Hi All, I just found this board about 15 mins ago and thought I would see if any one has any ideas of how to handle a situation I have. First I will give you some back ground ...my mom has dementia and so does my step dad my hubby and I moved them in with us this past Dec we added like a inlaw area to our house so they would feel like they are still on thier own. Here is the problem my mom is in a different stage then my step dad she has more of a problem with common sense or nbot really understanding something that is told to her. when ever she has a Dr's appoint I take her the problem is after everyone of them she blames me for MAKING her go and Getting into her businessand gets kind of angry. she has told me on several occasions to just leave her alone and she doesn't need me to take her to the Dr or anywhere else and that she doesnt need me and will figure out things on her own..UGGHHH I dont know whether to back off a little and let her find out that she can't or to just try to deal with it and continue doing what I do? My step dad is at another stage where he tends to forget whole conversations ..he is not angry at least not yet Thank GOD . I bring them their medication every morning and night and my mom thinks I am trying to drug her :-( I try to explain to her that it is from her Dr and that I just hand them out to her but she seems so paranoid at times. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
What you described is classic demented behavior. They don't remember, they are confused and scared, and they are sure that we are just making their life difficult. Yep, they think they are just fine and we are the problem. I am sure you have your hands full with both. I had both parents for a while as well and it's no fun. It's triple rather than double trouble!
First rule of dealing with dementia is don't argue with her. You can not explain it to her or convince her different. She has lost the reasoning ability to understand. If she starts her rants just say... "I am sure it is frustrating to you and I am sorry you feel this way". You might even add that you will do better next time. We both know you will do the same thing but it will hopefully resolve her frustrations in the moment. You are not admitting to anything but you are validating her emotions. We all want to be understood and validated. Then try to distract or just leave.
Backing off doesn't work because she won't get it. The disease will prevent her from coming to the rational conclusion that she needs your help. But she will get into all kinds of chaos while you are not there!
Paranoia is very typical. They truly don't understand and their minds are playing tricks on them. Try not to make a big deal or give long explinations. If she takes the pills then just back off as soon as she does. If she doesn't the first time don't keep pushing it. Just come back and try a little later. If necessary hide them in food or get them in liquid form and put them in her drink. Eliminate all unnecessary pills as well.
As for the anxiety and paranoia, if it is a constant problem you may want to talk to her physician about medication to control her outburst. As frustrating as these emotional rants are to you, they are even more disturbing to her.
Hope something here helped Welcome to the board. Sorry you needed to find us but glad you did. It's a great group and I am sure others will chime in as well. So drag up a chair and stay for a while.
What stages are you parents in with which dementia?
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: bosoxbratt (05-12-2012)
Thank you for your input!!! I am so glad I found this board it beats trying to figure it all out and IF I am doing the right thing. I can not thank you enough for taking the time to answer my Q's TY again. Have a great day :-)
That is why we are here Bosox. Connecting with those that have experienced the same situation is helpful. There was a time (and still is) when this group saved my sanity. Hope to continue hearing from you
hey bos, welcome to the board, first I want to thank you for being so special as to move you parents into your home with you,although your parents may never say this but in a way you have saved their lives, not everyone would turn their lives upside down and do want you are doing. When my mom was at that stage she accused us of stealing everything, even to the point of calling the police, You have started on a long road of many ups and downs, This board saved my sanity also. As your parents progress there will be lots of questions you will have, so like deb said put some time aside each day and pull up a chair and join us in this wacky world of alz.
as for you moms doctors appointments, do you go in with your mom? It could be that you mom is not understanding what the doctor is telling her and then she gets upset. Have you had a consultation with her doctor about mom. if not tell him what happens when you leave the office perhaps he is not approaching your mom with the care that is needed with someone with alz. I would start going right in with mom and see what is happening and then go from there...
thank you also for responding and your kind words :-)
I do go in with my mom to her Dr's appoints I never really gave her a choice when they call her name I get up with her and follow her in :-) her Dr is very nice and considerate to her which I think is awesome cause there are a few times when my mom thought she had a problem with her hip since her sister did and a problem with her wrist and the Dr examined her and never made her feel like she was losing it or anything.
This illness is heart breaking to see the ups and downs of it :-( It amazes me how the mind works or doesnt in some cases :-( I have been taking it one day at a time some one minute at a time too :-) things have not been to to bad considering what the future may hold so trying to handle it the best I can. So sad cause my mom is only 66 my step dad is 80 I have never heard of two people having it together like they do but I am sure it is normal ..just getting my feet wet in this whole experience . I try to make them feel good about themselves and not take thier pride away and TRY to make my requests about something other then for them so they dont realize it sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt lol the sad thing also is my daughter is only 7 and has a huge life lesson in front of her she does well with it and from time to time she asks questions and I try to explain it the best I can..the hard part is when my mom gets mean and says things to me that my daughter over hears and she doesnt like it so I try to tell her that Grandma can't hep somethings and it isn't really what she feels she just has a illness UGH I have never been one to lie and this is a hard thing for me to do as I find myself lying to cover things up as to not stress my daughter or hubby. I am rammbling lol sorry Thank you again and I am sure you will see me as I will be trying to get more info and insight on this board whenever I have the time :-) Have a great day
Keep rambling Bosox Sometimes venting and expressing our emotions in a safe place is the thing that saves our sanity.
Both of my parents had dementia at the same time so you are not alone there. Dad was diagnosed in 1998 with Vascular Dementia. Mom was his care giver until she was diagnosed in 2006. They were at home for a year with a care giver but without one of us close by it didn't work well. In 2007 they moved to AL and in 2008 they moved to a locked unit here. Dad died in 2010 and I still have Mom. That is why I know two with dementia is triple the trouble rather than double the trouble. Their interaction is a whole other problem. Oh, and there was a nine year age difference between Mom and Dad. Dad was 86 when Mom was diagnosed at 77 years old. Since then I have met a few more with both parents on this journey. It is unusual but it does happen.
Kids are resilient. I was working in a care facility when my daughter was young like yours and with constant explanation and answers to her questions she did well. She was at work with me a LOT. Now she is grown and what she took away from the experience was an understanding and compassion of aging and dementia. Of the 6 grandchildren she is the one that handles her grandmother the best both physically and emotionally. She loves going to the facility when she can and spends time not only with her grandmother but other residents as well. You just have to be sure to bring it down to her level, spend time with her, and address her concerns. Being watchful you will know what to do
You are on the right tract with trying to maintain their independence and sense of worth. Keeping them busy is another factor that is important. Reducing what needs to be done to a level Mom can handle it will help.
As for the lies... I don't call them lies. I call it doing what needs to be done in order to make the situation flow as smoothly as possible. I would tell Mom or Dad what they needed or wanted to know even if I knew it was not that way. I have been honest with hubby and my daughter but my daughter is now older and does understand. I do distinguish between facts and my frustration. I vent my frustrations here
Yep you do have a long road to go and it's not easy but it is doable. Never look back with regrets because you are doing the very best you can do in the moment with the knowledge and information you have. Stay flexible in the moment. What worked yesterday may not work today. Know that no decision is permanent and you can change directions at any time. Never forget that you have to take care of yourself as well. You can afford to wear yourself out or burn out emotionally. Taking care of yourself allows you to do a better job of taking care of Mom and Dad. Set up some sort of help to give yourself a respite occasionally. Find Mom a "friend" to come in if you want to spend some uninterrupted time with your daughter or your hubby. Eventually you might want to find an adult day center. Mom can "volunteer" there Or put them up in a spa (respite facility) for a weekend away... for them and you! Call your Alzheimer's Association. They have support groups that can be very beneficial and some even have volunteers that will come spend a few hours with Mom and Dad. They have a wealth of information online and in written form not to mention their 24/7 hotline which is wonderful. I have used the hotline twice and it's so great to talk to somebody that knows your situation and can give guidance without judgement. And be sure all the legal paperwork is in order. A will is important but more important are the durable and medical powers of attorney. Just words from experience
It sounds like you have a great attitude and that's half the battle. I truly hate that you have to deal with this but your parents are lucky to have you!!
Happy Mothers day to everyone :-)
Deb it is good to know that there are people who truely understand what this road we are on is all about. It is such a sad thing . I am sorry about your dad :-(
Sometimes I think it is a good thing our familyare not aware of how they are different or that they are suffering from dementia or Alz I wouldn't want my mom or dad to feel the pain or what I feel daily for them if that makes sense.
Well I hope everyone has a great day!
I understand very well what you are saying. It is a blessing that as this disease progresses, those who suffer from this disease have little or not understanding.
In the early stages I do believe there is an awareness that something is wrong. Some even understand the diagnosis if done early enough. But as it progresses that knowledge fades with everything else and is lost.
This is a disease that nobody would want for themselves or their loved ones. But if you have to have it then I believe you have to make the most out of it. I focus on the positive. It has given me an opportunity to give back to my parents just a little of what they have given me. I had allowed me to have a closer relationship with Dad and now Mom. They would be off doing their thing and so would I but instead I was with them. It has made me a stronger, more patient, and compassionate person. It showed me just what Dad told me... I can do anything! I has brought many wonderful people into my life that I would not have met otherwise. And it has created new memories of joy shared with my parents to carry with them. Not to mention it has given time to say and do the things we need to do to rectify a lifetime. I focus on help Mom live the best can now. Even the the negative you have to find the positive to focus on...
Hang in there, keep typing, and know you are not alone on this journey
Happy mom's day bos, ya this diasease is the Sh%ts for sure... you are on the right path with how you are doing and handling this. Dose your mom and dad take meds??? perhaps it is time to get the bubble pack for the meds. it is truly wonderful how the pharmacy will put their daily doses in these bubble packs and it is really easy to see if mom and dad are gettting the right doses. sometimes that is the first real sign that mom and dad are needing more help. Deb is right, line up a special friend to come and have tea with mom and dad once a week so you can have some time to either spend with your daughter or go downtown for a hair cut and so on, if you get mom and dad use to it now it will be easier down the road when you really need some time out... Some other things that might help, have only a couple of sets of dishes for them, ect. 4 plates, 4 cups, 4 bowls, not to many. and it would be nice it they were not white as it is hard for some to distingush their food on a white plate. make sure you have one of those electic kettles that turns off auto when it has boiled, if mom or dad is moving around at night put in one of those self timers on a lamp and have it turn on durning the night for them to be able to see. Make a lot of extra keys to their doors so you can get in when mom loses hers. there is so much more but from you posts you seem to be on top of everything.. We are all in this together helping each other...
I actually give them thier pills as they were all confused with them some time ago so I have them on my side and bring them to thier side every morning and night..mnost of the time mom takes them no problem some days tho she swears I am trying to over dose her :-( Today they both seem to be doing good altho my step dad thinks there is no problem what so ever with him I had a conversation with them about them writing checks and stuff and maybe I should beaware of what they are doing and he had a FIT! Said he will not be checking in with me for what they want to write so I just kind of dropped it and time will tell :-)
Finances are always a difficult one. I was lucky in a way because Mom made a huge mistake and willingly turned it over to me. Huge as in releasing $250,000 of long held stocks with high capital gains and her IRA over to a B rated insurance sales scammer that she met in a restaurant. I was able to get her money back from the stocks and stop the release of her IRA money... and bless pat if she didn't OK it again...ARG! I found out without the reversal period and stopped it once again but at that point she signed over financial POA and added me to her checking account. What I found was bills not paid, bills paid twice, items ordered and not paid for, monthly debits for services she didn't need. It took me forever to get it all straightened out. I even had to cancel one credit card to stop some of the monthly charges. So if nothing else sneak a look at statements and bills that come into the house. Have monthly bills drafted. Have income automatically deposited. They set up online banking and check frequently You may also want to monitor the mail and make sure they only get things they need. Dad stopped writing checks long before Mom but every charity request that came into the house, he would drop a few $20 bills in the envelope and mail it off. Mom ordered everything that came in the house... and the more she ordered the more catalogs and offers came in. One funny side line... Mom got cut off at Walmart for returns with no sales receipts. It might have been because the things she attempted to return didn't come from there Or perhaps it was the bananas she tried to return 10 days after she bought them because they were brown?
You did what you should by dropping a subject that they get angry about. Rather than telling Mom I was "taking over"... I just ask if I could help her. There was enough confusing for her to finally say yes. Then the big investment snafu. I just started doing it and she didn't argue about it. At that point there was very little conversation about it. The less conversation the better.
money is the one thing that our older parents seem to remember. I gently asked if i could mail or take them to the bank to make thier payments and that way I was able to take a peek and see if things are on track... with my mom we had to take the credit cards away but made sure she always had some money in her purse and wallet.. my dad is sharp as a tack... thank goodness...
We have been doing thier bills for probably 2 years now because prior to th at thier accounts were always OD or things were not paid. I think part of the problem with my parents is they sign up for stuff on the TV or if they get stuff in the mail I try to give them just the things that look important but I think sometimes it back fires:-( Today I have to make a call cause they supposably signed up for some kind of traveling program that niether of them remember doing and niether of them have ever been into traveling it is some sort of a resort thing the lady I spoke to yesterday seems to think they probably saw something on TV about it UGGGGG usually they just fall for the "FREE" things or the stuff that claims they won lotteries ..scams and stuff. I wish there was a way to keep them for falling for this stuff I know when it comes in the mail I just junk it. Well I hope all of you have a Great day :-)
You may want to put the pills in a medicine box sold in the drug store. The box has M-Sun on the top and also 3 or 4 cells for 3 or 4 times a day. (21 or 28 cells in total.)
If you can show Mom this is the time to take the med., then she will understand it is the timing, not being overdose. This way helps also in case she wants to take it herself. I think she minds that she lost the ability to take her own med. So if you can share with her the schedule by using the box, she may understand better.
It is natural that stepDad thinks he can do anything and does not need yoru help. Do they know why they moved to your house? Did they know that they need help? Maybe they just want to stay close to you and Mom needs your help. StepDad may not admit he has dementia.
In the mean time, you can observe in case they need help. Check the mail and check their billings online behind their back. If you see anything wrong, you can correct it right away. Leave them with some space. It is natural they want to have their own space. Even if you help them, remember they have ego and self-esteem and don't want to be put off by a child who says she can do it for them.