1. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    197
    manchester, uk
    I'v just joined TP today so im a bit nervous.

    My nanna (85 year's) is in the late stages of alzheimers. I feel I just need to chat with people about it because I can't talk to the family because they are all hurting and don't seem to want to talk about what will happen.

    I have a young disabled son and had to give up work last year to care for him. We spent most of last summer at my nanna's helping her with her garden and she was fine then. As the year drew to a close we started to notice little things with her. My side of the family spent Christmas day with her which was great, I made a total fuss of my Nanna. I think in the back of my mind I knew it would be the last she'd have in her house.

    Just after New Year she took a real bad turn for the worst and the alzheimers just took over from there. She is now in a home with people who can care for her all the time. She hasn't known who I or my son are since New Year and that really hurts, but I know she still loves us.

    None of the other grandchildren go and see her anymore, they say it hurts to much but are quick to say how much they love her. My mum and Uncle try and get out of going to see her as much as they can.

    The thing that keeps me going is I know I see her as much as I can. And all the times she has picked me up when I have been down, it is my turn now to love and help care for her.

    I wrote in my diary at the begining of the year- 17/1/07 Think it's time to say goodbye to the Nanna I once knew and loved and get to know the new Nanna and continue loving her but just a little bit more.

    I still think that but would just love for her to look at me for a split second and to be able to see in her eyes the love I once saw in them.

    Sorry for going on a bit and thank you for listening. I hope you all have a good day.

    Clare
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,661
    Kent
    Hello Clare, welcome to TP.

    Is it possible that becuase of your son`s disability you are not frightened away by illness, but prefer to stay with it? Or is it because there is usually one in every family who takes on the role of chief carer?

    Whatever the reason, you are doing your best for your nanna and I hope one day, on one of your visits, you will see a look of recognition in her eyes and know it`s for you.

    But even if you don`t, none of us can say how much people with dementia see or hear, even in the final stages, and we have to presume they might see and hear more than we think.

    I hope you will feel supported by those of us on TP and we look forwards to more of your posts.

    Never feel the need to apologize for `going on a bit`. All we write helps us to get to know each other.

    Take care

    Love xx
     
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Clare, welcome to TP. Please don't feel nervous, the beauty of this forum is that we're all associated in some way with dementia, and understand how you feel.

    You're doing a great job, making sure your nanna feels loved and wanted. It's so sad to see people in care homes, desperate for somone to come and talk to them.

    Keep doing just what you are doing. Your nanna may not know your name, but I'm sure she recognises that you love her.

    Please keep posting, and let us know how you get on.
     
  4. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Clare

    What a lovely post and it echoes my sentiments exactly.

    I am my Mum's only regular visitor these days. My sibling who lives closer just cannot cope with visiting. It distresses him. He has passed this in turn onto his daughter, who although only 12 had refused to go in..but after a chat with my husband came in briefly for a visit last weekend.

    Because my Mum has been ill recently my brother has visited and has found it easier to go at the same time as me. I don't know if he will continue to go. I only hope he will because it will be too late for regrets later.

    You are showing real strength. Your Nana will appreciate it, even if she cannot show it.

    Mameeskye
     
  5. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    197
    manchester, uk
    Thank you

    For all your kind words, it is great to chat with people who are going through the same sort of thing, and not have them telling me to shut up like some of my family do.

    I have spent most of the day looking through some of the threads and have cried buckets, but at the same time felt warm in my heart at how nice the people here are.

    (((hugs))) to you all:D
     
  6. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Dear Clare,
    I would also like to welcome you to TP. I think it is great that you visit your nan and have such caring thoughts.

    I guess when it comes to the way we all think on the caring role and supportive bit, it is all seen differently by each individual.

    I see mum quite regular and my daughter sees her nearly every Saturday and I was quite shocked when one of the carers told me in conversation that there were only a handful of regular visitors that come to the home (60 residents).
    Pretty sad really, as at one time, these people were a somebody that someone cared about.

    I am glad that your nan is still special to you and your son. Regardless of her state of mind she will always be your nanna. I am sorry that some family members are not so kind to you, at least you will get support and caring thoughts here. Take Care Taffy.
     
  7. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    118
    kelowna, bc, canada
    Another newbie

    Hello

    I joined TP today too. I totally sympathise. Many people find it hard to cope with the symptoms of Alzheimers.
    I am thousands of miles away from my dad but from speaking to him on the phone I can feel the changes. We've set my parents up with a webcam so they can see our 12 year old online but he rarely gets involved.
    It is tough, but as everyone says, it's still your nanna, just as my dad is still my dad.
    Take care.
     
  8. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    This illness can not take away our love !

    Hello Clare,
    Welcome to Talking Point. I found your feelings about your Grandmother very moving. My own Grandchildren have always had a hands on Grandad. Although my husband is in the final stages they still want to visit just to let their Grandad know they still love him. In my experience, I have found that the younger generation fayre better as to dealing with the terrible illness than the older generation. My 14 year old Grandaughter puts her memories down in a diary.
    You have your own personal memories of you Grandmother and no-one can ever take them away. Your approach in learning to love the new Grandmother is such a lovely way to look at it.
    Take care, Best wishes. Christine
     
  9. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    565
    Merseyside
    Hi Clare,

    I found your thoughts on your nanna very moving.

    I quite agree with Sylvia actually that the fact you look after your son and have dealt with his health problems probably makes you that bit more resilient - my daughter has on going health problems and I find that out of our family I am much more accepting of what is happening to mum than anyone else.

    It isn't a question of who loves more it's just that some people can't face terrible things and this is one of the MOST terrible things.

    All you can continue to do is your best - and it sounds like you're doing so very well - and try to be compassionate for your family who can't do as well.

    Easier said than done I know but you are only responsible for yourself and your actions and yours are speaking for you.
     
  10. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Some people are just really bad at dealing with illness. My mum's philosophy has always been that illness is for softies and if you just ignore it it isn't happening and will go away. When I was 5 I fell and, as we later discovered, broke my arm in 2 places. My mum just told me to stop crying and as I think I may have mentioned before put Vick on my arm. :eek: (Brucie that's not advertising I am actually recommending that you DON'T put Vick on a broken arm :D ). We laugh about it now....:rolleyes:

    So if that's how some people react to physical illness, you can double (at least) that reaction for mental illness which still carries a stigma.:(

    My mum's philosophy didn't of course work with my Dad's AD and I have to say full credit to her she is coping much better now she is facing up to things, but it has not been easy.
     

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