Advise please, completely at a loss

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by BaggieBird, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. BaggieBird

    BaggieBird Registered User

    Nov 14, 2015
    5
    Hi, I'm new, so forgive me for any mistakes. My Mum has dementia, although hasn't got an assessment until 15th December. I struggle to know how to respond to the random things she says to me when I phone, she thinks people are staying in her house, including my brother, who lives in Asia, I try gently to explain that she lives on her own (with carers going in four times a day) but not sure if I should just go along with her thoughts that people live with her. Also, my father died 4 years ago and her neighbour has told me tonight that Mum went to her house this afternoon, looking for Dad, when she explained that her Dad was no longer with us, Mum was devastated as though she didn't know, should we just kept telling her gently that he has died or pretend he is out somewhere and will be back soon?
    Sorry for the rambling but typing this with tears streaming down my face.
    Any advise, much appreciated.
    Forgot to say, I live an hour away so can only visit at weekends (don't drive either)
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,713
    Female
    London
  3. henfenywfach

    henfenywfach Registered User

    May 23, 2013
    333
    rct
    Hi!

    I'm my dad's carer and your message struck a cord with me. I've been my dads carer for 6yrs and every person with a diagnosis is different.
    It one of the hardest things to be able know how to deal with.
    Basically you know your loved one best. Sometimes as a carer or neighbour you have to say what ever you have to..sympathetically and a knowledge the persons feelings.
    When it comes to loved ones no longer with us..everyone you remind them they feel the shock and grief again for the first time. That's enormous pressure for them and you.
    Look into your family history for ideas that can help. The important things is to be able to sustain the way you deal with things.

    For example if your dad was in the forces or worked away then that's where he is. If your mum's memory is where shes newly wed or a younger mum..take some ideas from there.
    If your dad would be away she might do something specific or buy something or listen to specific music.

    Obviously you ll have to take each day as it comes. Neighbours can also help. Stick to the same idea and adapt as you need to.

    It's difficult but less emotional than continous grieving.
    As you get more experience of caring for a loved one..you ll realise that you sometimes have to make a reality up.
    Listen when they talk ? be responsive and don't feel bad about having to or say things that are also probably emotional for you too.
    Maybe your neighbour and yourself could look into a dementia friends session in your respective areas.
    The information is so helpful.

    Best wishes
     
  4. BaggieBird

    BaggieBird Registered User

    Nov 14, 2015
    5
    Thank you

    Beate, Thank you so much, that was really helpful, everytime I phone Mum, I ask if she has had her lunch or dinner, out of concern for her eating enough, this is obviously the last time I'll be saying that! So informative, thank you.
     
  5. BaggieBird

    BaggieBird Registered User

    Nov 14, 2015
    5
    Thank you henfenwfach

    Brilliant idea, my Dad had his own business and worked very long hours, so I could say he's still at work and would be home soon.
    These answers have helped me so much already, it seemed wrong for me not to tell the truth but realise that my Mum is in a different place in her head and it is the truth to her.
    Thank you again
     
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    agree with everything people have said. Just wondering if a day centre might be an idea, when my mum was on her own for long periods she would dip back into the past, her lunch club kept her occupied. Just something you might want to discuss when the SW does an assessment. (sometimes better to sell it to someone as a new club where she can have lunch)
     
  7. BaggieBird

    BaggieBird Registered User

    Nov 14, 2015
    5
    Thank you Fizzie

    I will definitely look into that option, my Mum is quite shy but I noticed when she was in hospital recently, with pneumonia (this was the start of the dementia, in my mind) that she got on really well with the other patients. I haven't been in touch with Social Services yet, I'm sure they will point me in the right direction. Thanks again
     
  8. valmo

    valmo Registered User

    Oct 5, 2015
    32
    Its always best to go along with the conversation as they are experiencing that at the moment. For instance my Mum often asks where her mum or dad are, i say probably at work. Or dad is away at sea etc.

    Just lately she is asking where her baby is. Should I get her a doll? I have been reading about this. I know this is not helping you Baggiebird but thought I would pop the question in here.
     
  9. BaggieBird

    BaggieBird Registered User

    Nov 14, 2015
    5
    Thank you Valmo

    just that sentence about answering them by saying they're at work helps. Funnily enough, I visited Mum today and I felt much more at ease with dealing with the conversation, so straight away, you've all helped me thank you!
     

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