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Comprehending and other questions


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Old 12-05-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
bearcubs
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Comprehending and other questions

My mom is having a harder time now understanding day to day things. Sometimes she knows I'm her daughter and other days I'm her sister. Yesterday someone asked me in front of her "do you have any brothers or sisters", I said no and my mom heard this and said what do you mean because she thinks I'm her sister. Then I said, oh I got confused "of course I have brothers and sisters" (just to satisfy her) then I said your my sister and she said "what else would I be". Should I go along with her saying I'm her sister or should I tell her I'm her daughter and then she really gets confused and says "how can that be". It is so hard to know what to say.

When Christmas comes my mom will be upset because she didn't get me a gift. Last year she said "how embarassing". What can I say to her when I give her a gift this year (a sweater) and she says something like this again. I find it more and more difficult to decide on what to get her for Christmas because most things you can think of she won't use.

Something has come up. There is a girl whose mother use to live in the same nursing home as my mom and she passed away last Friday. My problem is that the daughter never came to help me out with my mother when I needed her (for example when it was time for me to go home). Also I asked her to come to the "fourth floor" to visit with us and her mom was on the "3rd floor". She never came to visit or help me out. Her mom didn't have Alzheimers and it wasn't easy for me to go visit it her on the 3rd floor with my mom because my mom doesn't like going to visit other people because of the disease. Plus this girl would complain about the nursing home to me and be on the phone crying. So I told her to visit with me at the nursing home so I wouldn't have to deal with her and she didn't come to see me with my mom. She also asked me to go for coffee and I told her I don't want to be talking about the nursing home and to come and visit us. But she didn't. Now that her mother passed away, she hasn't phoned me yet to tell me (I found out from someone who works at the home) What I would like to know is if she calls me to go the service, I don't want to go and when the service is over and she phones me to go for coffee, I don't want to go then either because she wasn't there for me and I don't want to listen to her going on. Do you have any ideas what to say if she calls me about going to the service or asks me to go for coffee later.

Thank you any ideas would be welcomed and thank you for listening.

Hugs

bearcubs

 
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:01 PM   #2
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Bearcubs you did exactly right when you agreed with your Mom that you were her sister. In her mind, that is what she believes. It is her reality. Take your lead from her and just agree with her. First rule of care giving... do NOT argue with your loved one!! As you have seen telling her that she is wrong only makes her angry. It does no harm by agreeing with her reality but it will make her angry if you tell her she is wrong. If it was reversed and you knew you were right, only to be told you were wrong, how would you feel?

As for Christmas, she may or may not even think of giving you a present. There will be a time when that will happen. But to just be on the safe side, considering what happened last year, bring two gifts. One for her and one for you Then thank her for the one you opened. I doubt she will say she didn't do it! You can even wrap up something you already have and give it to yourself... she will be thrilled!

As for the other girl, don't worry about her at all. You run into people in the nursing home when their loved one is there but I doubt you will hear from her now that she has no reason to come to the nursing home. I don't think she will call asking you to go to the services at this point. Most just depend on the nursing home grape vine to get the message spread. If she calls later, just tell her you are busy. Be polite but say no if that is what you want to do.

You are doing good

Love, deb

 
Old 12-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Deb,

Thank you for replying to my post. Your ideas always help me when I don't know what to do. You are a such a loving and caring person. May God Bless You Abundantly.

Love Elaine

 
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Deb has good answers.
You know what we did? We never tried to pretend my husband was not the son. When my late FIL thought he was not his son, we gently said he is his son. So he got happy with it. Later on, he thought of his son as his colleague. Somehow he didn't mind if we told him that. He was happy about it. He forgot his first son and when he was told that he is his son, he asked what to do with him.
It depends on the patient. My late FIL was not that upset if we said they are his sons. For him, the sons were his colleagues anyway.

If you can tell Mom gently that your are her daughter, it is good. If she gets upset, forget it and play as a sister. Just do anything to soothe her. It seems for her having a sister is important.

In a nursing home, I don't expect that other families help us or we help them. The caregivers and directors are helping the families. There was a family support group but we didn't have time and we were too far to go back again.
Please don't consider this kind of family chat serious. It is not the girl's fault. It is her personality. She may be surprised that you think she didn't support you. It is random to me that the family members can just come up and talk about it. We never had time to stay long for that.

Take care,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 12-09-2013 at 09:32 AM.

 
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Hi Deb,

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and Santa was good to you. In your post you suggested to have a gift wrapped up and to say my mom gave it to me. This is what my hubby and I did. He wrapped up a pair of slippers and I wrapped a sweater that I had in the closet and we opened them and thanked her for it. She didn't say anything just smiled and seemed happy. Thank you so much for this idea. I'm really happy it worked out. She seemed to enjoy Christmas in the moment but when we were having dinner we said to her that we were happy she was here with us on Christmas Day and she said "it isn't Christmas" and we told her it was and that it was December 25th. For some reason, she keeps thinking it is July or August and wonders why we are having snow. We have to keep reminding her what time of the year it is. She kept saying "you're pulling my leg". By the time we took her home I think she forgot about it being Christmas Day. But "in the moment" she enjoyed herself. It was really hard on me, trying to be happy for her but inside my heart was aching while she was at our house and when we took her home and when I went to bed I just kept crying just knowing she doesn't really understand Christmas too much anymore. She has forgotten the name for the Christmas Tree and the angel on top. My mom was calling the angel "a girl" on top of the tree. After a while she wanted us to turn the Christmas lights off on the tree. It was bittersweet as the saying goes. Oh well, we did what we could to make her happy. That is all we can do.

Take care and love, all the Best in 2014!!!

Thank you so much for all your ideas!!

Big Hugs!!!!!!

Elaine

 
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Elaine, go with the moment. That moment when she was happy, embrace it. Also know that those moments do not last. Each moment is a new moment. At the point she no longer believed it was Christmas, let it be. She no more believed your statement that it was December 25th than you believed that it was July! Just let it go and enjoy the meal. By insisting that she enter your reality, you are telling her that her reality is wrong and that only causes anxiety. Yes, they do lose their ability to relate to time. Dates are arbitrary concepts that your mother has lost. Words will disappear. That does not mean that they can not enjoy and be content. It only means they don't know what we call thing. As for the Christmas Tree, I am not surprised she wanted it turned off. To us it is beautiful, to her it is confusing. My Dad always thought the tree was on fire.

What I am saying is don't get wrapped up in her knowing what we know. If she forgot it was Christmas... that is ok. If she doesn't know it is winter... that is ok. If she can't remember what the angel is called... it's ok. What is important is that she is safe, loved, and content. It is the moment you share that are important, not the date. You made her smile and that was enough. Yes, you did all you could to make her happy and that is all you can do. Let her live in her reality because that is what she knows and where she can be content. Trying to bring her into our "normal" is for us and not her. So wipe your tears because you did well

Love, deb

 
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Deb helps a lot. Happy New Year, Deb and all!
Bearcub, my husband doesn't recognize me most of the time, defensive, combative, sees and hears a lot of things that are not there. I have found the easiest way to deal with all of it is to try and go along with the moment and distract when you need to with treats or something they enjoy such as a tender massage or a read from a poem or book.

 
Old 01-03-2014, 09:02 AM   #8
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Re: Comprehending and other questions

Happy New Year and thank you Scorp Treats... YEP! No matter how anxious or upset my Dad got, no matter what was going on, I could always make life ok with a big bowl of butter pecan ice cream. For a really bad moment, the container and a spoon worked

Love, deb

 
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