• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Blowing air and so many oddities!

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
56
Morning all,

I seem to be switching between knowing what to expect when I visit my mum, to be being shocked at her deterioration and then back to "OMG, she can talk again"!

There are a couple of things that we have picked up on, I know there are so many different phases and things that dementia patients do and it changes from one person to the next.

But......she does this blowing thing, like she is blowing on a cup of tea or hot food!? Has anyone else noticed there loved ones do this? She also licks her finger like she is going to turn the page of a book. Yesterday, she thought the tea towel on her lap was a book.

I am think of getting her a fidget blanket, has anyone had any success with one of these? Or is it just another thing for them to throw on the floor.

You might tell from my tone that I have had enough today, sorry if I sound abrupt. Could actually do with a good swear and scream :mad::(

Thanks

Jxx
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
380
Mid Lincs
I go into the garage where he can't hear me scream. My OH blows on his food sometimes, even cold cereals at breakfast, he also blows as if cooling things when he's asleep and always picks up and hands me imaginary fluff. I tend to take no notice, as long as he's not in pain or anxious.
Not tried a fidget blanket, but he will sort things out. He will pair socks for me, fold tea towels, sort out different coloured things or different size of screws. I've just discovered he will spend the day colouring too, something I never expected him to try.
 

Woohoo

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
722
South East
Yes yes yes @JoannePat , thank goodness someone else has that (sorry) . My mum does it as soon as she get up every day and hundreds of times during the day , she also wipes her brow like she is hot and rubs her hands together as if they are cold . I presume they are just quirky things that people do. Most days I take no notice but others it just makes me go arghhhh. Also she laughs at everything , I lost my wedding ring , she laughed , I shut my fingers in the door ..... she laughed , many many other situations she laughs , I just try and see it as a coping mechanism as she doesn’t know what to say , very frustrating though .
 

silver'lantern

Registered User
Apr 23, 2019
166
yes blowing is happening here too. Also exaggerated sighing/huffing and puffing .. He also sucks his lips in somehow, in and out sucking like a dummy, on his lips. and tapping/clicking his toes/shoes all little things that seem soothing maybe some comfort. but very annoying lol
 

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
56
Phew! Love that we are all in the Blowing Gang! haha

What a relief when we realise that we are not alone. Yes, @Woohoo my mum does the laughing thing too. Or just completely ignores me.

@silver'lantern the different quirks they all have are strange aren't they/ i just wish we could getinto their heads and know what they are thinking - or do I? o_O
 

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
56
@RosettaT What a good idea, getting your OH to sort things! Probably better than a fidget blanket! Unfortunately my mum has lost her motor skills due to a stroke, so the most we get is licking a finger or rolling her t shirt. And of course the blowing!
 

Woohoo

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
722
South East
I’m pleased there is a gang o_O makes me feel less alone . I too get ignored a lot and the huffing and puffing . Thank goodness for Tp .
 

millalm

Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
63
My Mum and I may be a little farther along the road by the sound of it. She has been in a nursing home for 2 years 8 months, lived with me for a year before that, and in a nice retirement home for a year before that. I think she has had mixed dementia for at least 8 years, the last 5 years have been a constant downward progression. I visit everyday for 4-5 hours, feed her dinner and get her ready for bed.

We went through the blowing stage while she still had most of her speech which has now been replaced with constant humming of 3 songs, Galway Bay, Oh My Darlin Clementine and a hymn which we believe is Alleluia to Saints (?) . Initially they were one at a time, then a mash up of all three. Every minute she was awake! Over the last 3 months many days it is just uh uh uh to the tune(s) which now seem to exist only inside her head. Now there is a lot of silence, apart from some sounds she is making with her tongue that are like hooves clippity clopping and some random words shouted. 'not quite, he wants to have it , have you seen Lynne ( I am Lynne), come on come let's go, and the heart breaking 'will you stay here?' She is now blinking rapidly, staring right at me, and I wonder if she is trying to use that as an SOS to tell me she is still there, (silly I know).

As annoying as the blowing will be, there will most likely be many variations of the strange and unexplainable behaviours you will witness on this journey. With everything I have gone through in the last 5 years I can tell you that the silence is the worst of all. So try and find some humour if you can, yesterday I found myself singing Bippity Boppity Boo into my Mum's ear because that's what her sounds were like and she turned her head to listen and she laughed!!( She rarely shows any facial expression so this is huge!) So, then I chattered about Cinderella and the Fairy Godmothers and she sat with a smile on her face for some time and that made it a better day than most! So maybe you could try blowing too :)

When it gets to the point where you want to scream, and nothing else is working, just take a deep breath and walk away, as far as it takes to get out of earshot, and give yourself permission to be angry, upset, frustrated then take another deep breath and get back to it! We are all members of a club no one in their right mind (a little dark humour ) would choose to join, but it is comforting to know there are others going through the same trial.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,045
No blowing yet, although I wish mum would, she doesn't seem to have any realisation between hot and cold, so hot drinks we put a drop of cold water in to cool it.
My daughter made mum a lovely fidget blanket for a Christmas present for Grandma last year - complete waste of time, nothing compares to folding tissues!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,393
South coast
I made mum a fiddle rug that had the dual purpose of going over her knees to keep them warm and also something to fiddle with. She loved it and took it everywhere with her, so you could give it a try. Make sure that anything stitched on is very firmly attached.
 

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
56
I might try the fiddle rug/blanket and see how she gets on with it! Seeing her on Thursday, so lets see how the blowing is!