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"I'm getting worse"

Miss A

Registered User
Oct 26, 2012
61
The South West
Today wasn't a great day for Dad, particularly this morning. When I went to visit him at home he said "I know I'm getting worse. I don't know what I'm doing half the time".

What is the best way to respond to that? I just didn't know what to say. I guess it's a good thing that he knows he's getting worse but I don't think he understands why. Has anybody reading this experienced this?

Thank you


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Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
My mum forgets she has dementia and says this too. What good does brutal honesty do. Saying "yes and it will keeo getting worse"? I just say " we all have bad days mum. I drove to eork instead of the supermarket today" then we both laugh. Reality is a bit too scary for us. Focus on whsy he can remember no matter what that is.
 

Liz57

Registered User
Dec 22, 2013
184
This is my mum's current hang up too. She has enough understanding to know she's got a problem and it's worrying her to death. She's constantly anxious about doing something wrong or getting mixed up to the extent that she's on the phone all the time checking she's either doing the right thing or saying the right thing. In her more lucid moments she's actually said she wants to go into a care home as she knows they'll look after her and tell her what to do.

It's heartbreaking but in some ways inspiring too. She brought me up to be honest and I find lying to her, even well intentioned lies, really difficult. When she seems to be getting upset, I say that I've noticed she's getting a bit more muddled but between us I'm sure we'll be OK and I'll always love her and keep an eye on her to make sure she's not getting herself into a problem. Sometimes this works and settles her, sometimes not.
 

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
8,035
Hi Miss A

It is very frightening on bad days when you just don't know what you are doing, but, for me not all days are like that. It would help me on one of those days if someone just said to me is there anything I can help you with today or do for you until you feel a bit better.

I experience it with my friend too and try to just encourage her that she does still cope quite well and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Take care
Sue:)
 

mserw647

Registered User
Feb 16, 2015
3
Wisconsin, usa
I take care of my 67 year old grandmother with dementia. She is in a later stage now but when she first got diagnosed, she would say stuff like that. It's heart breaking and all you can do is nod with agreement sometimes because it is a cruel disease. Tell your father, it's ok, we are all aging, we are all getting worse. No one is alone in this. My grandma has gotten to a point that she thinks there is nothing wrong with her anymore and she doesn't dwell on it at all. The hardest thing to do is accept what is happening. As a care taker it's always readjusting and accepting that your love one is changing and you have to learn how to provide differently for them.


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CJinUSA

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,121
eastern USA
Today wasn't a great day for Dad, particularly this morning. When I went to visit him at home he said "I know I'm getting worse. I don't know what I'm doing half the time".

What is the best way to respond to that? I just didn't know what to say. I guess it's a good thing that he knows he's getting worse but I don't think he understands why. Has anybody reading this experienced this?

Thank you


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point mobile app
I like what Sue J has suggested here and will try it in future. I do a version of that.

If my mother (in her late 90s, with a diagnosis of Alz made in 2009) gets upset, she tends to rub her head and look around. If I ask her if there is anything I can do to help her, she might say something like "O I just know I'm out of sorts and I don't know *what* to do about it. I feel so sorry for you." So I'll say something like "O, I'm sorry. It sounds like you're having a bad day. You know, we have Alzheimer's, and some days are good days and some just aren't as good, but you know, we are having a wonderful time with you here with us, and so we'll just try to have a good time together. Shall I bring you a cup of tea [ or shall we watch x now and have a few laughs, or something like this ]." My goal is to let my mother know she is so loved here with us and let her see that things might be bad, but we are here for her.

I notice that her caregiver cajoles her out of it by saying things like "O come on, you'll get better. Just look at what we did today [and she'll rattle off something]." Her approach is much more brusque than mine, but it seems to work.

I mostly want to assure my mother that she is loved, that we don't expect her to do things and she can relax and let us take a turn at caring for her because she cared for her children all those years . . . .