Glad Holidays are over!

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by mot, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. mot

    mot Registered User

    May 4, 2016
    73
    USA
    Hello TP Friends,
    Am so glad to have Christmas and New Year's behind me!!! Christmas was very hard. First one to celebrate since my mom went into memory care. (Dementia) Relatives all come to my house, which I normally love.

    To cook a wonderful meal for and share time with family is normally a "gift" for me, which I have - in the past - found so rewarding. This year was different.

    Mom didn't even know it was Christmas Day. I picked her up and brought her to my house, but she was asking to go back as soon as she had eaten lunch. Upon arriving back at memory care, she asked why we were stopping there. When I told her that was where she lived, she was shocked - became anxious, begging my brother and I not to leave her.

    It was torture.

    The social worker at the memory care facility suggested I consider coming to have lunch with mom on Holidays. That's difficult to do as it would eliminate family time. Don't really know what I will do in the future.

    What have you done during Christmas or other holidays? It may help me re-think or re-plan how we celebrate to hear how others handle holidays.

    Happy New Near!!!

    Mot
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,847
    Kent
    I'm also glad the holiday season is over.

    By now I'm used to being on my own but all I've done , apart from one lovely family day is sit, read, watch television and DVDs and eat.

    I'll be so glad when my groups and classes resume next week and some structure will return to my life.
     
  3. Leeds

    Leeds Registered User

    Sep 20, 2015
    119
    Happy new year to you and your family. My dad has Vd and in a care home, last year we brought him to our house for Christmas Day with the whole family, big mistake. Too much for Jim , stayed in bed all day and night and was desperate to get back to the care home on Boxing Day. He had only been in the care home for 6 weeks at the time. This year we decided to leave him at the home and visit on Christmas Day to drop pressies off. He got involved with all of the celebrations and appeared to enjoy himself. Will definitely do the same next year. Leedsx
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,773
    Female
    South coast
    This year OH and I went to stay with our son, DIL and grandson for Christmas. They are about 400 miles away, so I couldnt visit mum in her CH on Christmas Day and went a couple of days later. This year Mum had no concept of it being Christmas and couldnt understand about presents - even when given to her unwrapped and she just had to remove them from a sparkly bag. Her friend and I took her out of her care home back to her friends home. Her friend had cooked a special meal for us all, but after a couple of hours Mum got anxious so we took her back. This isnt the Christmas I would have wanted for her, but it is all she can cope with now.
     
  5. irismary

    irismary Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    499
    West Midlands
    My husband found Christmas odd. He is still at home with me but hadn't got a clue when I gave him his presents. I was poorly so we stayed home - had planned to go to brothers house. He didn't like some of the decorations either so glad to get them down. Mom also has Alzheimer's and she seemed to find it exhausting but she is 93. I was sad that I wasn't with her in case its her last (she is very frail now) but she's forgotten already that I wasn't there. She loved her presents though!
     
  6. Georgina63

    Georgina63 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2014
    954
    This Christmas was the first for my folks being in a care home. Last Christmas they came to us and it was already confusing for them. This year I tried to think of it more as just being another day for them. We visited on Christmas Eve and took presents (also confusing) and stayed for lunch. My sister visited them on Christans day. It was strange and sad not being with them, but also as it was the first year I was able to spend the day with just my OH and kids it was also quite stress free. Gx
     
  7. Lorna44

    Lorna44 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2016
    179
    Female
    Surrey
    This Christmas was the 1st in the 14 years since my dad died that it was just me, my OH and my 2 boys, mum's Dementia has caused problems for the last few Christmases. She's now in a nursing home and wasn't well enough to leave. It was a really chilled and relaxed time without the worries of mum. Feel guilty for enjoying it though. X

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Talking Point mobile app
     
  8. Murper1

    Murper1 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
    123
    After a dreadful year of losing family members (FIL to pancreatic cancer on Christmas morning last year and my Father to a mesenteric ischaemia in June - both ghastly ends to super people), this Christmas was always going to be quiet and strange. Mum, who has dementia, is now living with me. Luckily I had read the posts on TP and AS so toned down all our expectations. I did put on various Christmas CDs for her most mornings leading up to Christmas Day, which she enjoyed (the signs were that she stopped her repetitive noise and occasionally made a sound which I took to be her singing along :). So, the actual day.... I brought her in to the lounge to join OH, teenagers and me for present opening. There was an acceptance and a slight glimmer of understanding which was nice. Then took her back to her room until Christmas Dinner where she had a version of the main course (mashed potato, mashed swede, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce) and a glass of red (actually red grape juice!) then she joined us at the table for pudding, pulling crackers, telling jokes etc before I took her back to her room to watch a DVD of White Christmas. All things considered we all had a really nice day and I think Mum was not phased by it even if she didn't really get it!

    Then came Boxing Day when Mum rolled over the side of her chair resulting in a whole day in A&E. But that's another story !
     
  9. Princess t

    Princess t Registered User

    Mar 15, 2016
    184
    Spent Christmas Eve at moms with my family. Other members popped in before us. It was nice. Then Christmas Day we brought her to our house.....she hadn't been out of her place in weeks and she found it very difficult leaving her house. She had to check and re check everything then getting her over the threshold and down two steps took two of us as she was clinging onto her door frame and wouldn't let go! We nearly took her back in her house. Finally will difficulty got her into the car and to my house. It used to be her house years ago and she didnt recognise it. My two children were so exited to have her here also dog!! Mom seemed to have a nice day but by 330 wanted to go home. So more trauma getting her back to hers. When there she didn't recognise her house. I wanted to stay with her and open her presents make her tea but she wouldn't let us. She said it would be her last trip out of her house. I do think she had a nice day after the shock of leaving her place but it was way too much for her. Boxing Day she opened her presents and kept saying she would be dead before she had time to wear or eat the things she had. Bearing in mind she's a chocaholic and constantly asks for new clothes as hers are too big!! It's very sad to think she may never go out into the sunshine or visit us.
     
  10. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,898
    Female
    Scotland
    My 81 year old sister in law has already announced she will come to me for Christmas 2017! Once a year a niece has her for dinner and an overnight stay but is going abroad next Christmas (to get a break from SIL?).

    I told her immediately that was not possible as I too would be going away. She arrives empty handed and always has done, eats and drinks all she can, takes any presents she is given but never gives any then pushes off to watch her own TV.

    Unless the Christmas spirit haunts me beforehand I will buy her a micro meal - she refuses to cook as it makes her kitchen smell- and I will go off to my daughter as planned.
     
  11. Trini

    Trini Registered User

    Dec 7, 2015
    39
    I was dreading Christmas Day as OH and SIL had agreed between them (without consulting me) that we would take MIL with VD to SIL' s house as it may be her last Christmas. She is really difficult to move as she is totally immobile these days so getting her to/from/in/out of a car would have been incredibly difficult and stressful. She has no idea it was Christmas. Thankfully I took a call from SIL on Christmas Eve and told her my views. We agreed not to move her. We went to see her for a couple of hours on Christmas Day and SIL went on Boxing Day. Much better plan. We gave her presents but she did not really seem to know why. She did not recognise one of my sons but seemed to recognise the other possibly. I am not even sure she knows where she is these days. Her carer certainly thinks she does not always know she is at home. It certainly would have served no purpose at all to move her on Christmas Day.
     
  12. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,289
    SW London
    Once my mother was in her care home we would just make a short visit in the morning, with her presents. By then TBH she never had a clue that it was Christmas anyway, despite all the lovely decorations in the home, and never really showed any interest in presents, either.

    I didn't feel remotely bad about not bringing her home, since I know she'd just have been agitated and confused. Previously, with my FiL who had dementia, we had ignored the care home's advice (to leave him in his safe routine) and brought him to our house that first Christmas for a couple of days, thinking he'd enjoy it, since he always had before. It was a bad mistake. He was confused and worried/fretful for much of the time.
    We knew better next time.
     
  13. mot

    mot Registered User

    May 4, 2016
    73
    USA
    Wonderful reading how you all managed or enjoyed (or not) the Holidays. Thank you so much for sharing with me!!!!!

    I have a tendency to feel that I am alone in this. None of my friends are going through it. They listen and try to offer verbal support, which I AM so grateful for!!!! But, unless you have walked in another's shoes, you really, truly do NOT understand.

    It is comforting to read all your posts. I feel a connection here. I feel understood here. You all may be in the UK and I in the States, but somehow we are all family.

    The Christmas holidays were always a special time for my mom. Both my dad, and then my step-dad, were ministers. We celebrated and treasured this special time. There were family traditions that I have tried to keep. This was the first year we did NOT - and it was because mom really didn't even know it was Christmas.

    Like someone else posted, there were beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere, music, gifts, etc., and yet mom didn't really understand. So sad to watch this and realize that it will only get worse.

    I have taken and applied advice received here and am grateful for those who are willing to share their experience and knowledge.

    May you all be blessed in this, our new year together!!!! Let's just keep going....

    Mot
     
  14. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
    876
    Good Lord,81 years old and planning next Christmas already!Madness
     
  15. ferniegirl

    ferniegirl Registered User

    May 10, 2015
    54
    Surrey, UK




    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  16. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,289
    SW London
    I don't know about 'madness' - she was cunningly hoping to pin the OP down before she could say she'd made other plans.
    Luckily the OP was prepared, and not caught on the hop!
     
  17. ferniegirl

    ferniegirl Registered User

    May 10, 2015
    54
    Surrey, UK
    Hi mot

    I know how you feel. This was the second Xmas our family have had with our 91 year old mum being in a dementia home. Last year I felt dreadful. I felt we were abandoning mum on Xmas day. I wracked my brains thinking of how it would work if mum could join us for Xmas lunch, without it being upsetting and traumatic for the rest of us and sadly came to the conclusion that it just couldn't be done. I cooked dinner for everyone feeling guilty and sad, thinking of her in the home, with a paper hat on her head, not having any of her family with her. What makes everything worse is that my dad, aged 100 and quite well although frail, is also in care an hour from her but we cannot bring him to visit her as a) he doesn't want to and b) she gets upset and distressed and bullies him. Mum and dad have been married 71 years and it is tragic that they are now apart. A few years ago we would have never dreamed in a million years that this would be the case and we are so sad.

    Anyway, this year I felt differently; I've sort of reached a place of acceptance. My mum, like yours, had no idea it was Xmas so did not know she was being 'left out' of things. If I had dragged her out if the home in the hope she would have a nice time it would have been so wrong. She would have been scared and confused. She wouldn't remember my house and although she knows me she has started to forget two of my siblings and my daughters so she wouldn't have felt comforted by being with family AND it would have ruined Xmas day for everyone else.

    So we visited mum on Xmas eve, took her chocs and flowers (she loses or breaks anything else), she had no idea what was going on and I realised that not having her on Xmas day was exactly the right thing to do for everyone and we had a lovely day.

    So hard I know but you did the right thing and I hope you feel stronger next year. Big hugs,

    Fernie




    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  18. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,898
    Female
    Scotland
    Because my SIL is handicapped by deafness she has perfected manipulation as a way of making her life smoother - and it works. However it places limitations on the tolerance of others. One sister in law threw her out with a packed suitcase, another had a stroke before sending her to us, I promptly arranged a sheltered flat for her and it has been a great success. She still does as little as she can get away with but knows I am a tougher nut to crack! Families, families.
     
  19. Murper1

    Murper1 Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
    123
    I feel the same way as you in feeling alone and trying to work out things as I go along. TP is brilliant and I read the posts often.
     

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