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Advice need

JessBG

New member
Jan 25, 2020
4
0
My mum was diagnosed with alzheimers about 2 and a bit years ago. She was one of those people that was on the go all day. played golf 3-4 times a week, was very social etc. Since her diagnosis she seems to have taken a back seat and literally does nothing any more, she just sits and "reads" all day. I say reads loosely as she always has at least 2-3 books on the go at anyone time and isn't really reading them. All this isn't being helped with the fact that my dad has started doing everything for her i.e. cooks all her dinners even her makes her lunch, she doesn't even make herself a cup of tea anymore. I know he's trying to "protect her" as he would put it but I can't help but think he's actually taking away her independence by not encouraging her to doing things for herself or asking her to help him prepare dinner etc. How can I encourage mum, well both of them to work together, to get mum active or semi active again?
I know covid hasn't helped but for them it's not really been an excuse, they could have gone for walks etc, they just haven't really left the house other than Dad going to the supermarket.

I work for the London Ambulance Service and I see dementia patients daily. It's hard to see patients that are further down the dementia path than mum is. and partentally where mum will be.
 

AwayWithTheFairies

Registered User
Apr 21, 2021
140
0
Well it’s good for them to be as active as possible, but I wonder, if you’re haven’t lately, maybe you should stay over a few days so you can really see the lay of the land? She might be being over indulged and understimulated, but she may also have changes that means she actually can’t really safely make cups of tea, or do other activities without agitation or knock ons to sleep disturbance etc and he is going with the flow in the best way he can.

When I take my mum shopping it takes much longer, she steps on my heels and stares immobile at displays indefinitely unless I chivvy her then she just does it again at the next one! etc which is upsetting to me. Maybe he can’t face it!

You may also be getting a dose of hostess syndrome, where the PWD can put on a show when relative phone or visit for an hour or two, but are not really able to function at that level when the visitor departs.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,516
0
South coast
Hello @JessBG and welcome to DTP
You could be describing my OH there. He does the same - sits on the sofa all day reading or scrolling through his android tablet. He is reluctant to go out and no longer does any of the things that he used to do. The problem is, though, that he is simply unable to do them. There have been times when Ive encouraged him to do things for himself, or he has suddenly decided to something himself, and got into a terrible pickle. I ended up having to sort him out and thinking ruefully to myself - well thats another thing that he can no longer do 😒

Im afraid that this is the way that dementia goes - loss of everyday skills because they can no longer remember how to do them. I doubt that your dad is overprotecting her - he has probably (like me) learned through bitter experience that she can no longer do things and he has had to take them over himself.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,468
0
Newcastle
Hi @JessBG and welcome from me too. I began to take over things when I realised that my wife was struggling. To cook the simplest of meals she wrote down times then couldn't follow them. The book that she claimed to be reading lay face down for weeks. Things that did not matter too much soon escalated to safety concerns, including heating milk in the dog's bowl, putting the electric kettle on the gas ring and so on. Her interest in walking the dog or just going out of the house was replaced by suspicion of strangers.

Yet people who weren't witness to any of this had difficulty believing that there was anything wrong with this personable and smartly dressed lady. They did not see the effort that it took for both of us to maintain a semblance of normality.

Like me, I would think that your Dad may have taken things over with a reluctant and heavy heart.
 

JessBG

New member
Jan 25, 2020
4
0
Well it’s good for them to be as active as possible, but I wonder, if you’re haven’t lately, maybe you should stay over a few days so you can really see the lay of the land? She might be being over indulged and understimulated, but she may also have changes that means she actually can’t really safely make cups of tea, or do other activities without agitation or knock ons to sleep disturbance etc and he is going with the flow in the best way he can.

When I take my mum shopping it takes much longer, she steps on my heels and stares immobile at displays indefinitely unless I chivvy her then she just does it again at the next one! etc which is upsetting to me. Maybe he can’t face it!

You may also be getting a dose of hostess syndrome, where the PWD can put on a show when relative phone or visit for an hour or two, but are not really able to function at that level when the visitor departs.
I live with them so I'm seeing everything daily. She's more than capable of doing things, she's just becoming for reliant on dad because he's doing eveything for her and he's not encouraging her to things.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,516
0
South coast
I live with them so I'm seeing everything daily. She's more than capable of doing things, she's just becoming for reliant on dad because he's doing eveything for her and he's not encouraging her to things.
How do you know that she is capable of doing things? Do you look after her when your dad is not there? If not, perhaps you could encourage him to go out and then when he is not there encourage her to do things again.