My mother is 87 years young and last Christmas she asked me if I sent her mother a Christmas card, I told her no. As you well know her mother is deceased but I don't want to tell her. Now this Christmas I'm trying to think of how do I deal with this ahead of time. Should I get a card and fill it out and let her write something on the card and tell her I'll mail it because her mother would live on the east coast of Canada. She is also asking me about going to visit her mother in the spring. I just tell her "that sounds like a good idea" just to please her at the moment. The problem is she won't forget. Even though she has alzheimers, when it comes to something important, she remembers it. If I tell her I'll mail the card then she'll think I have her address to go visit. So many things to deal with. Please help!! Any other ideas????
But by the time spring gets here, she probably won't remember. Or if she does, you can come up with some other excuse. If she asks about a Christmas card, say you are working on getting them done but are very busy....
Elaine... don't spend too much time worrying about what might not be. You told her last year that you mailed a card. If she brings it up this year tell her the same thing. If she wants to go visit tell her perhaps in the spring. As spring approaches push it to possibly summer time. Then the fall is so pretty.
My sister helped Mom do Christmas cards one year by addressing and stuff what she wrote without looking at them. Most of them stated that she was being held hostage and if her friends loved her then they would come rescue her. The next year when she mentioned it I told her they were in the mail... and never did them. The next year she didn't even ask. She ask about going home and I took her a couple of times early in her dementia. The last time she didn't recognize anything. From that point on I just told her we would go next weekend, next spring, after she got over that cold, when the weather cleared up... anything that fit the moment. She eventually just stopped asking.
So don't spend too much time worrying about what might happen. Know that in the moment you will come up with something to explain it or delay it. She will forget it in time....
Elaine... you are over thinking it. Actually you don't have to say anything. There were lots of questions that I just didn't answer. Sometimes she ask them once and that was that. If she pressed the issue I had a little more time to come up with something that would defer her request. You can always keep... "Not Today" in your back pocket. It works for just about everything.
The other thing you need to remember is that you can't rationalize or reason with her. You are just deferring and redirecting. Sometimes my answers sound as disjointed as hers do. I want to go home... it is such a pretty day. Where is my money... I think I hear them singing in the dining room. Where is your Dad... Let's have some ice cream. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.
The other thing I use is "I'm sorry"... I'm sorry I didn't think of that. I am sorry that happened. I am sorry we can't do that today. I am sorry but the banks are closed. I am sorry you feel that way. I am sorry blah blah blah. There is something about I'm sorry that does seem to work.
You just need to know that you can't do what she wishes all the time so you say what pops up that distracts or defers her. The last thing I did was try to guess what she would ask and come up with a prepared answer. She always ask something different or the prepared answer just wasn't quite right for the situation. Think about it less and go with your gut instinct in the moment even if it is telling you to be quiet!
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: bearcubs (11-26-2011)
I still feel guilty about telling my mom a white lie, but it is necessary sometimes. I think that may be part of the problem you are experiencing. I can feel your anxiety, as I feel the same way and it takes a toll on your conscience. Just one more thing to add stress to an already stressful situation. We just have to go with the path of least resistance. Maybe she won't bring up the Christmas cards this year.
Hugs to you
The following user gives a hug of support to aras: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to aras For This Useful Post: bearcubs (11-26-2011), luyingjie (01-24-2012)
True Aras. So much of this disease goes against everything we have accepted as right and good over our life time. Tell the truth, listen to your parents, and on and on. Planet Alzheimer's changes rules. Having been ingrained with moral standards it does take an emotional toll when we enter a world where these rules are not followed. Yet we also understand that following the moral standards can be emotional harmful to those with Alzheimer's. This causes a huge conflict. Conflict leads to stress. Do we follow what we know or follow what we have learned? Guilt is the feeling we end up with. Guilt is our judging ourselves based on what has happened. It is a self inflicted punishment for a perception of wrongdoing.
This is why we say there is no room on Planet Alzheimer's for guilt. None of us are intentionally doing something wrong or harmful. We are doing the best we can to deal with this disease. So why do we beat up on ourselves? This is the thought process I engage in. I ask myself if what I did was in the best interest of my Mom. I look at the alternative and how that would affect Mom. If what I have done was for her benefit then I have to know that I did what was right... even if it was not what I had been taught all my life. Guilt does not fit when you are doing what is best. I do spend time controlling my emotions rather than letting my emotions control me It is time well spent! Analyze your negative emotions and thoughts, change the basis of your perspective, and free yourself to do what is best for your loved one without all the emotional baggage.
The following user gives a hug of support to Gabriel: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: luyingjie (01-24-2012)
I know this of off subject, but as for the white lies, i have made my peace with them and when I tell my mom that my sister is cleaning the house(lie) or my brother is cutting the lawn(lie) or one of many other things, I like to think that I am involving the rest of the family in her life, my mom is happy thinking that my brothers and sister are accually here somewhere doing something when in fact the opposite is true, but if my mom is happy and i can involved everybody in our talks and she thinks her children are close and it reasures her than to me that is all that counts. I'll deal with the guilt later!!
Just find your peace and leave leave the guilt wrapped in the peace that you give your Mom. We can't be guilt ridden when all we are doing is making a bad situation a little better for the ones we love. Instead give yourself a pat on the back and know you have done good!!
My FIL was able to write his christmas cards to his friends in 2004 when his late wife died. He was still in early stage so he was able to write cards and mail them. People in his genertaion do write cards to express the friendship.
I don't know how he wrote the cards but I knew he didn't tell his friends that his late wife died. The next year, he forgot about it completely. Stopped writing cards. We got some cards from his friends. So we wrote back telling them he is sick and he also signed when he could. Honest cards that told his freinds what is going on. In a way we had to tell the friends about the new status.
Later on he forgot about all of them. We should not have bothered to send again but we did. Now they all stopped writing because they know.
My FIL never really had to write X'mas cards because he is not a believer.
Probably you should tell her friends that your Mom has dementia and update them a little bit so they are aware of what is going on. We had to do that because some of his friends kept sending cards for 2 or 3 years. The last year we told some of them that he moved. So no more cards.