the battery holder broke off his other hearing aid. We finally ordered him a new one and sent the other one to be fixed so he was without hearing aids. Dad "borrowed" one of Mom's. Well that left Mom with one. But Dad was used to having two so he eventually swipped her other one and managed to put it in the other ear. Mom complained for two weeks saying..... I don't care if he uses one but I would like to have the other one back. We would take one from him and give it to her, she would take it out and lay it down, and he would get it back. Then it would start all over again. This went on several times a day until the new and repaired hearing aids were delivered. lol
With Mom, hearing aid or not, she still has problems processing auditory input and is also having trouble finding the words she needs. This is more a part of the disease than a function of hearing. They will eventually lose their language ability completely. This is part of the ALZ process. So my guess is that this is more a function of the disease than hearing.
Debbie, sorry for what you're going through. I cared for my 91 yr. old grandmother with Alz. at home for 6 yrs. until last month when she fell and broke her hip. She's now in a nursing home and doing as well as can be expected. I agree with Martha that maybe you should consider nursing home placement. I know it's a difficult thing to consider, and I wasn't able to do it until circumstances forced it, but almost all of us get to a point one way or another where it's the best solution.
Nursing homes get a bad rap, but most of them I've visited are good places.
I'm so satisfied with the NH where my grandmother is; she gets excellent care.
My grandmother didn't have the hearing problems your MIL had, but she had her own set of "issues" many of them with grooming, and it had gotten to the point where she fought with me on trying to get her to do anything; I could do nothing with her. It is amazing to me that the workers at the NH can groom her and do all the things she wouldn't let me do, and she is so docile and doesn't put up a fight at all. My relationship with her is so much better.
When I visit her we can just enjoy being together without the stress and frustration that was there when we lived together.
I am not sure what I am doing to reply will notify you; but thanks for your advice. Hubby wants to keep her at home as long as we can. We know that the decision will probably be facing us sometime this year. Yesterday I took her to the beauty problem and we had a hard time getting her to step out of the chair. No matter what I did, gently lifting her right foot, nothing was happening. She took one look at her walker, and pronounced it was a bicycle.
Luckily she responded to a hairdresser in the shop.
Just a quick question. Does your hubby have both medical and durable POA for his mom and is he also on all of her bank accounts? This is really the first thing that we reccommend to people who find us as you will need it when you have to visit Dr. etc as she gets worse. It may be alright now, but the HIPPA laws will cause alot of grief as she progresses.
BTW, how far did you get with the bicycle? LOL.....
I lost my mother a year ago to this disease. My father had vascular dementia. He died of an AAA, and my mother followed him 5 weeks later, so I am well versed in this horrid disease. We welcome you to our group. It's a scary place, Planet Alzheimer..both for your hubby Mom, and for you and him! I' great that he wants to keep her at home, but that's a HUGE undertaking for YOU more so than him-if we know anything about husbands....
Hi, my Mum has drug induced ALZ and at 70 she is a pain in the ^&*@ but she is fine, just ask her and we have the problems. Her hearing is also going fast and one night we were at my sisters home and we were ordering Chinese. "What do you want?" was being asked of everyone in the house. My mother suddenly brightened up and said "you want me to lay an egg?" Pardon the pun but it cracked my sister and I up terribly and then she wanted to know why we were laughing. I think we tried to tell her but to no avail, so we just told her she was having sweet and sour pork and she accepted that was it. By the way I am a newbie and I will be hanging around now I have found this site. I am so sad that so many people are dealing with this terrible problem. Love and good luck to all. Tanya
Welcome to our little corner of crazy Tanya. Sorry you have to deal with this disease but you will fit right in here. I had to laugh at your story as well. Reminds me of the day we were talking about going to the peach and Nanny thought we were going to get her a peach. Yep, we ended up finding her a peach before we went to the beach.
Your Mom sounds like mine. She has ALZ and her hearing is going as well. She can be a royal pain but if you ask her it's not her that has the problem, it's all of us. Right now she is back on her "I am going home" kick. My Dad also has vascular dementia. They had to be moved to assisted living about 18 months ago. Mom thinks she can take Dad back home and they will be fine. It's beside the point that they were NOT fine when they were there. So we blame it on Dad. He needs to be there. It works about 5 days out of 7. The other two we just hang on for the ride.
Hope to hear from you often. This is a great place for sharing the load, caring for each other, giving advice, venting, and generally trying to find a little sanity in this crazy world. Here's your first stack of towels. We have found they are necessary when traveling on Planet ALZ. You can cry in them, hold on to them for support, mop up Mom's spills with them, or even tie Mom down with them. The uses are endless. So again welcome We look forward to hearing more about you and your Mom.
Welcome to our little corner of crazy Tanya. Now not to feel unwelcome but should I have read this "corner of crazy Tanya" or "corner of crazy, Tanya" I think that the first was probably right!
My biggest problem is that my mother needs me to "help" her, but she has been on a determined journey of telling my sisters that I am insane and trying to hurt her. My sisters [5 of them] had a meeting in my absence and decided that in the final years of our parents life that I would be their carer. I don't think that they have told our parents of this decision but a couple of them were good enough to pass the good news on to me.
I have had a very strained relationship with my mother since I was born - she wanted a boy and a different man to have impregnated her and she told me this every day of my early years in a state of manic or depressed violent aggression. I will never be good enough. My sisters are aware of this as she refers to her children as "Tanya and her 5 beautiful sisters!"
To give me the job of caring for my Mum especially is very cruel of them but they all have agreed she is too crazy for them to cope with and as they expressed to me - they have lives to live. My mothers depression and whatever other mental problems she has, is noted by her Doctors but as soon as one of them starts to talk to her about psychiatric care, she changes Doctor. Problem solved.
I will never get a POA but I will ultimately be responsible for the care of my parents as my sisters have made it very clear that the sooner they "go" and they get their promised inheritance the better.
I have been my mothers carer since I was about 8, but she needs me and hates me [herself] all at the same time. This was really complicated by my Dad opting to drink heavily to solve the problem and my Mum taking any medications she could get her hands on. Dad no longer drinks but is not aware of what was happening when he was drinking and my sisters [the beautiful ones] have Mum eating out of their hands. The abuse was mine alone.
I take action when Mum is in crisis and the others think that I over react - my problem! If your Mum is bedridden with a pain she can only feel and the Dr's can't find a source for and she calls me to visit to help her to the toilet including cleaning her afterwards, and I decide that I can't be there 24/7 and call an ambulance to get her to hospital the reaction is varied. My Dad says how did you do that? "she wouldn't let me" huh? She's bedridden! My sisters tell me that I only do it to be mean as they are never called to do what I am called to do and they have no idea. My father is genuinely happy that I have taken action, he has been brow beaten to the point that he feels that Mums problems are his fault - really long story.
Mum blames me for every problem in the family - you are welcome to laugh at this point but I was responsible for my sisters pregnancy and duly punished by being humiliated at the wedding reception. If this is not insanity what is it and now with the ALZ symptoms coming on thick and fast, I am desperately in need of the goodness of strangers. Thanks deb
Tanya...... you are definitely not crazy Tanza and you can have a truck load of any color and smell of towels you want from me. All I can say is bless you and all that you have done for your Mom. Your situation is CRAZY!! My gut reaction is the same as Meg's...... RUN!!!!!!!!!
But I know, from experience, that you can't run away. What you can do is know in your heart that you are the better person and stand up for yourself. You are definitely living in a world of disfunction.
Who does have the POA? They are the one ultimately reponsible. It is only because of your good character that you are doing what you are doing. Your Mom was and is sick. It is unexcusable for her to treat her child (you) the way she has. You have to know that it is her sickness that caused this and has nothing to do with you. Sometimes you have lived with this situation and evidently come out of it the better sister for you are the one that carries the burden of your Mom. I have a lot more respect and admiration for you, and what you have done with what you were given, then the beautiful sisters and their selfish attitude....... and you don't hide like Dad does. You are a special person Tanya.
Where is Mom living right now? Is she at home with Dad or in a facility? As far as Mom taking charge of her own medical and mental health, she can't do it. If ALZ is present, psychotherapy is not a good option. She won't be able to process or remember what she needs to internalize to get better. What will work is appropriate medication to control the symptoms she is displaying. But you probably can't do anything about the thinking patters that are ingrained in her head. What you can do is know that you are NOT what she says you are.
As for the sister's decision, it is not biding on you. They can decide what they want and unless you abide by their decision, it is a non working decision. At some point they need to take on their share. What would happen if Tanya didn't do it? What would happen if Tanya was suddenly out of the picture? Perhaps you need to do what we did. Give everybody a week. Even if Mom calls you, you pass it off to whoever takes that week.
You do have decisions that you can make. You decide how much you do. You decide when you act and react and how. You definitely need to share the load. You need to call a sister meeting, of one if necessary (you), and decide that it is not your job to take care of Mom alone. If they can not cope with Mom, then why should you? If Mom is that impossible then adequate placement would be an option. You do have a life too, and you need to live it just like they do. Tanya is living in a world where everybody else is in denial. Back up a little and let reality hit them hard. Maybe come down with a good case of "I can't today". It's is a legitimate illness you know You teach people how to treat you and it's time for Tanya to stand up and let them know what a strong person their abuse has created. I do believe Cinderella got the prince and left the rest in her pumpkin carriage dust!!
Keep typing and know that we are all here with towels, caring, and support for you.