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Old 07-03-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
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Unhappy HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

Hello everyone, I'm new to this board. My mother was diagnosed with Dementia 2 yrs ago this month. She lives with my sister and brother-in-law.

Well this weekend I am taking care of her while they go out of town and this is the worst I have ever seen her. She has been yelling at me and telling me to shut up all evening. Saying she has no idea who I am and that in the morning she is going to the Courthouse to get papers to prove that she is the owner of this house. She was fine up until about 9:00 when she was looking for her key to her house. I told her that she at my house and that she does not have a key here.. That's when it went downhill.

I argued with her for about 30 mins about where she is, to get ready for bed, etc. etc... and just decided I just need to stop and have been in my bedroom with the door closed ever since. She gets really nasty and rude when she's in this stage and says very hurtful things. So I thought its best that I remove myself from the situation.

Any suggestions for how to handle her tomorrow and part of Monday? I have 3 other sisters but they don't care at all and have never shown any interest in lending any assistance to helping my sister my mom stays with or my mother.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 03:21 AM   #2
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

Basic rule for Alzheimer/Dementia care: do not argue with them. As you found out, it is a futile exercise. She has an idea in her head and logic will not take it out.

Your sister with whom she normally lives should have prepared you better for this weekend! But, on the other hand, maybe she believes you have been in denial about this disease and she wanted to let you plunge into the cold water and see for yourself! After this you will ceratinly appreciate your sister more for the care she gives.

Most Dementia patients get 'sundowners' which means a loss of reality or sanity in the later hours of the day .. ususlaly it begins at 4 PM and lasts until they are asleep. During those times the main thing is to keep them happy and calm. Change the subject any time a disagreement comes up. Example, "I am going to th courthouse tomorrow (on Sunday, the 4th of July!) to get the papers proving I am the owner of this house!"
Answer, "that is a good idea; meanwhile, would you like some of this delcious ice cream?"

Do not try to prove you are the owner, this is your house, you are her daughter. Just go along with her fantasy and put it off. "We'll take care of it tomorrow".

Good luck.

I did what you are dong this weekend for 5 years, day and night.

Love,
Martha

 
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:30 AM   #3
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

Perhaps your mom was more confused /agititated easily due to being out of her normal environement. Dementia patients do best when everything day to day stays pretty much the same. same place... same people... same things.

Routine and ritual are so important to keeping things more peaceful with the dementia person.
Everything Martha just talked about is so true. Especially the part about never argue. That is the hardest thing to do. never correct.... never argue. Just say "ok" and then redirect the conversation to something else. it works wonders!!

pauline

 
Old 07-04-2010, 08:03 AM   #4
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

This is the hardest thing about dementia is that the family can't understand why she/he doesn't listen to what you are saying. They can't proccess the info you are giving them. They only know the past and lit of the pressent!
You also need to support your sister! She is going through hell! Read what we all have gone thru and you will understand!

You can also say hay mom your visiting with me lets go and get some cookies and milk (they are motivated by treats!) or say hay you want to go watch a movie.

The biggest think for me is "confirm how they are feeling.... distract, distract, distract!"

It's not about who she was, it is who she is now!

If you have a dog. grandma mom doggie has to go outside!

Keep tuned to this channel and have your sis do it too!

 
Old 07-04-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha H View Post
Basic rule for Alzheimer/Dementia care: do not argue with them. As you found out, it is a futile exercise. She has an idea in her head and logic will not take it out.

Your sister with whom she normally lives should have prepared you better for this weekend! But, on the other hand, maybe she believes you have been in denial about this disease and she wanted to let you plunge into the cold water and see for yourself! After this you will ceratinly appreciate your sister more for the care she gives.

Most Dementia patients get 'sundowners' which means a loss of reality or sanity in the later hours of the day .. ususlaly it begins at 4 PM and lasts until they are asleep. During those times the main thing is to keep them happy and calm. Change the subject any time a disagreement comes up. Example, "I am going to th courthouse tomorrow (on Sunday, the 4th of July!) to get the papers proving I am the owner of this house!"
Answer, "that is a good idea; meanwhile, would you like some of this delcious ice cream?"

Do not try to prove you are the owner, this is your house, you are her daughter. Just go along with her fantasy and put it off. "We'll take care of it tomorrow".

Good luck.

I did what you are dong this weekend for 5 years, day and night.

Love,
Martha
Thanks for your advice. I totally disagree with you regarding the comment about my sister letting me see what she deals with. I out of the other 3 sisters is the only one that care about my mother and I help her any way I can. I've always appreciated her for what she is doing and she knows that out of us 5 girls, I am the only she can ask for help regarding my mother, which I do not hesitate to give when she asks.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

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Originally Posted by polina View Post
Perhaps your mom was more confused /agititated easily due to being out of her normal environement. Dementia patients do best when everything day to day stays pretty much the same. same place... same people... same things.

Routine and ritual are so important to keeping things more peaceful with the dementia person.
Everything Martha just talked about is so true. Especially the part about never argue. That is the hardest thing to do. never correct.... never argue. Just say "ok" and then redirect the conversation to something else. it works wonders!!

pauline

Thank you Pauline. She was very agitated when my niece dropper her off yesterday evening. But had gotten better, we had dinner on the deck, talked, looked at Interior design magazines (we both have a love of decorating). But once she started looking for her key (late evening) that's when things got worse. She finally went to bed about 2:00am and when I woke up this morning, the basement door that leads to outside had been tampered with, all lights on, etc., etc., so it looks like she had tried to get out sometime between 4(when I fell asleep) and 8:00 this morning.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

HI! I noticed when patients receive antacid those are the patients that seem to have the most trouble with alzheimers. I wonder if they have removed the aluminum from the antacids yet. In the past those patients who received Cognex didn't seem any better to me. I wish you the best.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

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Originally Posted by fustratedbeyond View Post
This is the hardest thing about dementia is that the family can't understand why she/he doesn't listen to what you are saying. They can't proccess the info you are giving them. They only know the past and lit of the pressent!
You also need to support your sister! She is going through hell! Read what we all have gone thru and you will understand!

You can also say hay mom your visiting with me lets go and get some cookies and milk (they are motivated by treats!) or say hay you want to go watch a movie.

The biggest think for me is "confirm how they are feeling.... distract, distract, distract!"

It's not about who she was, it is who she is now!

If you have a dog. grandma mom doggie has to go outside!

Keep tuned to this channel and have your sis do it too!
Thanks for your advice.

I am supporting and do support my sister. If you read my post I said that my sister and I are the only one out of 5 girls who take care of my mother. She happens to live with my sister, but I live alone in a 3 level townhouse, work 9-5 and I cannot take care of her. There is always someone at my sisters, so she is never alone. I've been dealing with this for 2yrs too, so please don't make it sound like I don't know what she's going through or am not in touch with what the disease does to them and am not lending any support. I simply reached out in a moment of desperation and started searching for message boards to get some advice. So please don't tell me that I need to support my sister, when I do my part the best I can and know how. This frustrating for everyone involved.

And yes I do have a dog, who usually loves to be around her, who has wanted no part of Grandma, she won't even go near her now -- she has been constantly by my side, following me everywhere since last night.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

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Originally Posted by sjb View Post
HI! I noticed when patients receive antacid those are the patients that seem to have the most trouble with alzheimers. I wonder if they have removed the aluminum from the antacids yet. In the past those patients who received Cognex didn't seem any better to me. I wish you the best.
Thank you sjb. She is on Aricept.
So far today has been okay. It's evening that things get much worse.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 09:58 AM   #10
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

I am glad that your sister has you to help her out. Good for you! Not knowing the details I was only speculating.

Hope today is going better than yesterday!

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 07-04-2010 at 09:58 AM.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

Thank you Martha.

She is doing better so far.

 
Old 07-04-2010, 06:17 PM   #12
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

Hi...

I hope your weekend is getting better. And, yes, your mom is out of her element and unfamiliar with your home so she is feeling displaced. Worse so than usual. We are all veterans of this disease...my mom has had it for at least 12 years now. We have all had to learn the hard way to not argue...to smile through your gritted teeth and agree with whatever they say. And I now have a Master's Degree in distraction.

Something I learned from the good people on this board is that they mirror us. (of course none of this may work during the witching hours of sundowning) But if you frown, they will too...smile and they will. My brother is a wonderful guy but he has this grumpy demeanor that makes him appear unhappy or angry..he isn't but my mom responds to him that way. She will ask him why he is mad at her. I remind him to smile when he says anything and it works. It is really all smoke and mirrors.

And none of us think you are not helpful. If she is in your home for a weekend to give your sister a break then we know you are...it is just that we know so many families with people who are in complete denial. Give us all a break. We are just getting to know you.

Love, Meg

 
Old 07-04-2010, 07:01 PM   #13
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

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Hi...

I hope your weekend is getting better. And, yes, your mom is out of her element and unfamiliar with your home so she is feeling displaced. Worse so than usual. We are all veterans of this disease...my mom has had it for at least 12 years now. We have all had to learn the hard way to not argue...to smile through your gritted teeth and agree with whatever they say. And I now have a Master's Degree in distraction.

Something I learned from the good people on this board is that they mirror us. (of course none of this may work during the witching hours of sundowning) But if you frown, they will too...smile and they will. My brother is a wonderful guy but he has this grumpy demeanor that makes him appear unhappy or angry..he isn't but my mom responds to him that way. She will ask him why he is mad at her. I remind him to smile when he says anything and it works. It is really all smoke and mirrors.

And none of us think you are not helpful. If she is in your home for a weekend to give your sister a break then we know you are...it is just that we know so many families with people who are in complete denial. Give us all a break. We are just getting to know you.

Love, Meg
Thanks for your input.

 
Old 07-05-2010, 07:28 AM   #14
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

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Originally Posted by meg1230 View Post
Hi...

I hope your weekend is getting better. And, yes, your mom is out of her element and unfamiliar with your home so she is feeling displaced. Worse so than usual. We are all veterans of this disease...my mom has had it for at least 12 years now. We have all had to learn the hard way to not argue...to smile through your gritted teeth and agree with whatever they say. And I now have a Master's Degree in distraction.

Something I learned from the good people on this board is that they mirror us. (of course none of this may work during the witching hours of sundowning) But if you frown, they will too...smile and they will. My brother is a wonderful guy but he has this grumpy demeanor that makes him appear unhappy or angry..he isn't but my mom responds to him that way. She will ask him why he is mad at her. I remind him to smile when he says anything and it works. It is really all smoke and mirrors.

And none of us think you are not helpful. If she is in your home for a weekend to give your sister a break then we know you are...it is just that we know so many families with people who are in complete denial. Give us all a break. We are just getting to know you.

Love, Meg
you go girl~ I agree with you somehow those that THINK they have a Master's degree in Alzm haven't got it! It's in the FOXHOLES that we get our degree!

 
Old 07-05-2010, 07:42 AM   #15
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Re: HELP!! and I'm new to this message board

The thing to remember about your mom is that change scares her, confuses her! And although it is on the next floor or the next room, they DON"T like change! This is why they do so well in the nursing home, because it is all rountine! So keep it simple, simple, simple for her. Even if sister has to move out for the wked and you move in. Keep it on her reg rountine!
And keep texting here and get involed in a support group on a weekly bases.
Have you contacted Elder Services? Alzm Services? Council on Againg? these all will help you both and help her most of all. I am sure that if you have been doing this for 2 yrs you already have Power of Authorny and Health Care Proxy. You may also apply now for (here in Mass it's called - MassHealth) this will help you with meds and so forth.

 
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