My mother crying with Dementia

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by oikumene, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. oikumene

    oikumene Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    8
    Rabat (Malta)
    #1 oikumene, Feb 1, 2007
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
    I am 42 years and live with my parents. My mother was diagnosed with AD about 2 years ago. She has a major speech impediment and that really frustrates her. During the day she is crying because she cannot express herself. At the same time she refuses to get bathed etc (my father is the major carer for my mother).

    I come from Malta and our island does not provide any kind of group where people get together often and share their problems. Although we have the MDS (Malta Dementia Society : http://www.maltadementiasociety.org.mt) it is still in its infancy.

    My mother shall be undergoing in 6 weeks time some further tests at a specialised hospital for Geriatrics and maybe the medical staff can provide some further assistance to our daily ordeals and dilemmas. In these tests we can know how the disease has progressed and other relevant information. I hope that maybe some kind of therapy will be available.

    I have ordered a book from Amazon.co.uk regarding AD and maybe it can help us how to deal with my mother's sickness. However I appreciate if someone who help me how to deal with my mother when she is:

    a) crying
    b) behaving in paranoia
    c) refusing to get bathed etc.

    AD is one of the most cruel diseases I ever met however as a Christian (Roman Catholic) I believe that such pain has great merit if addressed to proper channels and this gives me peace and hope.

    Thanks.

    David.
    ;)
     
  2. Linda Mc

    Linda Mc Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    1,881
    Nr Mold
    Welcome David. :)

    I have no experience of the problems you are having but there are plenty of people here that will offer support from their own experiences.

    I just wanted to say we have visited Malta many times and love your country. My husband is always looking at booklets maps etc that we brought back. I have some video footage that I put on for him to help with his memory, he really enjoys watching and it gives him something to try and talk about.

    Hope others reply soon.

    Linda x
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,569
    Kent
    Hello David and welcome to TP.

    Firstly Everyone on TP knows how difficult it is to come to terms with AD and cope with the erratic and unpredictable behaviours of sufferers. That doesn`t mean we have all the answers, but it does mean when you log on, you are aith friends.

    The AS has lots of Fact Sheets which might provide some answers. If you click on the ` i `in the top left hand corner, you will be led to them.

    If it`s any help, from my own experience with my husband,

    a] when he cries, I comfort him

    b] when he is paranoid, I try to distract him [I must say this is the most difficult symptom to affect]

    c] when he doesn`t want a bath, I tell him he smells and try to get him to accept his `smelly parts` to be washed. Sorry if this sounds crude, but I couldn`t think of a better way to put it.

    Try to avoid conflict as much as possible. Your mother will have no logical thinking or reasoning now. If you can distract her, humour her or offer an alternative, you should have a better chance of easing situations than if you challenge her.

    I accept this will require the patience of a saint and none of us are saints, but we can only try our best in extremely difficult and distressing circumstances.

    I hope you get some better answers from other members. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on.

    Kindest regards, Sylvia
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hello David

    Welcome to TP. I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time with your mum. It;s a pity there's not more support available for you in Malta. Maybe you could start a campaign to get more help, or volunteer to help your Alzheimer's Society?

    I've no experience of crying or refusing to bathe, but I have lived with the speech problems for 7 years. My husband John has the type of AD that starts in the language centre of the brain. His speech has deteriorated over the years to the extent that it's now impossible to have a conversation with him. He can't read or write now either.

    Is your mum's speech impediment AD related, or is there a physical cause? If it's AD, I don't think there is any therapy that will help. At least, we've never been offered any. It's not that she can't speak, it's that the brain is not sending the correct messages.

    If it's physical, of course, there are all sorts of exercises you can do with her, a speech therapist will help here.

    But if it's AD, I'm afraid you must prepare yourself that it will get progressively worse. It's terribly frustrating, both for the person concerned, and for the family. You'll need to give both of your parents a lot of support. It's very isolating for your dad, wanting to look after her, but not being able to talk to her.

    Is your mum depressed? It wouldn't be surprising, and would account for the crying. You could see your GP about this, there are all sorts of treatments for depression, and if that could be controlled, she might begin to take more care of herself, and keep herself clean.

    Sorry, I've gone on a bit. Hope some of it will be of help. Keep posting, and let us know how you get on.

    Love,
     
  5. Grommit

    Grommit Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    2,127
    Doncaster
    Welcome David.

    You are certainly correct when you name Alzheimers as a cruel disease.

    I can only appraise you of the types of things which I tried to do when my wife was experiencing the crying, paranoia and refusal to bathe that your Mother is experiencing. However, you must remember that there are no specific remedies that will work in all cases. The nature of the disease dictates that each patient suffers in different ways.

    As far as crying is concerned, I could never actually work out why Jean was crying. Was it frustration, fear of the unknown, depression, sadness or what. Unfortunately, her ability to communicate was impaired at this time. I must admit that I tried the Mr.Nice and Mr.Nasty routine, more out of my own frustration than with any hope of helping Jean. Eventually i found that sitting in front of her, holding both her hands in mine, looking straight into her eyes and speking softly and gently got the best reults every time.


    Behaving in paranoia was, for me, the most difficult to come to terms with. The paranoia consisted of Jean's belief that i was going to murder her and , as a result, refused to eat or drink anything that i had prepared as well as occasional violent outbursts of pure hatred. Most of the time I totally ignored the situation whilst ensuring that Jean was safe and could come to no harm. I found that trying to reason with her was not of any use because her mind was totally fixed on whtever it was she was thinking about. After consulting the Mental Health clinic, some drugs were supplied that kept her calm but still attentive and these are now working very well. The paranoia has mostly gone and the hallucinations that used to bother her have turned into nice hallucinations rather than than nasty ones.

    Bathing.. I still have difficulty in getting Jean to bathe. I do try to make it a game or a market research project (can you get in the bath and try this new soap/oil/bubble bath or whatever. I really would like your opinion on it?) I have tried to get into a particular routine and have Jean take baths at set times and on set days, this seems to help.

    I realise, of course that you may have tried most of these things anyway and are still having difficulty, but just wanted you to know that you are not on your own.

    You will need a great deal of strength and fortitude over a long period in order to cope with what is before you and your family and I do hope that you will find this from all the sources that are available.
     
  6. oikumene

    oikumene Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    8
    Rabat (Malta)
    Helpful

    Thank you for your support everybody and for the tips.

    Yesterday we visited our psychiatrist and he informed us that we have to sent her to a nursing home within the next few months. She would be in a mental state that should would not recognize her surroundings and unfortunately us.

    Our psychiatrist prescribed her some drugs that can relax her. We adminstered her these drugs and was very sleepy during the day. I would like to give her these drugs - she will be sleeping all day but at least she is not crying and going through hell. I do not know what to do. I better consult my psychiatrist again.

    My mother seems unconsolable - I try to comfort her but keeps on crying and crying, going from one room to another. She tells me "...why me?...why me?...." It seems that my mother does not want to accept her malady.

    Todays is my mother's birthday - she is only 62. These last three days her situation has really worsened....always crying this is affecting me too - I try not associate my self but how can a son not share his mother's pain.

    The problem is now that she is suicidal. She tells me that she wants to die. I just now have to report this to my psychiatrist.

    Its tough.

    We can only support her.
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi David

    I'm glad your mother has seen her psychiatrist, but it doesn't seem to have have worked so far.

    If he has prescribed ani-depressant drugs, they can take up to three weeks for the effects to show. I think you should persevere with them, even if they do make your mum sleepy. They can have that effect at first, until her system becomes used to them

    If your mum is suicidal, you should definitely get in touch with the psychiatrist again, you need help with this. It could be that she will ned to be hospitalised for a while until they get the medication right.

    I'm sorry, you're having a terrible time with this How is your dad coping?

    I'll be thinking of you, let us know how you get on.

    Love,
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,569
    Kent
    Hello David, I too am glad your mother is getting some attention.

    It took a long time for the anti-depressants to work with my husband. In fact he had to stop the first one, because it wasn`t helping at all, and start a new one. Even this one took a long time to be effective, I`m sorry I can`t remember exactly how long, but that wouldn`t make any difference to your mother, because everyone is different.

    My husband too, wanted to die, and kept saying `why me, why me`. I was reassured when the doctor asked him if he intended to commit suicide, and he said he would like to but didn`t have the courage. That might be how your mother feels. Is she crying for help, or do you think she really might try to kill herself.

    If the drugs make her sleepy, perhaps it is the lesser of two evils. At least she is resting, not crying and not hoping to die. Perhaps she will not be as sleepy when she gets used to them. My husband used to sleep a lot and now I think it was to block out the pain, to escape, because now the anti-depressents are working, he only sleeps at night.

    These drugs have to be given a chance to get into the system, but if you have any doubts at all, get medical advice as soon as possible.

    I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time. Love Sylvia x
     
  9. oikumene

    oikumene Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    8
    Rabat (Malta)
    My Mum better

    Since yesterday, my mum has been much better after administering Protazine. She seemed relaxed and composed.

    Sometimes addition to Axura, some anti-depressants are inevitable. Our psychiatrist informed us that Protazine was administered in 1953 to schizofrenics but the drug proved unsuccessful. So today Protazine is given just to relax.

    In the attached photo you can see me on the left, next to me my sister who is married in Holland, my mum and my father. This photo was taken on our visit to Germany on 6th January 2007.

    :)
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Oikumene,
    Pleased that mum is feeling better.
    That is a lovely photograph, thank you for sharing it.
    Love Helen
     
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi David

    So glad your mum is feeling better.

    It's a lovely photograph, definitely one to treasure. I didn't think it could have been taken in Malta!

    Love,
     
  12. oikumene

    oikumene Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    8
    Rabat (Malta)
    Disorientation

    Today my mum told us that she cannot recognize the surroundings ie our home.

    I am trying to imagine how it feels like....it is terrible.

    I just have to let go.... and try to keep my sanity.


    :)
     
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,569
    Kent
    Hi David, How hard for you to hear from your mum that she doesn`t recognize her own home.

    Don`t despair just yet. From my experience, it is possible she will recognize it tomorrow. I hope so.

    Your photo is lovely. Sylvia x
     
  14. oikumene

    oikumene Registered User

    Sep 23, 2006
    8
    Rabat (Malta)
    Thanks Sylvia......

    Thanks everybody for your support........
     

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