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Can I ... Should I?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Sam Luvit, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Why would he bother being nice if he was not interested? :)
     
  2. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    In the world of low self esteem ... lots of reasons lol
     
  3. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    I’m so bored. Mum had her breakfast, I walked Pooch & Mum went back to bed .....

    Eldest didn’t come over, he was hungover.

    Tum Dee tum, tee tum. Mums got up in time for her care visit, so that’s going to be cook, eat, clear away & watch TV

    What an exciting life. Oh, it’s also raining just to lift my spirits.
     
  4. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

  5. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    Thanks @Slugsta There are times when I seriously wonder what I want. Mum is either vile or sickly sweet. The former is tough but familiar, while the latter is alien.

    I really hate being bored. I once had a boss who said I was dangerous when bored lol. I went off & delved into situations that most wouId leave well alone, but I was like a terrier, finding the cause & possible solutions. It wasn’t broken, it just didn’t work well & I wouId delve into why & how it might be sorted.

    I can’t mend my mum, I do know that. I keep fighting the system, to try to keep her calm, to give her dignity & some control. But my energy levels are so low, I can’t seem to focus long enough to keep on top of all the things I want to do

    I really feel I want to go do something. Anything. Nothing to do with Alzheimers. Just something that will work. Something that makes a difference. I’ve helped a stranger decorate. I’ve offered to help another stranger decorate, but she’s not well, so it’s on hold. I want to offer (so far resisting), to sort a garden. Yet I can’t pick up a pile of letters for Mum & file them. How crazy, absolutely nuts is that?
     
  6. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    3,777
    USA
    Sam, I don't think that is crazy at all, about you wanting something to do, but not wanting to sort your mum's paperwork. To me, it's perfectly understandable.

    If it is nuts, then I am nuts right along with you! (This, I fear, is entirely possible.)
     
  7. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    Yes, you are right @Amy in the US I guess it’s about wanting to do something that will make a difference, whereas nothing I do for Mum will make any difference.

    Mum wants to sort out her own clothes, I’m trying to let her, but it’s frustrating as she forgets some things. So there will be no socks, or 3 jumpers & no vest etc. This morning she surpasses herself. I’d already corrected her clothes choice so everything was there, but she’d got up this morning, taken one jumper away, then washed (???), 3 pairs of socks & a vest & put them on the radiator next to clean dry clothes. There were no dirty things in her room, as I’d taken everything downstairs ready to wash this morning.

    No wonder I’m frustrated
     
  8. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I daily thank heaven that I did not live with Mum, I am pretty sure that one of us would not have survived the week. So, I take my hat off to you, Sam, and all live-in carers!
     
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    3,777
    USA
    I'm in the same position as Slugsta. I neber was a live in carer for my mother and it's just as well, as it would have gone VERY poorly, for a long list of reasons.

    Can you let her "sort out" her clothes (perhaps into baskets or bags you give her) and then intercept them and put them back later? Sorry if this is a rubbish idea.
     
  10. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    There are times I am not optimistic of making it to the end of a day :eek:
     
  11. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    Mum wants to put out her clothes for the next day. I was doing it for her after she came out if hospital @Amy in the US, I’ve said that’s fine, but please do it after getting changed for bed

    Her clothes / PJ’s need to be ready for when the Carer arrives.

    Unfortunately she is putting PJ’s out instead of clothes & clothes as well as PJ’s, or just the wrong things. It’s driving me nuts. I try to calmly change it around, but sometimes she goes back into her room, or gets up in the middle of the night & changes it again. Just WHY???

    I went out for an hour & came back to find she’s taken a few things out of the washing machine & “hung” them on a radiator. They are crumpled, so well creased & the towel that was drying is still wet, as she took that off :oops:

    She then says I’m always cross when I come in. I wonder why. Every single time, no matter what I’ve said, she moves things around in the kitchen, leaves the milk out, pulls things out of the washing machine, turns the washing machine on with 3 things in .... etc etc etc.

    I really am trying, but she’d try the patience of a saint.... I’m no saint :D
     
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    3,777
    USA
    Oh, I thought you meant "sort out" as in "clear out her wardrobe" or similar, not get clothes ready for the next day. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    My mother also has some sort of fixation or obsession with clothes, and I've heard other people mention this, so I am sure it's the dementia. Not being able to choose the right clothes, not being able to put them on properly, and so on, is definitely the dementia--not that this fixes your situation or makes you feel better about it!

    At the risk of boring you silly, my mother was so strange about her clothes, I can't even tell you. She had not one, but two walk-in closets filled with clothes, plus wardrobes/drawers full, plus piles and piles and PILES of clothing all over her home, on the floor, on the bed, on every chair except where she sat. And yet, she somehow never had anything to wear and wore the same outfits over and over and over. And she would go shopping and buy all sorts of clothes (and other things). When I cleared her home, there were decades worth of clothing in there (it was horrifyingly funny) and I could have opened a shop. Also: at least fifty pairs of shoes, either all the same sort, or ones she hadn't worn in decades.

    In the care home, and now much more advanced in her dementia, she is still weird about clothes. She sorts them, she moves them around, she puts them in odd (to me) places, she lays them out and arranges them, she "irons" them with her hand, she takes soiled ones out of the laundry basket, it just goes on and on. Just last week she told me that she needs to go shopping as she has no clothes to wear! When we moved her there, we took way too many clothes, and she would still complain there wasn't enough. I gradually have cut down on items but her wardrobe and bureau are still stuffed, and it's never quite right for her, no matter what I do.

    This is all by way of saying that I am sure your mum is not the only one with this dementia fixation on clothes.

    Wretched dementia; I never know whether to laugh or cry. Here, have some (((hugs)))!
     
  13. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    That’s ok @Amy in the US I figured I’d not explained myself very clearly.

    Mum also has a thing about clearing out her clothes, she has emptied her 2 wardrobes & 6 large drawers more or less completely several times, giving the bags to neighbours to take to charity shops. I don’t understand why these “helpful” people don’t tell me. So it’s been a case of catching her out, replacing it all, or endless shopping trips, where she says she doesn’t need anything. Yeah right. She clears out all the things that fit, are appropriate & leaves a few skirts she will never wear, dresses she couldn’t wear & almost no underwear. It’s a blooming nightmare.

    What frustrates me, is that I put out the clothes she needs, then she puts them away & gets out other clothes, but not the right quantity. I put things she wears, she pulls out things she hates & she then moans at me about having to wear a jumper she doesn’t like!
     
  14. Margi29

    Margi29 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2016
    909
    Yorkshire
    I've actually had to start hiding mums dirty clothes in a suitcase in her room ( not put in washing basket, but have to be super quick, so she doesn't see me ) then when a wash loads ready I gather up and take to wash.
    After washing, I stick them in dryer and explain to my mum " wait till dryer stops, then ok to put away "
    Mum would frequently put on dirty clothes, it used to drive me mad. Also the amount of items that have gone to charity shops around here courtesy of mum must be astronomical :D:eek:

    The normal is for mum to say ' I'm saving that for best ' I'm afraid as time goes on at the age of 89, her best times are well and truly past.

    Blinking hate dementia x
     
  15. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    Hi @Margi29

    This taking things out of the washing,hand washing them and hanging on her radiator is a new one here. I did have to ask her last night where all her knickers have gone. There must have been 20 pairs last week, now I can only find 4 or 5???

    Mum does a charity bag, I dump it in the garage & go through it, returning some of it to her room. It does wind me up when I get told this neighbour or that one took a few bags for her. It doesn’t matter how many times I ask them not to, they seem to think Mum has the right to dump all her clothes. What the heck do they think she can wear?

    I asked Mum what she fancied for dinner, any preference, she ignored me. I went upstairs to put some washing away & came down to find her head in freezer. Still no response. I’ve asked her again. Still ignored. She’s then told me “I know you are fed up of cooking for me, so get me some ready meals & I’ll have them”

    She then says she will have soup for dinner. I can’t eat it, so that’s handy.

    Tried saying it’s not helping for her to have ready meals. I still have to cook for me, I’m just asking if she had any preferences. So I then get told I was in a foul mood all day???

    She spent the day asleep in the lounge or her room. Got the right hump about me going out for an hour & then played with her food. If anyone was in a foul mood it was her. I kept trying, asking if she wanted anything, suggested watching rubbish TV etc, but she wanted to go to bed.

    I guess me going out for an hour today is the real reason for her mood. After all, I didn’t say what I was going for, but then I thought saying I was going to talk to a counsellor about how awful she makes me feel, probably wouldn’t be such a great idea

    She hates me chatting with the carers. She hates me going out. She hates me chatting with S. she gets cross if J comes round & we go into the lounge (because Mum is watching her soap). Just can’t get it right

    I can see a very large CM on my horizon.
     
  16. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Hurrah for CM! I hope the counselling does you as much good (((hugs)))
     
  17. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    Cheers @Slugsta et al :)

    It was a first session, I should get a call in a few weeks when a slot becomes available. Then it’s up to 12 sessions. I’m supposed to explore my earlier relationship with Mum & hopefully get to a point where I can resolve how I’m feeling about all this. I feel ... a bit raw ... it’s not something I dwell on, although in recent months I’ve been thinking about it more than I have in years.

    It’s a bit like Pandora’s Box, maybe best left alone, I think it’s goung to be hard to open & even harder to shut. I do love Mum, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to hang onto the child love I wanted if I look too closely. It’s a strange place I find myself in

    He did comment that I seem to have a strong feeling of duty, that I protect everyone else, but what about me?

    Anyway, for tonight, it’s a large CM & rubbish TV

    Tomorrow I’m having my hair done, maybe that’ll make me feel better, nothing like having to sit still for 3 or 4 hours to really take my mind off everything lol
     
  18. Margi29

    Margi29 Registered User

    Oct 31, 2016
    909
    Yorkshire
    Counselling sounds like a good idea, as you said to Slugsta, it's the opening of pandora box that may be difficult to close is scary. I truly wish I'd gone after the loss of dad, took three years and I really struggled, saying to everyone ' I'm fine ' now for past two years it's easier x

    What is it with hand washing clothes ??? Perfectly good washer and dryer at mums complex!!
    At first she was always in the laundry room, now clothes soaking wet, hung around flat !!
    Maybe a possibility our mums are going back in time where they didn't have the luxury of a washer ???

    Grandchildren today, just got back from mums. She was ok. Went to bed around 12 ,then up at 5. Told her too early to get up.
    It's better than last week, I was in bed with mum asleep, rudely awoke by a slap on face!!!! I said ' what the heck
    ( put in as you think) mum said ' I didn't know who it was '

    Another idea that I've started to put in place, I've started putting clock forward by two hours, if mum is driving me to the point of screaming, I just say ' it's one in morning ' ( it's not it's eleven at night, I know it probably sounds bad lying and deceiving her, but needs must for sanity :eek: before leaving, I put clock back to right time.

    Anyhow my absolutely gorgeous grandson has woke, so time for playing :D
     
  19. Sam Luvit

    Sam Luvit Registered User

    Oct 19, 2016
    3,731
    East Sussex
    Hi @Margi29

    I’d been to counselling a couple of times, it is good to talk & being able to do it with a stranger who can never repeat it, so the people you talk about will never know, it’s such a relief, to be that honest. I think it’s going to be harder in some ways this time, I’m going to have to confront my poor relationship with Mum, then come home & carry on like it’s all ok :eek:

    You could be right about the regressing to before washing machines. It’s the taking a vest & several pairs of socks out of the laundry bag that threw me. It’s not like she was running short, she must have 20 or 30 pairs of socks in the drawer & there were still 4 vests in there. Now, if she’d washed knickers, I’d have understood, as she seems to have either thrown out most of them, or hidden them. I have looked, but no sign so far :rolleyes:

    Not the best wake up call, a slap round the chops :p I think I’d have been less than impressed. My youngest used to wake me up by pulling up a eyelid & asking “are you in there Mum”. So sweet, bless him :D

    I’ll admit to lying to Mum about the time. She tends to go up about midnight, but there are times when I’m done in, so I tell her it’s nearly midnight (around 11) & shoo her off. I can’t change the clocks, there are too many in this house :(
     
  20. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Do what you need to for your own sanity. In the grand scheme of things, changing the clocks is chickenfeed!
     

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