Learning to live "in the moment"

Heavy shop

Registered User
Nov 30, 2014
1
Hello out there. What a strange feeling, to be writing my thoughts, airing my concerns
and (hopefully) little triumphs. Mum in law, 87, the best Mum in law you could wish for,
diagnosed with Alzheimer's after what I now understand to be common symptoms, hiding stuff, accusing family of taking money, treasured possessions etc. The consultant said that in view of her age, it's likely the disease will progress very slowly.

Luckily her two sons, daughters in law, 3 grown grandchildren all live in the same village.
All work, except me, (I'm 64 and 3quarters).

Right, I thought. Google Alzheimers and see what comes up. Aaaaarrrggghh. So here I am, at last, having come up for air, so to speak. It's taken me 2 years and a nasty chest infection to actually sit down and work out this forum thing.

Mum still lives in her own bungalow with her elderly cat, Jenny. Basically she still can laugh at herself, see the funny side of things, watch TV for 5 minutes before falling asleep. On good days we are great mates again, though really these times are just windows in her day now as most of the time she is a bit confused, disorientated and
Slightly frustrated, especially with her eldest son (my husband!) She recently caught a cold and a cough too (it started minutes after the Physiciatric Practitioner left the building
( typical) It was scary how quickly the Alzheimer's symptoms worsened. For 6 months or so she's been asking occasionally if she can go home. Her description of that home varied but often her parents or her sister (who is still living in the village at 95) Now since the cold it's every day, sun downing and sunupping and sometimes in between.

We've looked at care homes and have one favourite but they have no vacancies. Four days a week she goes to a wonderful (private) memory place. She calls it Happy Land.
I'm round there every day with bucket loads of encouragement but I just don't know how to answer her on the phone when she's pleading with me to take her back to her own home. Any ideas, anyone? Xx
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,389
Kent
Hello Heavy Shop

What a pity it`s taken you so long to navigate this site. Anyway better late than never so welcome.

It sounds as if you and your family are doing really well in caring for your mother in law. Waiting for a bed in a care home is a little bit sensitive but I hope a bed becomes available soon.

Re the `going home` symptom, you are in good company. There are so many of us who have experienced this and we all have, or had in my case, different ways of managing it.

When my husband wanted to go home , in the early stages of dementia, he went. He walked out and I had to follow him at a distance to keep him safe. Once he lost mobility and was in residential care, I would tell him it was too late, too dark, too wet, too windy, too cold, anything which was applicable to the time and the season.

I`m sure you will get lots of other replies and ways of managing . It really is a case of trial and error.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
My mother went through a long phase of wanting to go home to her long dead parents - the house did not even exist any more. I would tell her, yes, maybe we could go tomorrow when the roads aren't so busy/icy; there's been a bad accident on that road so not just now but maybe tomorrow?; my car's being serviced today but maybe tomorrow? etc. etc. - I had a whole repertoire of 'love lies' and they all kept her reasonably satisfied for the moment. She never remembered that I'd said much the same before. Maybe something similar would work for you?
 

Loj

Registered User
Nov 22, 2015
7
Going home

Hello Heavy Shop,

Welcome to TP. "Going home" is a recurring theme with my mum. She often asks about or even demands to be taken "home". We found this very hard to deal with to being with because explaining that she was already home simply served to upset her - because that did not correspond to her "reality" at the time. I think its also important to bear in mind that "home" may not be a physical location - it may simply be a feeling of safety and security. Therefore asking to go home may simply be a way of expressing that she feels lost or anxious, or is overtired and can no longer cope with events during that particular day. We have gradually become better at managing these incidents and what seems to reassure Mum best is to assure her that we can talk about the different options in the morning ("going home" usually happens during "sundowning")and that the best thing for her to do now is to go to bed and get some rest. I hope this is of some help to you.
loj
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Hi there
Welcome to TP
What a grand job you and your family are doing and I love the 'happy place' - we need more of those for sure.
Yes 'going home' - I agree with the others, distraction and encouragement are the only way through really - too dark at the moment, or i've got to collect the keys in the morning and we'll go together, or 'we planned to go in the morning, I'll be there to collect you'....... whatever works. It is more difficult to do over the phone to be honest - my mum lived a few seconds away and when she did that I would pop round - I found i could be more convincing in person than on the phone.

keep posting xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

banger696

Registered User
Sep 17, 2015
225
North East
I get the home thing at teatime which is around sundown. But I found love lies didnt work for me because she WOULD remember them. I once told her that the other dog, that she had imagined, was upstairs, but 4 hours later when she went upstairs I was a big liar and what had I done with the other dog, sold him or something?

Amisulpride has been the key for me it has helped mum no end and I can now explain to her that she is in her own house and she has no where else to go other than a hotel which makes her laugh. I know I have mentioned this in other threads but it really has helped with the handling of mum although I am still learning about the diesease and its effect on mum.

Tim