1. msh

    msh Registered User

    Jun 8, 2007
    2
    Cheshire
    Hi everyone
    I'm new to this forum though we've been living with Mum's Alzheimers for a good while now. Has anyone else experienced the thing that's bothering us at present? For a long time now the thing Mum enjoyed the most was talking about the past, people, experiences, places she'd loved over the years. Now though over the last few months as she's declined more, we've found that she just crumples emotionally and starts to weep at the mention of family members, and places she has loved. We get the feeling that it's just a reminder of what she's lost and she gets a glimpse she can't hold on to.

    Do you think that's a fanciful explanation? Anyone else been through this? We usually manage to cheer her up again, but it's disconcerting and we hate to think that we're upsetting her.
    Thanks
    msh
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Hi msh and welcome to TP

    I don't know that your explanation is any more fanciful than any other: unfortunately even with an explanation it doesn't make the experience any less unhappy.

    It possible that as the AD progresses memories that were clear (i,e, the older ones) are now starting to fade hence the distress. My mother doesn't have AD (stroke induced dementia) but her oldest memories are her clearest: later stuff doesn't distress her because to her, there IS no later stuff.

    Is it possible that your mum is depressed? I know that's sounds a stupid thing to say but simply because a person has one disease (AD) doesn't mean she can't also have another (depression). Last year after a major seizure my mother went from generally happy to weepy about everything, so anti-depressants were prescribed and they made a real difference to her. What I'm trying to say is that while recognition that one has AD would make anyone depressed, (i.e. the depression is reactive) it's possible that a lack of neuro transmitters (or whatever the appropriate phrase is) is making her depressed on top of everything else and anti-depressants (particularly the SRI's) might help with that. If that doesn't work, you're back to managing the behaviour, and I wish you luck with that: while it's possible to avoid known trigger subjects, there are going to be times when anything causes the reaction.

    Jennifer
     
  3. msh

    msh Registered User

    Jun 8, 2007
    2
    Cheshire
    Thanks, Jennifer
    The GP visited at the home and he is convinced she isn't depressed. I must say it's what we wondered too, but neither the GP or the carers at the home think it's that. It happens much more with me and my two sisters when we visit and try and "brighten her day" by talking about stuff we know she'll remember! Perhaps for the moment we'll just have to find other strategies to do the brightening. Talking about things we can see here and now is the obvious option.

    Mum did have a low dose of anti-depressants prescribed when she was first diagnosed and as happened with you, they did help, but they were stopped nine months ago, deemed no longer necessary. We'll have to keep watch and ask the GP again if we become more convinced.

    msh
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    Hello msh

    My husband has become increasingly sentimental about the past, too. He doesn`t want to visit people he feels he might not see again, gets very weepy when talking about old times and old friends, but also becomes very emotional about upsetting news items, like the little girl who has been abducted in Portugal, or any young people who have been murdered.

    He has been on anti-depressants for over two years now, but only our GP has seen this depression. Whenever he sees his consultant psychiatrist, he has always been in good spirits.

    He feels he is comimg to the end of his life, [although I believe he has a long way to go yet], complains of feeling weak, and has definitely deteriorated physically. When I think of how he was before AD was diagnosed, I don`t blame him for being weepy and feeling low.

    Is this how your mother is? If so I sympathize.

    Take care
     
  5. chip

    chip Registered User

    Jul 19, 2005
    400
    Scotland
    My husband also is very tearful now and has gone like that after his seizure as well. Nothing has been said about it to me. He isn't on any antidepressants although in his own way he says "why me" I don't no if this is him just realising there is something wrong after 5 years of him saying "i'm ok nothing wrong with me"
     
  6. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    That sounds very plausible and insightful to me msh. It also sounds absolutely heart wrenching for all concerned.

    Do photos help mum to hold on to things? or are they more upsetting? What I started to do for my dad was put together a book of memories ....... he'd kept lots of things like concert tickets, hotel invoices from holidays, school certificates, MOT certificates, all that sort of stuff. I wonder if having something solid and tangible might help?
     
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Welcome, msh ... Just read your post and so feel for you .... confess Jennifer's word 'avoid' sprang at me - as in realise that's what I've been doing without even thinking it ..... so FWIW will share this if it's of any help to you or anyone else reading ....

    I have actually felt quite shocked at my mum's lack of emotion over the past 12 months ...... (from someone who previously could always weep at the drop of a hat). I was upset last year when I first realised she seemed to have 'obliterated' my dad from her thoughts...... and was hugely anxious earlier this year when she lost her best friend of many years and a close family member. She NEVER speaks of them ....... and I never discuss them ...... I'm not sure whether she has 'forgotten' that they have died, or even lost the concept of what their death means and therefore is in some kind of 'blissful ignorance' ..... or is 'blanking' her losses ....

    With Áine there too, about some memories being more upsetting .... I thankfully have mum's wedding album and certain other very sentimental 'souvenirs' in safe keeping (which she herself wanted to be rid of) should she decide she'd like to see/have them again ..... but makes me wonder is she pushing away the distress that she IS more able than I sometimes give her credit for to recognise how life is now compared to happier times?

    Sorry if that's no earthly use at all, just to say I sympathise,

    Love, Karen, x
     
  8. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    236
    Hereford
    Thank God for emotions

    When everything else is gone all we're left with are emotions. There are no more tears, in fact I can't recall the last time I saw Jean's tears, but I'm left with expressions of what appears to be joy or sadness and wanting to cry.

    Often, it's not unlike how women cry at weddings, or at deeply rewarding emotional events.

    This morning was an example, I'd just fed her breakfast when Rod Stewart was singing "Have I told you lately that I love you", she was deeply affected and it showed. For me it was very hard to restrain the tears that clouded my eyes.

    Moments like these are very special and for me it's time for a reassuring embrace to share a moment of love.

    Since I removed her from the NH over four years ago, I found no call to give her any medication.

    Yeasterday at the super market we bumped into a girl who was a cleaner at the NH. She was surprised at how well Jean looked. I asked about six of the residents by name, whom I'd come to know well. They had all long since passed away.
    She'd left the NH two years ago which I understand is now under new management. In fact she said only two residents were still alive there from Jean's time there, when she left.

    It still upsets me to think of those sad lonley people who were at the NH. Padraig
     

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