1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October 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.

  1. jen54

    jen54 Registered User

    May 20, 2014
    #1 jen54, Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
    feeling really down today, it just seems you think you have gotten through to mum, and then it turns out you actually haven't -
    after mum saying how achy she has been , and how she always needs me to help change the bed, and then saying the blankets were so heavy, I got her a duvet, she seemed to remember I had got it as she said on my next visit that it was snuggly and would be easier to keep the bed made
    today my sister was up there and the duvet is now hanging over the bannister, mum saying it is too bulky with all the blankets on as well and she didn't need it - I had folded all her blankets up and put them in her spare bedroom, and she seemed to understand the blankets were not needed.
    also we are having a huge problem with cat litter, having to shovel it off the garden into the bin(I have bought some wheelie bin bags to try to make it easier, but mum doesn't remember anything we try to tell her, throws away any notes we put up etc , mum is throwing it in a huge pile all over the garden near the bins, it looks as if she is also throwing it down as poo is in the shrub branches:(, saying it is good for the garden, she never used to do this- she put it in bags and in the bin, so we can't get our heads around why she has changed her behaviour - each visit, we say she must put it in bags(we took up a huge load and put them I her kitchen for it) but when we go back, she has thrown tons more, and poo onto the garden and is totally surprised you can put it in bags(we cant quite see how she is doing this now if using bags was always her normal behaviour for years and years) and now she is throwing it onto the lawn - it is so depressing as both dad and mum were keen gardeners and their garden was so lovely, now it is a health risk, I keep telling mum we must get the piles gone by summer or it will smell- but nothing sinks in
    just finding it so hard when obviously poor mum isn't remembering anything and anything we try to make things easier for her just aren't working
  2. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    Unfortunately, behaviour changes are part and parcel of the disease. My Mum is like yours and cannot remember anything much that we tell her about how to do things. Her behaviours and personality are now totally opposite of the way she was before the dementia kicked in. When I try to make things easier for her I'm just accused of criticising and interfering. So, being heartily sick and tired of the constant arguments that ensue when I try to do anything different to make her life better or easier, the SW has advised me that, unless Mum is actually doing something dangerous, then I should just let her get on with it and not interfere in any way. So that's what I suggest you do. I know it's a pain,but perhaps you could just quietly clear up the mess she's made with the cat litter. Could you perhaps put a bin by her back door for her to put it all in - perhaps she'd throwing it on the lawn because she can't be bothered to go to the dustbin? As to the duvet - can you perhaps take all the blankets away with you - then she'd have to use it?
    Good luck, and I hope you can find solutions to these problems.
  3. skaface

    skaface Registered User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Hugs Jen xox

    I struggle with this as well - Social Services came round on Wednesday with a high density cushion to help her get in and out of her low armchair. I fitted it, went round yesterday and it had been taken off and was acting as a side table for her.

    Every time I go round I turn the heating on because she's turned it off. When the place is warmed up I put it on the timer. When I leave, she switches the heating off again. This worries me, thankfully we've had a mild winter, but her place is still like an ice box.

    All her rubbish is squirrelled away in various places around her bungalow which makes bin day fun.

    Like your parents, my mum was a keen gardener but now it's a jungle - I hate gardening and I'll have to get someone in to do it before the summer and before the neighbours start complaining to the council.

    She had a visit from a Social Worker yesterday who has put a care package together for her which involves someone checking her heating is on, which will take a load off my mind.

    As you say, you try to make life easier for them and then they don't carry it on.
  4. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    I understand the frustration. My mum is still sometimes fine 'in the moment' and can follow a conversation and react as if she understands, but of course minutes later it's as if it never happened, so any agreements or arrangements are meaningless.

    When she was still living at home she started thinking that her boiler and her loo were broken. I tried explaining and showing her that they weren't, and she'd be delighted to see them working and maybe a bit puzzled why they didn't for her. Next day, back to being 'broken'. I got a plumber in and she was delighted to have both checked and working. Next day, back to being 'broken'. This went on and on and nothing changed, and it wasn't even that she couldn't physically flush or didn't know where the on switch was for the boiler, she just 'knew' that both weren't working and she 'knew' that she mustn't even attempt to use them. So she was cold and went to the toilet either in pans or in the garden. It was one of the triggers for residential care.
  5. jen54

    jen54 Registered User

    May 20, 2014
    #5 jen54, Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
    thanks, yup - we try not to interfere as a norm, as mum doesn't feel anything is wrong and is quite strong willed.as you said about your mum, .so we have to do things gently gently ie waiting till she was actually grumbling about blankets and asking if she wanted to try a duvet- but of course she wont recall grumbling about blankets, and having never had a duvet in her life it was a big change I suppose, so no loss, just fold it up and put in her spare room..with the slippers I got her as she was falling off her feathery wedge ones and saying she had sore feet.."she will try them when she is older" I was told "I am not into old ladies slippers yet" and she only wears heels :( she has a bad leg, think her hip joint is going, but talk of drs is a no no, when I say about appointment, its "It only started today" and she says she would rather die than see the dr..which I keep telling her is a bit of a hasty thing to say.
    - it is so difficult when the person hasn't a clue they are forgetting so much or is doing things that aren't a great idea- I think I should have taken the blankets with me, as she probably came across them while "pottering" during the evenings and remade the bed, adding them with the duvet that she probably thought was another eiderdown,
    as for cat litter, we have tried all sorts :( various bins of different colours, sizes..with bold letters on saying cat litter all have gone unnoticed :( either moved from outside her back door as untidy or just ignored
    it is very hard as there is a small flight of steps down to the bins which are behind a low wall and a little gate, which dad built when he parked his car at the side-the wall and gate aren't needed now and have become an obstacle in getting to the bins, but the path inside is so narrow and the garden is such..the bins wont go anywhere else....BUT too late for touching that, mum didn't like the idea to put them outside her back door was broached, and she was right, they are big and would take up all the room there- and for sure she would try to get them down the steps back to where they have always been if we moved them :( as it is she just cannot grasp what goes in which bin so I just fish out the wrong stuff when taking them out for the collections

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