How do you cope?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Talking Point' started by B18, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. B18

    B18 Registered User

    Apr 16, 2017
    3
    Hi, my mother has dementia which seems to have worsened of late. She is very confused as to where she is and cannot be left alone now so cannot live at home. I have always been very emotional, and am finding it very difficult to deal with this. I am wondering how you manage to cope with the stress of seeing your loved ones like this.
     
  2. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    1,222
    Oh my dearest, I know it is hard. Of course you are finding it emotionally difficult to cope. Being emotional is fine, don't try for the stiff upper lip. You will find lots of friends here, we are all in same boat. Thank you so much for posting.
     
  3. B18

    B18 Registered User

    Apr 16, 2017
    3
    Thankyou Kindred. Trouble is I'm not able to be stiff upper lip. I'm in tears every time I visit her and afterwards. I cry too much that's the problem!
     
  4. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    806
    How do we cope with the stress. I don't know but we do somehow. A day off here and there helps but they are few and far between in my case.

    There is a danger of just becoming overwhelmed with it all, I know sometimes I get to the stage where I don't want to do anything if i get some free time. I feel like I should make the most of a free afternoon by doing something and then I find that all I have done is sat on the sofa staring into space or I sit and read Talking Point. It is such a waste. I could do some housework but that seems a bit pointless, I might iron a few items but then I get bored and go back to staring into space.

    It is easy to get depressed and shut yourself off from normal life I know I have.

    The main thing that has helped me is studying with the Open University. There are things i must do like submit a piece of work on time I think I need something structured and that is what the OU does for me. I have a loose timetable where I must read a section of a book or do some activities and that keeps me going. If I did not have deadlines I probably would not do it.

    Housework and ironing have no deadlines so I don't really give them a lot of attention.
     
  5. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    2,348
    Male
    N Ireland
    Hello @B18, welcome to posting on TP. I hope you continue to post here as the forum is a friendly, informative and supportive place.

    As others have said, these feelings you are experiencing are common to everyone here. That's one of the reasons we all understand each other. Indeed there is even an AS Factsheet about the issue and you may find a read useful. Here's a link to it https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites...downloads/carers_-_looking_after_yourself.pdf

    It may be useful to see what support is available in your area as there are often places where you can meet others dealing with dementia. You can see what's available in your area by doing a post code check if you follow this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you.

    Good luck. Please keep posting with either questions or just to vent feelings - that's why the forum exists.
     
  6. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    408
    Female
    New South Wales Australia
    Hello from me - just a note about crying - I was crying a great deal for say 4 or 5 months - but much better now - you do get more able to manage - and your loved one may settle down more -
    But make sure if you can, that there isn't another health problem happening like a Urinary Tract infection as this increases delirium and disorientation - maybe arrange a simple blood check and a urine check as soon as poss . All the best
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    6,713
    Female
    South coast
    I used to cope with visiting mum by stapling a "mask" onto my face and going in with a bright and breezy "isnt-this-all-very-nice" attitude. I found that mums mood would mirror mine, so if she realised that I was upset, she became upset too.

    It became a sort of Fake It Till You Make It exercise and I did find that it became easier with time and as she settled. Im guessing that your mum hasnt had long in her care home and probably isnt yet settled. I found mums care home quite alarming to start with and didnt know what to expect, but the mask stayed on and after a while I got to know the carers and the other residents and their families and it all became easier. I started to relax and chatted to everyone else around as well as mum and they became more like an extended family. I found a sense of humour helped too.

    Mum thrived in her care home and became content there. She made friends too, so it definitely became easier. She had 2 good years there and I was able to take her out for a few hours (got less as the dementia progressed) to a local garden centre, a cafe or I would push her wheelchair along the sea front.

    Try to hold the tears back until after you have seen her, have a good cry in the car park where she wont see you and then go and do something nice for yourself - even if its only a coffee and cake at a cafe. It will get better, I promise. ((((hugs))))
     
  8. Jezzer

    Jezzer Registered User

    Jun 12, 2016
    863
    Female
    Hello there! So glad you posted on TP it's been a Godsend to me because I've found people who truly understand how I've felt and how I'm feeling now. Mum's been in a nursing home for just over two years and I know now it was absolutely the right decision. I'm very emotional too and back then wept buckets and the "guilt" was unbearable. You see, I once promised her she would never go into a home so I beat myself to a pulp! Mum settled straight away - to my amazement. She's never asked to come home and although her condition has naturally deteriotated, she remains content and is wonderfully cared for. I hope you find a good home for your mum. It will seem strange at first but give it time - for you both. Please keep posting here and have a look around TP - there is so much helpful information here. You must look after you - just doing something you enjoy will help - a walk, a good book, anything that helps. Sending you and your mum very best wishes.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    6,713
    Female
    South coast
    This is a promise that can become impossible to keep, even with the best will in the world. Its usually made in the early stages when you have no idea what it is you are promising.There comes a time where their needs over-ride all other considerations. Get rid of the guilt - it is not your fault and what you have done is actually the very best for her.
     
  10. Jezzer

    Jezzer Registered User

    Jun 12, 2016
    863
    Female
    Thanks @canary. Fortunately that particular guilt is no longer present, particularly as mum is getting worse (after yesterday's lovely surprise, today she has a tummy upset & just wants to sleep). But, yes, back then the guilt was really bad. Loved your response to @B18 - spot on! Many Hugs.
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    6,713
    Female
    South coast
    Thank you @Jezzer and Im glad the Guilt Monster has left you alone
     
  12. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    806
    Promises yes. I promised mum that I would look after dad and here I am. If she had known I am sure she would not have asked me but I would still be here doing this anyway.

    I made my son promise that if I ever show any signs of dementia he is to get on with his own life and leave me to it.
     
  13. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Registered User

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,526
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't know if I would call it coping. In my case, I felt more like I was enduring than anything else. I had no choice, I just had to get on with things.

    For the first three months after my mother's diagnosis, I cried all the time. My co-workers would come into my office and find tears rolling silently down my face. It was one of the most difficult times of my mother's illness.
     
  14. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    1,222
    Well, sweetheart, it may not be. I have found that when I cry, people help me. It has led to the only help with this situation I have ever had. There are out of the box benefits!
     
  15. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    806
    That makes sense to me. I just grin and bear it while wanting to scream, hence I get little help or sympathy. Thing is I am past crying now.
     
  16. Jezzer

    Jezzer Registered User

    Jun 12, 2016
    863
    Female
    It's a strange thing. I posted the other day that I too was past tears yet they came yesterday but for a good reason. I think that when "that time" comes, the floodgates may open. Then perhaps the daily palpitations and sick feeling will go away. I suspect, from my past experience, there's a lot inside that will need to be released. Maybe it's the same for you? Take care of yourself and you definitely have my sympathy and, I'm sure, that of your friends here on TP. x
     
  17. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    806
    I know the sick feeling, like a big knot in the stomach along with the feeling of having just been punched every time I realise dad has just gone down a notch.

    I don't know what I would do without talking point.
     
  18. Jezzer

    Jezzer Registered User

    Jun 12, 2016
    863
    Female
    Horrible feeling isn't it? TP is priceless.
     
  19. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    1,222
    i know, I know, all sympathy. It's like we are ill all the time, too.
     
  20. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    408
    Female
    New South Wales Australia
    Great advice !! :rolleyes:
     

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