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Old 04-07-2010, 11:50 PM   #16
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Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

Welcome to our little corner Grumpy Glad you found us just hate that you are in this journey with us. I do hope your knee is recovering nicely.

Your story sounds much like mine. Dad was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Mom was his caregiver. She kept it together for a LONG time. By the time we realized there was something wrong with Mom she was well into her ALZ. Just like your Mom.. she had an excuse for everything. Her best excuse was "Dad did it!" He had dementia and didn't remember so we accepted that... not knowing that Mom didn't remember either. They had a in home care for a while and that was a disaster. Mom was not a very pleasant person with somebody else in her house. Especially since she was fine. After the van was taken away from them, Mom fought her way (literally) into Assisted living which lasted for 18 months before we had to move them both to a locked unit. At that point Dad more aware than Mom. Mom was still fighting the disease with all that was in her. That was a year ago. In October Dad started falling and losing weight. It was a stead downhill decline until he passed away March 5 of this year. Mom is now happily oblivious and doesn't even realize that Dad is no longer there. Sometimes she knows who I am and sometimes she doesn't. She's incontinent though she is still ambulatory. Her auditory input is non existent so she has no clue what you say to her. She had trouble finding her words and can't complete a sentence. She starts to say something and whatever passes though her visual field grabs her attention so the original thought is lost.

I have learned not to even dare guess what is next. Each day that is uneventful I count as a good day. I hold on to those quiet times because I know there is something right around the corner to break the calm

Again... welcome I do hope you drag up a chair and stay a while!!

Love, deb

 
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:21 AM   #17
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Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGabriel10 View Post
Welcome to our little corner Grumpy Glad you found us just hate that you are in this journey with us. I do hope your knee is recovering nicely.

Your story sounds much like mine. Dad was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Mom was his caregiver. She kept it together for a LONG time. By the time we realized there was something wrong with Mom she was well into her ALZ. Just like your Mom.. she had an excuse for everything. Her best excuse was "Dad did it!" He had dementia and didn't remember so we accepted that... not knowing that Mom didn't remember either. They had a in home care for a while and that was a disaster. Mom was not a very pleasant person with somebody else in her house. Especially since she was fine. After the van was taken away from them, Mom fought her way (literally) into Assisted living which lasted for 18 months before we had to move them both to a locked unit. At that point Dad more aware than Mom. Mom was still fighting the disease with all that was in her. That was a year ago. In October Dad started falling and losing weight. It was a stead downhill decline until he passed away March 5 of this year. Mom is now happily oblivious and doesn't even realize that Dad is no longer there. Sometimes she knows who I am and sometimes she doesn't. She's incontinent though she is still ambulatory. Her auditory input is non existent so she has no clue what you say to her. She had trouble finding her words and can't complete a sentence. She starts to say something and whatever passes though her visual field grabs her attention so the original thought is lost.

I have learned not to even dare guess what is next. Each day that is uneventful I count as a good day. I hold on to those quiet times because I know there is something right around the corner to break the calm

Again... welcome I do hope you drag up a chair and stay a while!!

Love, deb
Thanks for the welcome - it is 4:00am and I am up with an aching knee. So thought I would go on-line.
My mother sounds much like yours. She has quickly become worse since last fall and over the last year she has dropped a lot of weight. Last May - she weighed 154, yesterday she weighed in at 118. She is still ambulatary, but needs help - the Doc ordered a rolling walker. She likes to wander between the gathering room area to her room. They have a big screen TV which she shows little interest in. She used to be a huge reader and that has passed.

We are dealing with some issues with sores on her feet, but when they started she didn't realize there was a problem, she was not getting as much help as she does now and I was in the hospital and then not allowed out until my 1 month doc follow up on my knee. Until recently, I was not able to drive, so getting to the NH was tough. Walking and stamina are still not good. But I ignored Doc's orders several times to deal and my daughter picked up some of the slack. Now I am back to daily visits until I can get her settled in at the memory care unit.

My mother has been practically textbook in going through the stages. I hope she stays in this mellow stage for a while.

Bad to bed. Night Grumpy

 
Old 04-08-2010, 07:20 AM   #18
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Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

Meg, when you wrote ''if what doesn't kill us makes us stronger is true, I am going to be one helluva strong woman," I thought "or dead".

If we try to do too much, if we try to accomplish the impossible, if we fight tooth and nail to keep the sick person at home, if we refuse help, let ourselves go, stop going to the dentist or even the hairdresser ... we may die before the loved one. So that old adage is true in two ways ...it can make us stronger, or it CAN kill us ..

So remember, all you caregivers -- take care of yourself too!

Love,
Martha

 
Old 04-08-2010, 10:54 AM   #19
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Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

Martha, moving my mom in January to the assisted living from independent living was as much for me as it was for her. I went from 7 days to 4 days visiting and I can't tell you how much better I feel. These 3 days off are like days at the spa when in reality I am doing what I want to do or need to do.

I am learning little by little to hand over more care to her aides. They lecture me if I don't. Thank heavens for them.

And you are so right, this can wreak havoc on our own health. I did hit a wall a few weeks ago but, I am afraid to actually type this, things seem to have improved. Maybe it is the change in her meds or maybe the powers who be understood I was at my wit's end...or maybe just that I needed a break, at least!

Whatever it is, I will take it for as long as it lasts.

Love, Meg

 
Old 04-08-2010, 11:33 AM   #20
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Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

I'm really happy for you, Meg.

I learned it the hard way. I was working and taking care of Mom. The Home Health Aide left the house at 3 just minutes after I got home from school. For 5 years I had no time to go to the dentist. I did not MAKE time; now I am sure my brother would have made it possible. I kept thinking, ''when I go back to my old home, in Europe, I will get free dental care." The problem was that the longer we were separated, the less likely I was ever to want to go back, and much more, HE did not want me back. So I got gum disease. When I got to Indiana and visited a dentist the news was so bad I was shocked. I needed various bridges, crowns and intensive gum disease treatments.

My blood pressure was also way too high after some of the scary incidents, Mom wandering off, the kitchen fire, the inability to clean herself and her fighting me off when I wanted to do it ... so that too was dangerous, however it went down almost as soon as I began living alone.

I had eaten so much comfort food that I had gained 20 pounds from the day I left for Mom's to the day I came here , 5 years later. Now 10 are permanently off and the other 10 keep coming and going ...

My heartburn/reflux was so bad I think it was the major cause of the tooth decay. I still take meds for it.

All this goes to the cost of Eldercare .. I would have taken care of those problems in plenty of time, before they got worse, if I had been able to come and go freely without worrying about what Mom would do in my absence.

That's why I think it CAN killl you. I go to the dentist here every 3 months at a huge expense, but it is keeping the gum disease at bay so I don't get heart trouble. (too bad Medicare does not pay for such urgent care to prevent heart attacks! They would pay if I HAD heart attack.)

Well, here we are, post full time care , alive and well and maybe stronger ... certainly more informed!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 04-08-2010 at 11:35 AM.

 
Old 04-08-2010, 01:40 PM   #21
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Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

As you noticed Grumpy I am a night owl. I have to be exhausted to fall asleep and I hate tossing and turning so I go to bed late and still get up at an almost decent hours. I do ok on 5 hours and blessed to get 6.

I do hope your Mom does well in the locked unit. I will have to say that Mom and Dad both did much better in the locked unit than in AL. It is a much smaller unit with the same people there all the time. Once Mom adjusted, Dad fell right into the routine and liked it) it has all been good and Mom has mellowed out. Mom is still ambulatory... and loves to wander. She is always on the go. Go to the end of the hall and then go back. Go out in the court yard and then go back. We laugh because her mother that also had ALZ had the "Go Gene"... Mom now has the "Go Gene"!!! But she has slowed down more to a slow shuffle than the hot footed go of before. So far her weight loss has been relatively controlled. It was Dad that lost from 184 down to probably 130 by his death. Despite his eating and ensure it was a constant down hill which told me he was not processing what was going in. Mom's is still a function of what goes in so we are supplementing it with treats that we know she loves even if it is chocolate and pizza.

I do hope you get the sores on her feet under control. That can cause a problem I know.

Martha you are so right... it can kill you. Moving Mom and Dad to the locked unit was the best move we ever made. Even AL helped, at least for a while. Like you I was ignoring my own health and had a huge wake up call when I finally did go to the doctor. We have talked a lot about life style, what you eat, and exercise but I believe the number one problem is stress. Stress can kill you. Beyond that sleep deprivation would be number 2 on that list. The illnesses that can be caused by sleep deprivation is a long list. I truly believe that a combination of Melatonin and meditation has done me more good than anything!

Meg... I am so very glad you made the move for your Mom and you at least have a few days a week to enjoy yourself! Everybody needs that all the time!

Love, deb

 
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