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Old 08-17-2008, 04:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: London Uk
Posts: 1
sanmuso HB User
Exclamation advise

Hello there. My mother's 69 years old and has Alzheimer's as of 10 years ago. At the moment she is having quite a decline and is getting extremely frustrated with the realisation of her situation. The depression, that naturally goes with this illness, is getting to quite a worrying stage.
We've done all we can insofar as giving her love and support. I think that we've reached a point, that whatever we say to her, provides her with no solace. My step-father, who is the prime carer, is brilliant with her. He's patient and loving is always looking into new ways to make her feel better about herself.
I think that we've all reached an impasse as she is just so frustrated with herself, that everything we do or say, doesn't help. She's often spoken of killing herself so that we don't have to have her as a burden.
Can anyone suggest what we could do. We've got all the books and read all of the articles, but we are finding ourselves unable to give her solace with her frustration. She keeps on saying that she's no better than a rag. Has anyone been to support groups, for example? If you have, where are they? We live in the West London area and they have a cottage in Dorset. I've been looking at the web for months and just can't find anything appropriate. There's not really anything that we can do, as it is her self worth that is the problem.

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Old 08-17-2008, 06:50 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY
Posts: 514
sunnydaze1 HB User
Re: advise

I certainly can understand how frustrating it is for you and your mom. My mom has been in a nursing home for a little more than six months. She doesn't realize what is actully happening to her, but I think she knows something is not quite right.

Lately when I visit, she's been extremely down and expresses her worries....about what school to send the kids to etc.; (her kids are in their 50's) so you can understand that her mind is living in the past.

Yesterday I brought over a photo album of mainly pictures of me and my husband and our firstborn son. The pictures are 26 years old now, but mom took delight in seeing them and was saying what a cute baby he they were recent pictures.

I've found if I can distract her somehow and get her mind off of herself, she seems to settle down and not be so wrapped up in worries. Unfortunately, mom takes no part in any of the activities offered in the facility. She becomes terribly agitated when I've tried to include her on something as simple as doing some crafts like acrylic paints, or anything that promotes some socialization.

Her days are spent sitting in a chair with an alarm pad by the nurses station. She's not allowed to walk w/o assistance now.

How I wish I had the answer for you. Maybe, like I said; if you can get her interested in something to take her mind of of herself, even if it's a few minutes a day, it might help.

Best of luck.

Old 08-17-2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
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Re: advise

Welcome to the board San!!!

My Mom is in much the same mind set as your Mom. As hard as we try her mind set returns to the same as you explained in your e-mail. I do understand your frustration but truly don't know if there is anything that can be done beyond what you have already done. Things you say are often misunderstood or quickly forgotten in the ALZ mind. They are in their own world of reality that has no resemblance to ours. No matter what we tell Mom she goes right back to the thought pattern that is now in her head. Many times she refuses to do the very thing that might make her feel better as well.

ALZ not only works on the memory centers but also the portions of the brain that help us make choices and help us process information, not to mention the centers that help us control impulses and feel good about ourself. So not being able to remember adequately, making inappropriate choices, not understanding the world around us, and not being able to control impulses all combine. Then there is the inability maintain focus or to shift focus when necessary. It all adds up to frustration for you Mom.... and that is what you are seeing.

There are medications that will help with the depression and aggitation without zonking your Mom out but it won't fix the underlying brain malfunctions. They are worth a try. It make take several tries to hit on the right combination and dosage.

When Mom and Dad (Mom has ALZ and Dad vascular dementia) first moved to AL it helped Mom. The pressures she felt at home to maintain a level of competancy were just too much. Initially in AL she gained enough of her independence back to help. Now.... we are back where we were with her before she moved. Yet, my thinking is a little further along and I realize now that I can't fix what is scrambled in her head. All we can do is the best we can do with where she is at the moment and know that this too will pass for something different. At least in AL they are well cared for and somebody is there 24-7 to watch over them.

So just keep doing what you are doing, see if there is medication that will help, and hope this disease decides to change course for your Mom. Keep typing here. There are great people here that have been in your situation and I am sure will have advice as well. It is also a great place to vent and realize you are not the only one out there with the same problems. I will keep you, your Mom and Dad, in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, deb

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