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Old 09-26-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Confusion

Hello,

I haven't posted for a while but I have been lurking. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. I need some suggestions please. My mom went on a bus trip just over a week ago and this is what she thinks happened in her mind. When they picked her up in the morning she was picked up at her building. At the end of the day, she thinks they dropped her off at a different building. All of this is fabricated. Now she keeps saying to me, "I want to go back to my other place". I tried telling her this is her place and she says it isn't. She wants me to take her to her other place and I don't know what to tell her. I have tried explaining to her the situation but I know she is not able to reason. But just hoping maybe she might remember, accept, whatever. She thinks the room she is in is one that she use to be in. And now says if she stays there any longer they will charge her for living there. I showed her everything in her room but she believes it was there from before and just left there. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you.

bearcubs

 
Old 09-26-2011, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Confusion

Bearcubs, you said it in the title... "Confusion". It is what the mind with dementia does. She has things all mixed up in her mind. she left, went somewhere, and came back to a place she didn't know. She does not recognize where she is so it must be somewhere different. Things are not right so it must have something to do with where she is. Just let her go back and it's ok. We both know this is not the problem. The problem is... confusions.

You are not going to be able to reason with her, convince her that she is wrong, or talk her into believing something different. When she says these things ask her about her feelings. Then validate those feelings. Mom I know this upsets you. Then you can promise that you will check into it. See what you can do to correct the situation. You are not agreeing with her but you are validating her emotions and promising her that you will do what you can. If she will talk about then do... if not then go to the kitchen and get her some ice cream, giver her a chocolate bar, or ask her to go take a walk with. Everybody wants validation and to be heard... even if it is about a world of fantasy. It doesn't matter if what she says is correct. What matter is that you make her feel ok about it.

So validate, promise to help, talk about it on her terms, divert

Love, deb

 
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:51 PM   #3
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Re: Confusion

Thank you Gabriel. I will try your suggestions and hopefully this will help both of us. You always come to my rescue. Have a great day!!!!!

 
Old 09-26-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
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Re: Confusion

it is always good to hear from you bearcub It is a struggle every day to know what to do. One thing you do have on your side is that she will not have memories of what you did earlier so keep trying different tactics until you find something that works. I have found that validation of their feelings always seems to help. We all need that. When we are scared or sad or happy... we want somebody to acknowledge those emotions. We also need somebody to listen, not necessarily fix, but just listen. You can promise to help and let her know you understand.

Do a search on validation therapy. There are valuable techniques with this approach that could be helpful to you.

Love, deb

 
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:56 AM   #5
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Re: Confusion

Bearcubs,

I am sorry your Mom felt she was lost.
This happens in moderate stage.
Back in 2007/2008, my FIL who has stage 7 Alzheimer's went out to see a doctor with us. At that time he was in moderate stage. We came back in early afternoon or so. For a long while he was OK in his couch. Around sunset at 4pm or so, the sundowning kicked in and he asked to "GO HOME"!!! He said he wanted to go home and when the cargivers told him he was home, he was like almost crying saying he wanted to go home.
I said to myself and the caregiver, what? He is HOME!! I don't know what happened but something about he needs to take the routine of "going home". Well, I didn't know what to do so I brought him around to the kitchen and told him this was his dining table/dining room and that was his kitchen and etc. Well, he insisted he wanted to go home. OK,
so we said how about we sat down in the kitchen for early supper. The caregiver did the spaghetti already so we started to eat by the small round table in the kitchen. The funny part is he kept saying he was outside in the cafe. He wanted to eat quickly and he "cleaned" the table by wiping the table by hand and "licked" away the food stuff left on the table as if someone demanded him to clean it. He said, "Oh I just want to finish this quickly!"
He still wanted to go home!! Ok, so we finished the supper and I took him back to the couch to watch TV. Guess what? Now he is home in the couch!!! The thing was he was always on the couch most of the day so the couch is like home. It is not that he thinks couch is the home, but going back to the couch completes his routine of going home!! Not sure why the first time didn't count.
Soon later on in a year, he no longer knew that it was his house.
Now he does not care where he is and he does not even understand where he is. (He is in a residential home now.)

So sometimes you can try to take her for a walk in the home. Bring her around to her favorite areas and etc. She just missed her routine and was looking for the routine.

It is funny now I think of that episode. Anyway, I am sure you can help her validate the impression and help her to go home.

Take care,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 09-27-2011 at 01:58 PM.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 06:34 AM   #6
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Re: Confusion

Ah, Bearcubs...that is just sad! So much about this disease that is sad. Among other things.

Sadly, her times of going out for drives might have to stop if it is now too confusing for her to come back. In the short term, diversionary tactics may be your only answer. When my mom was in that stage of worrying about money or being charged, our standard answer was that her health insurance covered it all!! That she was not to worry, ever ever ever!!! We also left a written message on her wall saying she had no bills. It helped her to read things as opposed to being told. Short, one sentence statements.
For example, one of these signs said simply, "Jimmy is at work". She was always looking for her one grandson who made her feel safe. All she had to do was see his name in print and it calmed her. In her mind, he was there because she saw his name.

My mom also knew she was "home" when she saw an afghan that we kept on her bed. One she had made. It gave her comfort to see it.

In the short term, diversionary tactics are what will work but it will take time to get her acclamated again, so be patient. Get her into the routine again. Do the same things you did with her that you did on any other visit.

Love, Meg

 
Old 09-27-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Re: Confusion

i so feel for you. somehow things do work out, but it takes so much out of us. those were great suggestions. i remember so well.

 
Old 09-27-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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Re: Confusion

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and ideas. It always helps to talk to people who have been there or are there. I hope you're having a pleasant day!! May the sun shine on you everyday!!

 
Old 09-28-2011, 05:40 AM   #9
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Re: Confusion

Hi everyone! I`m still here,have not lost my mind (!),just been busy and been on other sites too.But you were the first people to "talk" to me and I`ll never forget that.
My husband often talks about going somewhere else-"that we used to go to" and I now tell him we don`t go there anymore.Most of the time he still knows this is his home although sometimes he talks about it as a boat.Fine with me. I can imagine with the best of them,except in the middle of the night when my imagination is asleep!Speaking about sleeping,I bought some Melatonin (3 mg) and it is helping.Hubby took it for 3 nights,then refused to take it on the 4th (and subsequently was up all night talking gibberish) so now I put it in some Chamomile tea (they are soluble).Even if he does not drink all the tea,it still helps.
I wanted to get an exercise bike for him for his Bday but could not afford it.Well I took an old lady shopping the other day and she had one which she cannot use anymore so she gave it to him----miracles,eh?
I found that often when my husband is confused about places,people,what`s happened etc. it helps when I touch him.Hold his hand,give a hug and so on.And it gives me time to think of an answer!Sometimes all I can say is I don`t know but I`ll try to find out----and sometimes it`s enough.One thing works one day,something else the next.What usually helps is ME just first stopping whatever I`m thinking or doing and giving him my undivided attention.If I`m rushed or busy or frustrated about something,it does not go well.So to help him,I have to "help" me first.
I wish you all a good and blessed day!

 
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:17 AM   #10
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Re: Confusion

Well said Avio You have to be creative, flexible, and extremely patient. Each day is different and most days are long! You are right that it is easier during the day than in the middle of the night.

I am so glad the Melatonin is helping your husband sleep... it did my Mom as well. She still has the occasional night of wakefulness but is sleeping much better. There is good science behind what we see because Melatonin is naturally occurring in the brain and the amount decreases with age and even more so with dementia. I have taken it myself on a few sleepless nights and appreciate the fact that I didn't wake up "drugged". It is a very natural, not chemically induced, sleep.

Avio, we all, well most, respond to touch and physical comfort. The basic needs of our loved ones with dementia is no different than ours. When we are upset or confused and there is nothing to say... a hug can help. The same goes for our loved ones with dementia. The comfort received from contact can be enough. Do a search on Validation Therapy created by Naomi Feil. It is a way of connecting with our loved ones though validation, listening, and touch. It is a great tool to have. As we know it's something different every day and we can use all the approaches we can find!

As for the ball appearing Sometimes that does happen and we have to count it as a blessing.

It is always good to hear from you and glad things are going ok with you and Hubby. Just remember to take care of yourself first.

Love, deb

 
Old 09-28-2011, 07:30 AM   #11
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Re: Confusion

The ball--you lost me there.....??

 
Old 09-28-2011, 08:36 AM   #12
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Re: Confusion

Bike... not ball... that was a brain blip!!! My great niece has a double ear infection and my niece has both kids by herself this week (hubby working in another town) so I was rushing to go help! It's Mom one day and my niece the next... life is good Mom has had diarrhea for the last week and I clean her when I am there and the baby has it now from the antibiotic.... it's my poop week hehe

love, deb

 
Old 09-30-2011, 12:03 PM   #13
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Re: Confusion

Deb....I woke up in the middle of the night thinking .. Deb's mom has diahrea again!? I know the post below was from a few days ago but it resurrected in my brain over night.
So..what's up with that?
Is she better yet?

Love, Meg

 
Old 09-30-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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Re: Confusion

Meg... NO! We are at a loss to figure out what is going on. We have cut out the prune juice completely and even given her immodium twice and nothing changes. I am at a loss, the nurse is at a loss, and she's going to have a conversation with the doctor to see what he might think. It is obvious that she has gastrointestinal inflammation as well. But... it has not affected her appetite at all. It's just all strange. She had a few lethargic days but she seems to be a little better the last two days... but the diarrhea is worse. It is always something huh?

I truly want to have a conversation soon that doesn't include the word poop!

Love, deb

 
Old 09-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #15
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Re: Confusion

The residential care director in my FIL's home likes to call it the virus. Like everyone may have it at times and they have immodium ready for everyone as prevention! People get sick with virus in a group home.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 09-30-2011 at 09:41 PM.

 
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