It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
Post New Thread   Reply Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-24-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ninamarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada/USA
Posts: 1,703
ninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB User
Good Impression?

Recently I encountered this issue of good impression. The person with dementia has changed. He/she is not the same anymore and is actually getting worse. The person does not know the family and talks strangely in another world.
I realize some people don't want to show this "bad impression" to outsiders or friends. This part is understandable. But is it too much to say I don't want the adult grandkids to see grandpa or grandma who is in bad shape? In order to make a good lasting impression, grandkids should not see grandma or grandpa? Since the parents are taking care of the grandparents anyway, so grandkids should be shielded from this bad impression?
Maybe it is me. I felt this is unacceptable as a family's moral or value. A family is not about good impression. Yes, the family have to learn to cope with the elders with dementia knowing what to say and what not to say. But to just block it off for good impression?

Indeed the patient would have said no I am in bad shape, don't look at me. Don't remember the bad me and etc. It is even indicated in the wish earlier before he/she got sick.
However this is not realistic because such caregiving is long-term and no way one can shut some family members out. How can you decide for the elderly that she or he can no longer enjoy their grandkids' comforting words or acts?

Isn't this a bit on the negative side? Grandma looks bad, so don't visit her??

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-24-2012 at 11:51 AM.

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post:
scorptired (09-03-2012)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: bc canada
Posts: 10
anayxx HB User
Re: Good Impression?

I know that my dad, before dementia set in would have said he doesn't want anyone to see him like this. But now that we're there, he may or not recognize us, but when I bring in my young grandson (8 months) he brightens up and will hold on to him (with help) and you can see the pleasure it gives him.
I guess you have to change with the situation as it develops...not hang on to old ideals. Just my experience. Anne

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 269
Luau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB User
Re: Good Impression?

It is an age old issue of parenting, isn't it? On the one hand, parents want to shelter their children from harm and to nurture them in a safe environment. To a certain point, that is absolutely necessary. On the other hand, kids eventually need to be exposed to the real world. After all, the world is not 100% rainbows, smileys, angels, and healthy people. So at which point to you break out of the sheltering mode and let them see the bad stuff?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ninamarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada/USA
Posts: 1,703
ninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB User
Re: Good Impression?

I understand every family has different structure and some grandkids may have a distance from the grandparents. I guess what I am asking here is, is dementia stigma?
Is it so bad that the family has to do this to "protect" kids? As adults, we all have to face the reality of the society including the family. If there is long distance so that the family cannot visit, it is fine, but the reason is not because of the impression, and should not be.

Perhaps this is a problem: the society thinks of dementia as stigma given that the patient becomes another strange demented person. However, they are just sick - just like someone who just had chemo, just like someone who broke the hip bone, just like someone who had stroke... It is the disease, not shame.
People who do this think of this as shame. I am not asking the grandkids to come down to change the adult diapers for the grandparent, but just visiting or making the elder happy if possible. Another example, the adult daughter cannot touch the elderly with dementia... I mean, the parent changed her diapers when she was little and now she could not even touch her Mom?

Family should not act this way.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-24-2012 at 07:03 PM.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
Posts: 7,136
Gabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB User
Re: Good Impression?

Each family is different, each person is different, and they all have their own way to react and deal with this disease. That being said.... Yes there is a stigma attached to dementia in many instances but there should not be a stigma. Brain disease, brain damage, is NOT something that should be hidden. You do not hide a relative with a broken leg or cancer. Why would anybody hide a loved one with a broken brain that is being eaten away by plaques and tangles rather than a cancer. They are not damaged, they have an illness. Just because they act differently doesn't mean they need to be hidden away. As bad as it can be... it is the reality of this disease.

I practice what I think. My daughter spend time with me in the long term care facility where I worked. She was there several times a week and LOVED it. We talked about the residents, what their illnesses were, and how she could help them smile. There was no stigma... just love. Now, she enjoys going to see her grandmother even though she is in the later stages of Alzheimer's. She can make Mom smile quicker than I can. She is also attached to many of the other residents. Other grand children and great grand children come to see Mom and it brightens Mom's day each time. I am sure Mom wishes they didn't have to see her this way and I wish Mom was not this way, just as the grands and great grands wish their grandmother is different.... but she is not! This is what we have been given. No stigma, no hiding... it is what it is. Unconditional love to me is loving no matter what life hands you... and that means loving through the Alzheimer's

I also volunteer for the weekly trips out for AL and the locked unit. We take them out for meals or just a quick snack. I have "explained" the disease to many stranger who have been rude or unknowing. We accept and help make their lives as pleasurable as possible... because it could be us next

Love, deb

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post:
ninamarc (08-24-2012)
Old 08-26-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: highland park, il 60035
Posts: 2,484
debbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB Userdebbie g HB User
Re: Good Impression?

i do not believe in protection. my adult children saw my mom in the nh with dementia. they just understood that was their grandmother and showed respect for her no matter what. my mom knew when they were there and the joy it brang her was incredible. the ones who stayed away were her own friends

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 67
scorptired HB Userscorptired HB User
Re: Good Impression?

I have a just turned 16 year old who is a junior in high school. She has watched her dad deteriorate and seems to be handling it well most of the times. There's a part of me that wants her to leave home for college before her father becomes too bad so she doesn't have to see it or live with it but, then again our older daughter who lives in a different state and working on a masters degree keeps reiterating that she wishes she could be home with their dad because she sees the changes in him when she comes home. I don't want them to see their dad in a bad way or remember him in the late stages of the disease. Leaning more towards letting things fall where they may and having my kids learn something from it.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2012, 09:49 AM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ninamarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada/USA
Posts: 1,703
ninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB User
Re: Good Impression?

Scorptired,

I was thinking about this issue when I was on the road for a trip.
I realized that many family members have different reactions and situations so it is not fair that we judge others for not doing what we do. Every family has different circumstance and every adult child has different situation with Mom/Dad (either relationshipwise or different values taught by the demented parent before.)

In reality, it is true that gradually most friends are not there anymore. A few friends still came to say goodbye when my late FIL moved in 2010. 2 friends remained to be in contact. When he was in his old home, at least 3 people tried to call him or see him. One guy dropped by to see him just once. So you see, naturally the friends will leave because they don't know what to do and my late FIL didn't really understand what to do. He wanted a girlfriend but the ladies could not comply with it! The guy could not come anymore because there was no conversation due to memory loss.
Same thing for familiy, if distant, they will go away gradually and the adult kids or family members may only see him once or twice or never. If you are the one that takes care of husband in very late stage in the hospital or NH or for hospice, the adult kids probably don't have to be there. Like you said, the younger one will go to college and leave.

So given such condition that the distance will happen by nature, I will say don't draw a line saying don't come or do come and etc. Let it run with the course. If the daughter wants to see her Dad at the dying moment, it is her right to do so. I still don't see why late stage will matter more. More depressing but he is sick. Just like when any elder dies, we go see the elder before he/she goes and say goodbye. What is wrong with that? It will be closure for the kids, not necessarily a bad trauma. Now he is demented and it is already traumatic for the family.

You don't have to feel that you need to think of this my way, but I think facing the music is the best way so there is no regret. Something about wanting to do the best for the sick parents, you know what I mean? But it certainly is up to you to do what you think is right. Also, they have Dad's best moment in memory. So they will always know Dad in his best impression.
Everyone has to die and we all have our worst moment. It is all about family love.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 08-29-2012 at 07:21 AM.

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post:
scorptired (09-03-2012)
Old 08-31-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 269
Luau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB UserLuau HB User
Re: Good Impression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorptired View Post
I have a just turned 16 year old who is a junior in high school. She has watched her dad deteriorate and seems to be handling it well most of the times. There's a part of me that wants her to leave home for college before her father becomes too bad so she doesn't have to see it or live with it but, then again our older daughter who lives in a different state and working on a masters degree keeps reiterating that she wishes she could be home with their dad because she sees the changes in him when she comes home. I don't want them to see their dad in a bad way or remember him in the late stages of the disease. Leaning more towards letting things fall where they may and having my kids learn something from it.
Scorptired, this is a tough call and it calls for walking a fine line. I have a 17 y.o. entering his senior year in HS, and he is watching his step-mom deteriorate into a disagreeable, combative, and self-absorbed personality. What's worse is that his own biologic mother, whom I divorced bcause of her severe drinking problem. He also watched her descend from a nurse-practictioner to currently someone working a part time job at subway. It is very, very difficult giving these kids the right perspective as well as provide them with the degree of safety they need. I can provide the unquestioning and reliable love, but I cannot shelter him from all the sh*t that life throws his way. For this he needs to be exposed in order to learn how to cope the right way. I can guide him on how to cope, but he needs the exposure. Life is never perfect, but kids need to know how to live with imperfections, to make allowances for and to accept other's imperfections, and not to be judgmental, condescending, or smug.

Last edited by Luau; 08-31-2012 at 01:43 PM.

 
Reply With Quote
The following user gives a hug of support to Luau:
scorptired (09-03-2012)
The Following User Says Thank You to Luau For This Useful Post:
scorptired (09-03-2012)
Reply Reply




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Aricept
Aspirin
Ativan
Morphine
Namenda
  Reminyl
Risperdal Seroquel
Xanax
Zoloft




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Gabriel (757), ninamarc (157), Martha H (124), meg1230 (93), angel_bear (68), jagsmu (55), Beginning (51), TC08 (44), ibake&pray (43), debbie g (37)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1165), MSJayhawk (1000), Apollo123 (898), Titchou (833), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (747), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:54 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!