• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

Caring for mum

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
So the itchy saga rolls on...
This morning “I’m in pain”, followed by “you don’t understand “. In bed she is lying in bed moaning
Managed to get telephone appointment with doctor. It’s probably a fungal infection, she prescribed cream 4 times a day which I will have to do! Did say to doctor she was moaning in pain but that could be the Alzheimer’s. With what’s going on it’s enough to make any of us moan!!

I think when we are back to “normal” I shall get a carer in twice a week to help mum shower as she told me today she found it difficult. I don’t want to do it myself unless of course I have to, then I will, but I am looking to share the load whilst she is with us.
Thankfully non resident daughter and husband are collecting the prescription and I can rest whilst she has her nap.
I just hope she feels better soon.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
Well the itchy cream is working and she refuses the itchy tablets which is just as well.
It was with some foreboding that I started to apply the cream, but I did it (3times a day) she moans and laughs and is sad and smiles, all in the five minutes it takes me to do it.
She tells me I should have plastic gloves .....”bit of a shortage there, mum”. However I have done it. Not that bad to be honest.
Part of me thinks it’s not mum it’s just a giggly old lady who needs looking after. Maybe it’s this isolation which is changing my attitude. I’m no longer daughter, I am in charge and keeping her safe
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
Not even nine o clock and I’ve been shouted at and told to stop cleaning .All I had done was wait too long after her shower to go and put her cream on.....Oh dear
Now the cats shouting!!
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
I hate cleaning, my very lovely lady who comes in is obviously not coming!
My pet hate is bathrooms, which is particularly difficult as I have the family bathroom, cloakroom and mums en-suite to do!!
When we were first married we had the box standard 3 bed semi, then as more children arrived we had a side extension, then when mum arrived we had a loft extension. Now there’s only me, mum and my son rattling around in a large extended family home....on the positive side, there are places to hide
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
Sitting here quietly, itchy cream applied and her skin is much better.

Mulling things over in my mind....At some point does the PWD cease to be the person they were? I feel we are going down that slope. The person I knew as my mother is not there, just an elderly lady who needs help.

As I sit here I muse over the 9 months since diagnosis, we were doing well but with lockdown it’s changed. I know we are not the only ones.

I think about my sister, unable to visit since June last year as she was busy and now of course impossible. She speaks to her on the phone but she does not see the vacancy in her eyes, her inability to understand what she has been told by my sister. If/when she does see her the shock will be great, maybe best not to?

Must stop this deep thought and move on through another day.
 

Donkeyshere

Registered User
May 25, 2016
479
channel islands
Hi @Starting on a journey - I don't come on here very often as MIL is now in care home although previously TP has saved me from potentially committing murder! However I read your posts and just have to say I have been there looking after the MIL and totally get where you are coming from. It was hard when I was looking after the MIL without lock down so it must be a lot harder for everyone now isolating as a carer whilst caring on with less support. Problem with lockdown we all have more time to have deep thoughts even without being a carer.

I ended up with carers coming in once a day to help with washing/showering - it was a bit hit and miss and in the end my OH and I decided a care home would be best, not that the MIL thought the same - in fact you'd have thought we had committed murder! So now we are in a position where we cannot facetime here as there is no wifi in her room which is on lockdown. We cannot phone as she cannot remember how to use one and as we live on an island the virus has hit care homes - not the MIL's but it might.

So we are now the opposite to you not able to do much apart from send her cards but the care home say she is more confused now than when she first got there because she cant remember why we cant visit. I am looking forward to seeing her again after lockdown but I have had to prepare the OH for a further downturn.

Anyway I digress, if you can escape to the loft I suggest a few pillows up there with you that you can punch when you need a quick break! Sorry cant help much but try not to deep think too much and I dont like cleaning either and glad the itchy cream is working - funnily the MIL complained of itchy skin so we used E45 shower cream all the time which seemed to work. Keep going everyone X
 

Clumsy Blonde

New member
Mar 21, 2020
5
Thanks for this blog. The lockdown has brought so much stress for me and it’s oddly comforting to know that I’m not the only one unable to appease my mother right now. Every day she’s in tears, and upset with me for not being able to magically fix things as shops don’t have specific items stocked, and nothing is “next day” anymore. She lives for her visitors and daily trips to the village coffee shop, now she is depressed with nothing to live for. The Alzheimer’s has accelerated as she won’t engage in anything stimulating in the home. She chooses to live alone, it’s incredibly challenging to hear her crying every day and not be able to help her.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
Thank you @Donkeyshere and @Clumsy Blonde for your sympathy and encouragement. We are not alone (apparently).
My late husband built a step down to the second half of the garden, she can’t get there either!!
We are not at care home stage yet, but I am attracted to it.....for me!!
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
I have been so tired lately, yesterday was a really lazy day didn’t do much by normal standards (still quite a lot included washing, cooking, looking after mum) but a lot of rest in between.
Woke up this morning feeling so much brighter, went downstairs and then it started.... “didn’t sleep well, lights on in the house behind etc etc”.
We had this last summer and it nearly broke me....I have blinds and curtains even the windows have black paper over them. The thing is she doesn’t know what the time is when she wakes up so it could be 11pm!! (We all go to bed at 10pm son and cats included....it’s easier)
Then I look and see she’s not taken her tablets from the box today so I make a big thing of checking it’s Thursday (ok not that sure myself) and make her take them in front of me. Putting her cream on I asked her to lie on her back but she didn’t really know how to do it, did she lie on the towel? Where was the towel? I am afraid I was firm and got the job done. I know this is taking a toll on all of us and we just have to manage the best we can but I am sure that my standards are slipping
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
Now she says the semi skimmed milk is causing her to have coeliac disease and wants blue milk. I don’t have enough blue milk for her. I have coeliac disease......she scoffs bread, cakes and pasties and says she has an upset tummy so she has coeliac. I am slowly losing the will to live. I was abrupt, you are not having the blue milk it is for my son, it’s a whim of yours, there’s not enough to do two and I am not going shopping. Rant over!!
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,726
cornwall
Now she says the semi skimmed milk is causing her to have coeliac disease and wants blue milk. I don’t have enough blue milk for her. I have coeliac disease......she scoffs bread, cakes and pasties and says she has an upset tummy so she has coeliac. I am slowly losing the will to live. I was abrupt, you are not having the blue milk it is for my son, it’s a whim of yours, there’s not enough to do two and I am not going shopping. Rant over!!
I can imagine what it is like for you. When I was caring for dad full time I’m afraid I lost the will to live too. The repetitive questions then the “I cannot be bother” drove me to distraction.
I no longer full time for him as I’m afraid I had enough. He has carers in now .
I still do some caring for him.
I used to make sure he was shaved and clean clothes etc. He says he isn’t going anywhere. So why bother.
I do insist that I change him if he has dirty clothes but if he doesn’t want to shave then so be it.
When I adapted a different approach I found it was less stressful for me.
I tried “compassionate communication “with him. But he has always done what he wants so if he wants to sit there unshaven so be it..
I hope today improves for you.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
@TNJJ at 4:30 my son and I changed the mattress on her bed for the old one. She pulled out a sheet to go on but as it was flat rather than fitted, didn’t know how to make the bed. That was an eye opener to me indicating how far she is deteriorating . She wanted her bed changed again, only did it Tuesday but my son helped me and then brought me a cup of tea. Oh bless. Poor mum is quite confused today but she knows she is confused which makes it worse for her.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,726
cornwall
@TNJJ at 4:30 my son and I changed the mattress on her bed for the old one. She pulled out a sheet to go on but as it was flat rather than fitted, didn’t know how to make the bed. That was an eye opener to me indicating how far she is deteriorating . She wanted her bed changed again, only did it Tuesday but my son helped me and then brought me a cup of tea. Oh bless. Poor mum is quite confused today but she knows she is confused which makes it worse for her.
Yes this “fluctuating capacity “ doesn’t help . I’m not sure which is worse sometimes.
I’m sorry about your mum.It can be so difficult sometimes to know what to do for the best.
I hope your mum got some rest and hopefully some peace as very often the confusion causes distress.
I hope you had a reasonable day after changing the mattress. Your son sounds like a trooper helping you with the bed.. How are you???
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,624
Yorkshire
My mum struggles with bed changing I've been helping for ages but she thinks she does it all until its time to do it and she gets in a right muddle. She was changing it and cleaning same things every couple of days last year because she forgot she'd done it but now rarely thinks to do any and gets annoyed when I prompt or offer to do it so keeping her house clean is a bit of a battle. Its a hard thing to get my head round as she was always so clean and very vocal about people who weren't. Its definately a big indicator of how much she has deteriorated in her thinking and memory.
On the blue milk front, maybe a silly thought, but while she is fixated on it could you change bottle top on bottles or save a blue one when you empty it wash it and put her green milk in so when you get her milk out it looks like blue milk too? Maybe you could just put a little mark on it or a little cut in label so you know its not really blue so you don't use it.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
@TNJJ fluctuating capacity ....never thought about that. Mum manages most things with an awful lot of support. For example she feeds the cats, I usually check their lunch because they have soup rather than meat, eye off the ball yesterday, and they had their tea at lunchtime!

@annielou ... sneaky but a good idea. I can buy a small bottle of blue milk on Tuesday and give it to her then. We have a click and collect from Asda today so that she can have some of her favourites and I can get some gluten free extras that I like. Just seen they haven’t got the fresh cream tarts ....understandable but glad I didn’t tell mum
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
What a day!! Couldn’t get into the car, nightmare, daughter picked groceries up from Asda, then computer nerd daughter (beautiful and blonde) came over and opened car and started it!!
Took mum out for a little ride in the car, she decided to open the door to let a little more air in.....only problem is we were moving!! Child locks on in future!!
 

annielou

Registered User
Sep 27, 2019
1,624
Yorkshire
What a day!! Couldn’t get into the car, nightmare, daughter picked groceries up from Asda, then computer nerd daughter (beautiful and blonde) came over and opened car and started it!!
Took mum out for a little ride in the car, she decided to open the door to let a little more air in.....only problem is we were moving!! Child locks on in future!!
😱😳 omg bet that was a scare. Hope you both ok after it. Defo child locks on in future, not something I’d have thought of x
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
Just had a call from the shielding helpline to chase us as we hadn’t been in contact!! I explained we hadn’t had a letter but had taken the initiative to shield mum owing to her medical needs. They were sorry about the letter but very happy we were sorted. Mum had to speak to the lady to give them permission to talk to me....she told the nice lady about her itchy back!!
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
399
After daughter braved the chemist to get more itchy cream (don’t sit near the fire it’s flammable). Mum decides no more of that thanks and steals grandsons itchy cream.
Well it’s an off the shelf product, Vaseline lotion and it is really soothing her skin. For the last three weeks or so she has had red blotched skin, after three days of applying this it’s a pink blotch and she’s sleeping.
Her confusion is less but with it she is more demanding and said she was going to kill the isolation helpline lady if she rang again!!! Oh joy.....time for herbal tea on the patio behind the garage where she can’t find me!!