Lessening the anxieties

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,587
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #1 Linbrusco, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
    Mum with moderate AD.
    In the past 3 months, I have taken her medication box away completely, and go over morning and night with her tablets.
    I have removed her weekly calendar, as she was constantly checking and rechecking what was happening that day, that week, she now only has a white board with very simple reminders.
    I have started getting her smaller bank notes and coins, as she was getting confused about bigger notes and change.

    Her latest is dates. Mum cannot remember the day/date and has lost concept of time... ( Today, tomorrow, next week, next month.
    How do dates work, why does my phone say such and such a date.
    Its to the point where she is obsessed with days and dates.
    Dad says she is checking the phone during the night to see " what number it is", or up from 4-5am looking at the TV guide, calendar on the wall, or date on the phone.
    She has a clock beside her bed with the time, day and date... It means nothing. I thought about a dementia clock, but its the phone chnaging the date every day that shes obsessed with.

    I know some of you might say, change the phone, or take the calendar down, or take away the TV guide, but Dad is the sticking problem here. He would not adapt to a new phone either. Dad has MCI, and so very stubborn in adapting to anything for the benefit of Mum.

    Mum has a hair appointment on Jan 9th, and has an appointment card.
    I tried to remove her card, but no such luck. She is fixated on this date.
    One day she asked me 14x in an hour about when will it be Jan 9th.
    Its the first thing she asks me when she sees me, and the last think she asks me at night.

    A few days ago, her sisters came to visit for the afternoon.
    She asked me if this would interfere with her hair appointment on Jan 9th and would they be going home by then!

    I cannot wait for this hair appointment, and I will be asking the hairdresser not to give her a card in future, and will tell her only on the day.
    Very hard trying to keep a step ahead :(
     
  2. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    57
    You could have been describing my mum in your post. The gradual loss of those things like money and time have such an impact.

    We are further along now than you and mums anxieties over the time and day have lessened, they rear their ugly head every now and then but she is easier to distract. I think the white board is a great idea, and a real focus on just today.

    Mum used to obsess over attempting to count her tablets too - there were 5 at night, she was convinced we were always giving her too many and got very anxious over that.

    At Christmas mum's day centre gave her an invitation to their Christmas party on normal day care days with about 3 weeks notice. They were such stressful weeks! She had no idea when it was, was convinced she would miss it. I was so glad when the day finally came and went, I think you are right - stopping people like the hair dresser from giving appt cards is the answer.

    Really feel for you because I remember the time when the obsession on when things were happening along with the inability to take in the information we would give was exhausting. Dementia feels like a constant changing platform, never knowing what the next thing will be to solve.

    Tonight I am pondering my mums calendar. I bought her a lovely puppy one for Christmas, it has full page pictures on it. She has no knowledge of dates anymore - last years one often changed month randomly as I kept forgetting it and she didn't notice. the quandry is that I saw today mum has sellotaped it to the wall still sealed in it's packet with the back showing. Do I mention it and sort it out so she can enjoy the pictures, or leave it so that she doesn't feel like she has got it wrong and I am criticising - it's such a balancing act.
     
  3. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,587
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    All Mums Alz Activity Groups and Senior Citizen Group have closed for 4-5 weeks over Christmas & New Year.
    It has been a real struggle. Thankfully I managed to get three weeks off work, to take Mum out here and there.
    She keeps continually asking when everything will go back to normal. Another anxiety.

    Respite Care had to be booked in advance, and Emergency Respite would only be if there was an emergency.
    Day Care groups were not worth pursuing for such a short time , plus there was a cost.

    Why our Alz Activity Group has to close for 4 weeks I have no idea.
    4 weeks is a long time when it comes to Dementia & for Carers.
     
  4. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    2 weeks is too long, 4 weeks is just ridiculous!!!

    What on earth will these places do when 24/7 wrap around facilities, services and care become mandatory!!
     
  5. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Hi Lin, sorry to read your update. I don't know that I have brilliant advice for you, just commiseration. I remember this stage with my mother all too well (except then I didn't know she had dementia).

    Even now in the care home, where she is settled and thriving (relatively speaking), she still has some anxiety about dates, but especially "appointments." We can't turn up unannounced, or she gets very distressed. But we also can't give her too much notice, either, or she obsesses over it, and worries over being "ready" and so on. It is definitely a balancing act.

    I can't imagine how you cope with both your mum and your dad, not to mention 4 weeks of no activity groups (that does seem shameful).

    I think your instinct about no appointment card reminders, and only telling her about appointments on the day, is a good one.

    Livvey, good question about the calendar. If it's not doing any harm and she's not distressed about it, I would be inclined to leave it alone.
     
  6. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    1,366
    Lancashire
    My MIL is the same, She knows nothing until she needs to! My problem is other people telling her, her sister is the worst (she's 87 & lovely so I can't get mad at her) but she had the cheek to tell me sometime over Christmas that she was going to see her but she told me not to say anything because she gets flustered & anxious!! Doh!! What have I been trying to tell you for the past 3 years?
     

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