1. J M Wake

    J M Wake Registered User

    Aug 30, 2006
    My mum is 76 and has recently been diagnosed with dementia. I have had experience with caring for people with this disease but it is very different when it is your mum! She has been having memory problems for 2 years, lives at home with my dad, but lately she isn't recognising him as her husband. She thinks he went missing 3 weeks ago and someone else is there instead. However when i go round and say that this is my dad she is ok for a short time and then it starts all over again. She is very fit and when she gets upset by this other man she goes on a long wander and we don't always know where she is. Today she came to me 3 times I visited her 3 times, she walked to a friends house, then my sons and then went and fetched fish and chips and went home! She was upset most of the time. I phoned her at 8.30pm. She had enjoyed her fish and chips and dad was home and she was ok. Tommorrow it will all start again! My dad doesn't have patience with her and gets cross. He can't cope with her no knowing him. They have always had a stormy marriage. The phsyco- geriatrist is arranging am appointment for the memory clinic which will be in 3 months time. The GP has prescribed Promazine to calm her but it is not having much effect and i don't want her to be a zombie. My question is should we bring her back to our reality and keep telling her that this is her husband or do we enter her reality and go along with her???? It is getting quite distressing.
  2. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    Hi there

    I wish I could give you meaningful advice but I am new to this too. My husband is no where as ill as your mum but I am learning from letters like yours that I too may have to cope with it one day.

    I was desperate when I contacted TP earlier this month, the lovely, helpful people that replied to me and reading all the other problems helped me greatly.

    Best Wishes

  3. J M Wake

    J M Wake Registered User

    Aug 30, 2006
    Hello Dee

    It does help to know that so many other people are in similar situations. It also helps to have a sense of humour. My husband and I have chuckled over your husband antics tonight as we have to chuckle about my mum sometimes! Today she said she was going to buy cigarettes and lighter so that if this other chap didn't like the smoke he might go away! It is not always funny though and it is so terrible to see your parent or partner deteriorate in such a horrible way. Thanks for your reply - good luck with the motor home!
  4. tedsmum

    tedsmum Registered User

    Jun 28, 2006

    Sorry to hear the about everything you're having to cope with at the moment. It wasn't so long ago that I was in the same situation with my dad. Every day there was a new problem to cope with,endless phone calls and quite often when I came downstairs at six in the morning he would be standing outside my front door, never knocking so he could have been there all night for all I knew.Things were getting so stressful and he also saw imaginary people, at first I could talk him back to reality but the next day something else would happen and we were back to square one. All you can really do is play it by ear if your mum gets upset or angry by what you say It's probably easier to agree and try to change the subject or distract her. That seemed to work for a while but before too long he was living in a fantasy world almost all the time and it became too dangerous for him to live on his own.He's now in a mental health unit being very well cared for and no longer frightened. I hope things get better for you whatever happens and if ever you need help or just someone to listen to you, everyone on TP is so friendly and are such a support to me and many others.
    Take care

  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
  6. Whocares

    Whocares Registered User

    Mar 18, 2006

    Your Mum sounds like my Mum and your Dad sound like my Dad (read my posts) If they had not both died this past year I would have thought you were my Sister. We struggled keeping on correcting Mum and I personally believe there is no point. I would say the stranger is a friend and get your dad to go out and come back in again (if he will)
    Sometimes its like a game of lets pretend except no one likes playing it.

    My Dad was a grumpy old git but he was mine and I loved him. He was short tempered before Ma got ill so you can imagine what her illness done to him!
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    M Wake, sometimes the hardest thing is knowing what is the 'kindest', isn't it?

    Sure you will find lots of support here - including the humour we all need.....

    Sorry to not be more help just now. Just wanted to say 'welcome'.....

    Love, Karen, x
  8. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Nice to see you around again, Whocares.... and thanks for those words!!!!

    Sure I'm not the only one hearing an echo!!!!

    Loadsofluv, Karen, x
  9. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    With dementia at a certain stage, there's only one answer - you are the one with a choice - to enter her reality, or not to.

    She no longer has any other reality to go to, and bringing her back is just not an option.

    Dementia really defines the word 'patience'.

    It has been interesting for me to realise that the slowing down of self, temper, nerves, expectations that I have had to go through has actually made me a lot more tolerant of all sorts on things not related to dementia too. One has to take positives where we see they occur!
    I think this is a stage we all go through and the only practical way through is to try and empathise with her, to understand the hell she must be in, and to respond accordingly. It is a bit of a hard, and often long drawn out process!

    Good luck!
  10. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Three months wait sounds an awfuly long time to wait. When my Dad when to his GP in early December last year, we were visited by a psychiatrist from the local Mental Health Unit (which has a specialist memory unit) within a couple of weeks. This was followed up by visits by the Memory Nurse in December and January and he was started on Aricept in late January.

    Perhaps you need to go back to the GP and tell him/her how bad the confusion is - it's obviously more than just the "memory problems" - which is the most common reason people go to their Doctor in the first place.

    A lot seems to hinge on the GP; ours is an absolute marvel and seems to know how to get his patients seen by specialists in short order (same with Mum and he Parkinsons).

    If nothing else, your GP could review the medication - not everything suits everyone. For example my Dad took a very mild tranquilliser one night to help him sleep and became extremely confused and did not recognise the people around him or remember where the bedroom was.

    Are you getting any support from Social Services?

    Unfortunately, as has been said, it is unlikely that you will be able to bring your mum back to reality - so it might be better to use strategies to deal with the problems caused by your mum living in her reality.

    It is all very difficult and stressful, and I know from experience that the usual advice about "ignore the behavior" or "try not to get impatient or angry" can be almost impossible to follow.
  11. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    it is said that we can learn something new each day!
    Until I read the quote above I hadn't realised that I now have more patience,more tolerance with other things.
    I wonder if it is because we reach a point when we know that we have to accept the fact that AD is with our loved one,it it is no use kicking against it, and by becoming tolerant and patient with our loved ones, it rubs off onto other things.
    Just a thought.
    All the best
  12. sunny

    sunny Registered User

    Sep 1, 2006

    Hi, when mum was put on Promazine, did not notice much difference at first, but then it obviously took time to build up in the body and then she became a lot calmer and did not have hallucinations. I think the time period was a few weeks to take a full effect from what I remember. I hope this helps.
  13. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    It may be as Sunny said that the promazine needs time to build up or it may be that you need to try something different, either way i would suggest a visit to the GP again is no bad thing.

    My Mum was on promazine, we had exactly the same problem, but eventually she needed different medication (Haliperidol) an anti -phsychotic to manage the halucinations/delusions she was having.

    That depends, personally I tried distraction techniques. I think here it's a matter of keeping the person safe, not necessarily correcting their view of what's real or not.

    Take care
  14. Patti

    Patti Registered User

    Mar 22, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    Hi J M Wake

    Your letter described so many similarities with our situation with my mother in law. I was hoping that someone might be able to describe some options for her and my father in law. I don't want to take over your thread, but it seems so similar.

    Mum and dad are both in their late 80s, and her memory problems became much worse last year - dad had tried to keep their problems from us, but once we contacted her doctor a diagnosis of Alzheimers was made quite quickly. Dad has mobility problems; still able to walk but only just and he falls over at least once a week. He says he knows how to fall. The trouble is he often has difficulty getting back to his feet again. Mum has always been 'in charge' in the house and will not let anyone organise cleaners, allow dad to make lunch or give her her tablets.

    Lunch is usually a ready meal of some kind, heated in the oven. Often mum turns off the oven before the food is properly heated, and she produces the most amazing combinations of food. She will not allow dad to help and almost becomes violent if he tries. He is allowed to make breakfast though, because he takes it up to bed for her.

    Mum is prescribed aricept, and we have tried to ensure that she takes her tablets which come in a dosette from the chemist, but she insists on taking charge of them, sometimes losing them and certainly mixing them up. She gets very angry if dad tries to suggest she takes her tablets.

    She forgets who dad is for hours at a time and rings us up several times a day to say there is a strange mam in the house and that he needs to go to his own home. She has threatened to ring the police, although not as far as we know done so. Dad is so patient and calm with her and avoids challenging her in any way because of her angry reactions, but he is visibly getting tired and she refuses to have any help in the house except us, and we are both retired and not getting any younger. She wears the same old dress every day and spends hours 'mending' old cardigans and vests. Dad was always a very smart man but because she gets upset if he wears what she considers to be new clothes he is wearing things which should have been binned long ago. He will not go against her wishes in any way. He wants to keep her happy but she isn't and neither is he.

    What can we do?

    Thanks for any advice


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