At a loss to how to support Dad as Mum’s Alzheimer’s progresses ever more quickly

MusicFi

New member
Dec 11, 2023
1
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Mum (76y) received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s 2 years ago, a year after memory clinic said there was a problem but it wasn’t Alzheimer’s. I first noticed signs, and voiced concerns, to Dad in 2016, but he must have noticed things before then as that wasn’t a surprise.

She’s had a carer one afternoon a week since early last year, after her brother stayed with mum and dad and voiced his concerns about Dad needing time off. Over the past 6 months or so Dad has been voicing concerns that the speed of change has ramped up, and that there’s less stability between downward turns, specifically as regards personal and self-care. Mum’s consistently resisted the idea of additional carers to support Dad with her personal care. Dad told me a few weeks ago that he’d “glimpsed sight of his wits end” more often recently, at which point and to his great relief my brother and I started researching and visiting care homes on his behalf, just to get an idea of what the options might be when the time comes.

However he is planning a period of respite for her next month to allow him time to recover from a minor op. We’ve tried to broach this subject with mum along the lines of “a holiday”, with surprisingly little response or reaction. And visited the care home of choice for a meal, again with surprisingly little reaction, to the point of no recollection the following day of having been anywhere for a meal the day before. When I spoke more directly yesterday about her having a holiday coming up while dad has his op Mum seemed very accepting of it, although wasn’t sure kind of place it was.

Today though Dad’s said she’s been “all at sea” for the past few days and not really with it, and today has snatched up her handbag and dashed out of the house, apparently to visit me.

We’re at a bit of a loss as to how to support both Mum and Dad. How do you support this new phase of trying to leave the house? How do you know when is the “right” time to go into a home? Why aren’t there more resources out there to signpost to appropriate services for different scenarios? Why is it all so hard and such a struggle??

Thank you for reading so far. And for any suggestions or words of wisdom you might have.
 
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SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,482
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@MusicFi , you have voiced the cry of so many carers “ why is it such a struggle.
Many on here have faced exactly what you are going through and so I hope they will respond with words of advice.
The time to go into residential care is tricky and quite individual but the following link may help.
It does sound like your mums short term memory has reduced greatly and so she won’t remember a visit yesterday but will remember something from years ago. There would be no point in trying to remind her about the respite care and you have done a lot to preparing her so fingers crossed. That said, she might be “all at sea” because she knows something is happening but can’t pin point what.
Leaving the house is very common too , sometimes it is to “go home” or visit someone who is long passed. Coming to see you is probably something she would have done and so she is just acting according to the time frame she is living in. Another link for you but this may help your dad
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-s...care/understanding-supporting-person-dementia.
It is very much about accepting what is and not trying to get her to revert back to who she was.
There is also carers support put there , try looking at
and there is info on the Alzheimer’s Society website as well.
There is not a huge amount of readily available profession help out there but there is a wealth of knowledge and experience on here for you to tap into so please just ask.
 
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