1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Trisha Edwards

    Trisha Edwards Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    4
    #1 Trisha Edwards, Apr 17, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2005
    I live quite a way from my mother who was diagnosed with altzheimers sometime last year. I am the youngest child of eight and recently visited my mum as our daily telephone calls were very upsetting, mum would cry and the terror in her voice was awful, then she would just put the phone down. sometimes she seemed to know me others she did not. A few weeks ago i went to see her and it was very traumatising, she did not know me and constantly asked me to take her to her mum and dads, even offering me money to do so. My mum hit me and got very cross and i just dont understand this. How can this happen in such a short time? i was trying to remember the last ordinary conversation i had with her, i know she definately knew me last year. I cant bear to see her like this, i really cant. I bathed her and fed her and she told the doctors i was her friend. i feel really down and since i have come home she has been taken into hospital. I really need to know more. I am happy my mum is being looked after and is eating and clean. it seems she will not be going home, I am aching to be with her but i really dont want to see her like this. i am very confused. Trisha :(
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Trisha

    I understand all you say.

    It is a long journey we take when we decide we want to help our relative who has dementia - the route some people take of dropping them like the plague is much easier.

    We need to be realistic though. Once dementia sets in, things will never be the same again, and things will certainly not get better - that is, they WILL get worse.

    They will get worse for us, of course, in observing and interacting with them. The first stage of being able to relate to them is to realise that, no matter how bad things seem to US - they are the ones who have to live with the problem all of the time, not knowing what is happening to their world.

    We have to get to know them all over again, to understand their fears, to understand their anger, to try and see the world from their perspective.

    Once we can put ourselves in their shoes, then the bursts of anger, the sundowning, the tears and fears, the clinging to weird objects such as toilet paper....all these things fall into place as almost rational - for them.

    If your Mum thinks of you as her friend, wow, that is great! Just think - she is in a world that looks completely mad to her, yet she can see you are on her side. Daughter, son, wife, husband, father, mother.... what does all that matter now, except to us?

    I'd suggest that - if you find it possible - you try to establish a new relationship with her. Of course, she is still your mother, but be whatever she needs you to be. Even if she just needs someone to shout at, you are being a help to her in that. Not nice for you, but you will learn to overcome your feelings about that...a bit.

    Personal visits are best as it becomes difficult for them to put a face to a voice on the phone, and use of everyday objects like phones can be problematic.

    I remember once at Jan's care home, I rang in and the phone was answered by a resident, who said "there's no-one here". I said "please can you pass the phone to someone else?" and she hung up on me. I as worried about Jan at the time and fumed at the other end of the phone - I knew there were staff there because I could hear them some distance from the phone.

    To get through, I had to enter her world. I called again, and again she picked up the phone. I spoke before she could, and said urgently and firmly "this is the doctor. I must speak to the nurse right away!" She immediately handed the phone to the nearest member of staff.

    She is still at the home, only further advanced in her condition now. I pass her when I visit Jan each time and she always says "Hello doctor, I'm so glad you came. I love you" Weird, but if that is what she wants me to be, and if it helps me to play along, then why not? Actually, I don't think her calling me doctor is anything to do with our phone call, it is just that I'm aged and grey looking, whereas the care staff are younger generally. ;)
     
  3. Trisha Edwards

    Trisha Edwards Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    4
    Dear Bruce,
    Thankyou for your reply. in reading your letter i kind of agree that atleast my mum told the doctor i was a "friend" rather than anyone else. You are absolutely right, she even said her Dad would like me. This is all new to me.......However she did make me giggle one evening by bringing me a hairnet out of the drawer, she took one look at my hair and said"i dont think you need it, your hairs scraggy anyway" then she tucked me into bed(i am 41). Through the laughter and the tears the sweetness of that moment faded into the ritual pinning of the curtains incase of an air raid, the exact placement of the pins is crucial, this sometimes had to be done in the dark sometimes standing on a stool. The stool was taken away. I know she has been walking on a tightrope mentally for a while. I just did not expect her to teeter quite so near to the edge like this. THANKYOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, TRISHA
     
  4. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    hi trisha ,glad you managed,to get the hang of posting ,yes it is very distressingto see rapid changes ,when some of my fomily have not been to visit for just a few weeks ,they are so shocked at the change in my husband ,its a cruel and unpredictable illness ,and having someone here on TP just to unload your feelings to will help .ANGELA
     
  5. Trisha Edwards

    Trisha Edwards Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    4
    Thankyou Angela, I Have Read Some Of Your Notes, I Am Amazed How You Cope, But I Know You Have To. When You Love Someone It Is Hard To See This Terrible Illness Progress, So We Do What We Know Best And Thats To Carry On Loving Them. I Feel Almost Guilty As I Am Not With My Mum. I Live Far Away, I Cant Just See Her When I Want, But The Trouble Is I Really Want To Be With Her. I Wanted To Steal Her Away When I Left Some Weeks Ago But Knew She Would Not Make The Journey. Mum Had Packed Her Bags To Come With Me, Was Dressed In Her Hat And Coat And Like A Child Stood By The Door. I Feel Dreadful Because I Had To Lie To Her To Enable Me To Leave. I Cried Endless Tears On The Journey Home Hoping She Would Forgive Me For Lying To Her. I Could Not Think Straight For Days After, To A Certain Extent Its Carried On. I Was Pleased She Was Taken Into Hospital As She Lived Alone. The Thing Is I Want Her, I Need Her And I Am Pining For Her And I Cannot Split Myself In Two. I Wish I Knew The Answer. Thanks Trisha , I Have Just Released My Tears.
     
  6. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    520
    Hi Trisha I Know How You Feel ,i Have A Daughter Who Lives In Spain ,she Is Heartbroke ,that She Cant Get Home More Often,she Came Home 3 Times Last Year And It Is A Lot Of Money To Get Her And Hubby +child Home ,she Has Rung Home Every Night For The Last Couple Of Years ,and My Jim Loved To Speak To Her ,over The Last 6 Months She Has Hardly Understood A Word He Is Saying But He Knows Exactly Who He Is Speaking To , Now He Is In Hospital And Will Be For A Long Time ,she Is Devastated As She Cant Speak To Him,dont Worry About The Little White Lies, To Your Mum ,this Is Something We All End Up Resorting To ,it Is Only For Their Sake We Have To Do This ,and I Confess It Is To Make The Parting Easier For Us Too . Angela
     

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