Mum is looking for her little girls -

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Keely, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Keely

    Keely Registered User

    Aug 6, 2007
    95
    I am sad exhausted and on the verge of tears. One day mum was her usual forgetful and muddled self when I visited her in her small dementia unit which has carers day and night but is classed as supported living. A couple of days later she had a stroke/TIA but quickly regained the use of her right side but her cognitive ability has deteriorated dramatically. She no longer seems able to recognise me and my sisters and has had absolutely horrendous episodes of sobbing, distraught looking for her little girls and the one that is dying and sick. My youngest sister has a chronic debilitating illness from a childhood brain tumour and has had significant periods when she has been close to death as a child. The unit rang me late evening to come as they could not console her. (I live 40 mins away) by the time I got there she was just exhausted though not crying just in a very bad mood and very unset about my sister. It took me endless rounds of the rosary to calm her down - she joined in and said the words. I then spent time just cuddeling her in bed until she settled. When we agreed to mum transfering to the unit we were told that they do their best to keep people there to end of life and reassured that only one resident in 8 years had to leave the unit for violent behaviour and basically unless a residents behaviour significantly impacts on others residents stay. Mums distress must have impact on others and in the last 2 months 3 residents have gone to nursing homes. Any suggestions re: how do I handle mum - when she is so distress and does not understand it is her daughter that is trying to comfort her? Also what can I do re this issue that despite being initially told that only one resident in 8 years has had to leave the unit there seems to be a disturbing picture of residents being sent to elsewhere arising.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,125
    Kent
    Your mum has gone back in time in the same way my husband keeps asking for his mother.
    I tell my husband I keep trying to find his mother but am not sure where she is. Can you think of some delaying tactic to tell your mother her little girls are safe.
     
  3. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    Could you say your Gran is looking after them while your Mum is having a rest to get her strength back? Do you have any photos of you all as children that you can scan (incase they get lost or damaged) that you can put in an album for her. Mum takes great pleasure from looking at photos of her parents.
     
  4. geordie

    geordie Registered User

    May 11, 2010
    108
    just another suggestion - before saying where someone is I begin 'with oh they are absolutely fine, having a lovely time with X - (any number of trusted relatives past/present)- we'll see her/her later.
    Best wishes - it's difficult to deal with and so sad and frustrating to see someone in distress and anxious about someone for whom they still believe they have responsibility etc
     
  5. Keely

    Keely Registered User

    Aug 6, 2007
    95
    Thanks but a little more advice if you can?

    Thank you for the suggestions I will try them. How do or did you manage the lack of recognition? When I say who I am my mum asks if she knows me and asks if I know her daughters? At the moment I say yes she does know me and yes I know her daughters and try to distract otherwise it all becomes either too complicated or I become just emotionally upset and want to cry. But then in the mist of it all she sometimes says something like are you ok using my name as if she does know me. I am struggling
    I just thought at some point she would not recognise me but did not expect all the complicated interactions and her distress. My other sister is wondering if we are making it worse visiting her but we have been very close and caring of our mum and I don't feel we should stop visiting her. But I can now fully understand why relatives and friends do stop visiting - it is so sad and difficult.
     
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,125
    Kent
    Hello Keely

    It sounds as if your mum is going in and out of reality/the here and now, so as far as possible go along with whatever she says and wherever she is. It is very upsetting for you but she can`t help it and you will not be able to change what she thinks.

    I don`t know if you have read about Compassionate Communication.

    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...ionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

    No one can follow it to the letter but it gives good ideas to cope.

    I hope it helps.

    Please do not stop visiting your mum. She needs you more than ever. You are not making her worse.
     
  7. Keely

    Keely Registered User

    Aug 6, 2007
    95
    this helps

    Thank you this helps and it reassures me that I am doing the right thing by keeping on visiting.
    Mum is very anxious and all the time asking where she is. Is accepted practice to leave her in this constant state of anxiety? The staff are very kind and reassure her but as quick as they say where she is and that is safe and they are caring for her she is again asking where she is.
     

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