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    Old 05-24-2005, 02:11 AM   #1
    angel_bear
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    Post Deterioration

    DH and I were just discussing today's fiasco .. and started comparing some of MIL's behaviours and skills from a few months ago to today.

    A few months ago, money, although not fully understood, was tidy. Notes went in the purse in this section. Coins went in the purse in this section.

    Now? Everything get's chucked into the handbag. Coins are no longer considered viable tender. Too hard to figure it out.

    A few months ago, she knew behind/in front or back/front.

    Now? You have to point and say the word. Otherwise she could end up anywhere.

    A few months ago, she could do his/her laundry without a problem.

    Now? She's hand washing stuff because the machine is broken (it's not) and putting it in the dryer (but not turning the dryer ON)

    Now this is only a matter of MONTHS we've found a few things .. what HAVENT' we seen worries me!!

    Have you guys noticed anything with your charges? Did the cooler weather make them worse (you get winter before us LOL). I know illness creates further issues, but I didn't think a yucky eye would signify (oh .. talking of eyes, she lost the doctor drops, bought Visine and the eye is still icky .. she tells everybody she found the drops, but she's talking about the Visine !!! THEY don't realise that bit *sigh*)

    Just me trying to track things ...

    Hugs
    Sally

     
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    Old 05-24-2005, 02:32 AM   #2
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    Re: Deterioration

    Regardless of the season, I also see slow but steady deterioration. Half a year ago we often saw Mom's normal face: bright eyed and eager and interested. Now it's that blank look most of the time, with occasional exceptions.

    Some things she no longer does, or no longer can do -
    flush the toilet
    wash dishes
    comb her hair
    dress according to the weather
    eat if not told
    brush teeth if not told
    give an appropriate response to anything you say
    remember her Aide's name
    know a stranger from a neighbor: Mom greets everyone as an old friend

    It is hard, it is getting harder.

    Love to all caregivers!!

    M

    Last edited by Martha H; 05-24-2005 at 02:33 AM.

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 06:43 AM   #3
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    Re: Deterioration

    Hi Sally,

    My little Mom also thought her washer was broken, in fact had family, friends, and neighbors come in to work on it. The washer, too, worked without problems if you just pushed the buttons in the correct order. She forgot how to make coffee, then forgot to drink it if it was made for her. It was most difficult when she forgot up/down, day/night, you/me, and other basics of communication.

    It's all so sad.

    Sending hugs - Barbara

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 07:03 AM   #4
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    Re: Deterioration

    My hubby has deteriorated so much in just the last year. This is really selfish but I miss him being able to drive. He loved to run errands, something I hate, so it was so perfect, he would do the bank, the dry cleaners, groceries, and I would get stuff done around the house. Now he cannot even take the garbage out, without me, that happened about 4 months ago, he took the garbage cans out and I went out to get the mail a few hours later and there were no garbage cans at our curb--turns out he had gifted each of our neighbors with our garbage cans--thank goodness they were at work and did not know--tooo funny. Hey you gotta laugh.

     
    Old 05-24-2005, 03:49 PM   #5
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    Re: Deterioration

    I think the seasons do affect people. It's been proven that people with depression have a tougher time in winter. I recently read that researchers think it has something to do with the lack of daylight in the winter. I believe that's true. Even people without depression are more likely to become depressed in the winter.

    That said, I believe the seasons can and do affect people with all kinds of dementia. Dad has been in a totally unusual good mood the past few days. We've had the doors and windows open all day to let the fresh air in. It still gets ing the 40's at night. There is one thing I've been doing different. Even though it's been cold at night, I've been leaving one window open. That's the only thing I've been doing different the past few days and I just thought of that. Hmmmmm...(((scratching head and raising eyebrow)))...deep in thought I am I am.....see the smoke??? LOL

    Btw, dad was a miserable [email protected]$$ most of the winter....and into spring....

    But alas.....a good mood....for however long it lasts....

    Love, Barb
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    Old 05-24-2005, 11:59 PM   #6
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    Re: Deterioration

    I agree about winter depression. getting OUT, no matter how cold, is the answer. Having to go to work every day - waiting at bus stops in - 11 degree temperatures, is in the long run GOOD.

    BUT, Spring has not brought any change in Mom - unless change for the worse. Yesterday she came out of the bathroom and said "I wanted to wash my hair, but there's no hot water. I let it run a long time but it didn't get warm." I checked. The HOT faucet produced hot water. She must have let the cold faucet run and run .. I got it to a nice hair washing temperature and she did go about washing her own hair. But it's just one more small step downhill.

    Bill's computer is kaputt. He tieed to delete a virus, and it lost everything. All his files all his information. When he turns it on, he gets a message "there are no programs to be accessed."

    Luckily they have a spare one up in the cabin and will bring it down after this weekend, and when I go, he will take this golden oldie up there ... so we will all be connected, so important! I miss having him an email away right now, although he is certainly fast asleep!

    If we had a washing machine I am sure Mom could not run it. She stopped takng washing out to the laundromat about a year before I came here, (too heavy to get a metal shopping cart with wash in it down the stairs and to the nearby Laundromat.) Bill and Anna used to pick it up once a week, and she hand washed a lot of things.

    I wonder which capabiity will 'go' next.

    I was thinking of how much I am going to miss my mother and then realized that I miss her that much already, there is little of her left.

    Love,

    Martha

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 01:08 AM   #7
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    Re: Deterioration

    Today (in between fiasco's) .. I noticed MIL having trouble closing the car door. This is when we were leaving FIL. She was using the opening handle to close the door.

    Well, now, that just doesn't work !!

    She had NO idea!! Then again, last week she couldn't figure out the seatbelt, this week she can (in full light only however) ...

    Next??

    Hugs
    Sally

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 06:49 AM   #8
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    Re: Deterioration

    Hi all. My mom has had dementia for five years (following heart surgery, and then worsening with meds), and has declined steadily since.

    The first thing I noticed coming home from the hospital was her struggle to find words. A year later she had trouble working any type of gadget and forgot how to cook (this happened suddenly after being put on a new heart med).

    It seems as though there's something new every day. Yesterday for the first time she couldn't remember how many sons she had (but then, they are most definitely forgettable, lol). I have to be careful not to ask her a question on the phone for she'll immediately drop the phone and start rushing around her apartment searching, talking to me from wherever she is and panic because I'm not answering (meanwhile I'm calling "MOTHER!" into the phone). The phone/answering machine are a huge source of confusion (it's a one-button photo phone, yet even that is becoming too hard for her many days).

    Everything gets rearranged to odd places daily. Yesterday she was standing over the sink and putting dirty dishes/silverware into the drain basket without running any water. If I try to wash them, she's deeply offended, so the drawers and cupboards are mixed with clean and dirty. Ack! She'll retrieve dirty paper plates or containers from the garbage that I've thrown out and put them in the cupboard. The new ones I buy end up in odd places unused--she doesn't like them.

    Seems like there's something new every day.
    Love my mom, and you good people too for sharing your experiences.

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 12:48 PM   #9
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    Re: Deterioration

    Dear Glenna. what a pretty name! Welcome to this place. No one is here voluntarily, but we have all found it somehow, and are able to support each other. This Board is my Support Group, since I have no time to go out to attend one.

    I am sorry your Mom is also a dementia patient like mine, like Sally's MIL, like Barb's father, Linda's husband and so many many others here ..

    We are all caregivers. For shorter or for longer. My stint has almost run out, since I am being relieved by my B and SIL in about 3 weeks to go on with my own life, after 5 + years of Momcare ..only for 2 of them was she beginning to be 'confused' and now so obviously has dementia.

    She is going off for a weekend with my B and SIL and dog (a Siberian Husky, Sam) for 3 days, to return on Monday and continue going to her Senior center on Tuesday...but today she told her Aide, Esther, "I am coming back on Wednesday and will not go back to the center until Thursday." WRONG! I am glad Esther asked me once more ..we had said she should come in on Tuesday, but she half believed Mom.

    Mom can sound so convincing and so sure of herself. It is scary ..even my own sister is not convinced she has Alzheimers.

    Glenna,welcome and feel free to ask questions, rant or rave, complain, cry or laugh with the rest of us. humor gets me through some bad days. faith gets me through others. Help form other family members is essential and I hope you have siblings who are willing and able to help you ..if not YELL at them until they do!!!

    Love,

    Martha

    PS interesting that your Mom also started getting dementia after heart trouble and heart meds. My Mom was on 6 prescription driugs starting in May of 2003 after an episode of heart failure/lung edema. The Dr took her off the statin after she developed leg cramps, and showed strong signs of memory loss. But she is still on an ACE inhibitor,a beta blocker, full aspirin, a diuretic, a heart stimulant, and an acid reducer to keep her from getting an upset stomach from all of the above. I wonder if heart drugs CAUSE dementia. Anyone know of any research on this??

    Last edited by Martha H; 05-25-2005 at 01:02 PM. Reason: typing, add PS

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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    Re: Deterioration

    My dad takes some of that stuff too. He had congestive heart failure several years ago. It makes sense though. I mean if your heart isn't pumping blood effectively, there is loss of oxygen to the body including the brain. Could it be that sometimes the heart is working better than other times causing this better/worse/better/worse scenerio we all have seen with our charges? Hmmm...

    Btw Glenna, welcome! So sorry you have to be here but glad that you are. These ladies have helped me tremendously. I think you'll be glad you came here. There's a lot of information here and good old friendship. We vent, joke, laugh and sometimes even cry. It's safe here.

    Sally, My dad and I both have cars with electric windows. No matter which car we're in, he always confuses the window button and the lock button. Never fails. He can sit there 15 minutes and never figure it out.

    Dad went to the bank today. I told him a couple of days ago that he couldn't take any money out so he waited till I went to do my errands and off her went. He wrote a check a few weeks ago and didn't write who it was to or the amount it was for. So now I have to go to the bank and fix all of this. He got an overdraft notice in the mail a couple of days ago. That's when I told him not to withdraw anything. Did he listen or remember? Nawww....

    Love, Barb
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    Old 05-25-2005, 02:55 PM   #11
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    Re: Deterioration

    Mom is also completely financially incompetent. If she has anything more than a few single dollars on her, it disappears. It is hard for her to believe we have to limit her daily spending money for her own good.

    I will be so relieved when she goes to stay with Bill and Anna ... she is alone too much here; and even being with HHA's is not the optimal care, as I found out when that sub came on Friday ... the agency seems not to train or control the personnel that well...

    Bill told me this morning that Mom is now at about the stage his MIL was in when she moved to Florida ..about 2 yrs before her death. Her son couldn't deal with her at all,(his denial of how sick she was went out the window when she moved into his house!!!) and soon put her in a nursing hme ... where she broke a hip twice. The 2nd fracture happened when she got up in the middle of the night after her hip operation. She did not remember she was not supposed to get out of bed. Broke it again.

    She was in a very highly recommended nursing home in Florida. Good care, clean, no smells. I think one of the reasons Mom is invited to live with them is to make up for the guilt they feel for taking S to live with her son. GUILT .. is the disease of caregivers...

    We need the strength to put our own needs somewhere on the list ..not LAST!

    M

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 03:01 PM   #12
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    Re: Deterioration

    It's so FRUSTRATING when we try and help them and they go out of their way to thwart us. They think they're so clever when they've gotten away with something, but don't realise the impact they have upon THEMSELVES when they go off on a tangent.

    UGH .. I get so ANGRY with MIL (not at her, just about her) because We (me) aren't TRYING to control her, just trying to minimise the impact ....

    Like the bank. She's fixated on the Bank again. This happens regularly, then she'll stop for a few months, and then she'll start again. I think she's forgotten about the big investment money since she hasn't seen any mail from them for a long time now. (I love having a post box LOL). I'm now trying to pull her regular bank statement into the po box ...

    I feel so sorry for the people who come across MIL when she hasn't got one of us with her (gestulating wildy behind her as a means of sign language) because she LOOKS so NORMAL !! Then she opens her mouth and the babble comes out, and you can see their faces going "What the .........?". Funny in some aspects really .... chuckle.

    MIL & FIL's car has electric windows in the front only. She doesn't even TRY and open them. She was quite intrigued yesterday with the opening handle, because it's got a little lock on it too .. and she said "What's that?" and I said "the lock" and she said "bling bling 2, 2, 3" and I went "yeah, righto". She kept trying to close the door with the open handle. I said "pull it with the one below" .. so she looked at the top of the window. ARRRRGHHHH ......!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ended up reaching over and doing it for her, and she looked like she'd never seen the door before!!!

    Gotta go and push kiddies into getting ready for school ...

    Hugs
    Sally

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 03:16 PM   #13
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    Re: Deterioration

    Sally, It seems so strange your day is just beginning and mine is near a close. It's 5:01pm here when you posted. So I have to think when you say get the kids off to school "oh yeah, she's half way around the world". And I think my dad's losing it? LOL!!!

    Love, Barb
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    Old 05-25-2005, 04:47 PM   #14
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    Re: Deterioration

    Hmm .. well, I'm still ready for bed .. LOL it's now 9.45am here ...

    DH is home, he'll be doing the hospital run today... time for me to catch up on some housework, laundry and THEN the fortnightly food shop. It will be interesting to see if my food bill drops now that there is only 6 of us I have to feed ... 7 was a pain, because I would HAVE to buy 2 of everything and then have leftovers (that she couldn't heat up) and I don't have the storage here (fridge seal is broken .. fridge not happy).

    Oh geeeeeeeeeez, if it's not one thing it's another eh?

    Hugs
    Sally
    (Who is home most of the day, and will keep wandering over to the computer *that is happy at the moment* to check for more messages)

     
    Old 05-25-2005, 05:38 PM   #15
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    Re: Deterioration

    Hi there! I've been checking in quite often today too.

    Dad wasn't hungry tonight, son is working and dh is out with friends. So I had leftover tuna salad for dinner and then I made some blueberry muffins. Dad got hungry really fast when he smelled those! I'm trying to use up all the stuff that's been in the cupboard for a while. I swear every time I think of that word, I will think of you, Sally, at the bank...LOL!!!

    The dogs are barking so I'd better see what's going on.

    One poodle (Susie) and one Jack Russell/Toy Fox Terrier mix (my baby Nipsy). Both yappers....sheeezzzz......

    Oh and a big fat guinea pig named Sammy....

    Love, Barb
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