New member here grateful for your thoughts

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by BrummieG, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
    Hi

    My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and vascular dementia just over a year ago. She used to be very sociable and enjoyed going to church and various local clubs. Since her diagnosis she has become more and more isolated as she has stopped going out to these places. She says she doesn’t feel up to it as she has also been physically unwell but I am pretty sure she is embarrassed and ashamed of her illness and doesn’t want people to know. I know that becoming isolated is really bad for her but can’t make her go to these clubs. I spend two days a week with her which is increasingly not feeling like it’s enough but mum would baulk at more input from me at the moment as she worries about putting on me. At the moment I go shopping with her, help with housework, take them to appointments and generally try to keep her company. She lives with dad who can’t or won’t offer support and who doesn’t really believe that social interaction is a good thing for them both but especially for her. Any thoughts about what l can do to encourage her to get out more again?
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,696
    Female
    London
    You might not be able to. The world becomes a scary place for people with mental capacity and memory issues. They might forget places, people or how to do things or be sociable. Too many people and too much noise might be offputting. Also, it's extremely tiring to try and put their best face on with strangers, which a lot of PWDs do without realising.

    Maybe you could contact SS for some support around the house for both of them?
     
  3. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,154
    Hello, welcome to TP. I agree that it might be difficult to encourage your Mum to get out more, especially if she doesn't want people to know about her illness. Does she have some friends from church or the clubs who could pop round to see her, or does she not want to see any visitors? It may be that your Mum is depressed, as that is quite common in those with dementia. Could you maybe encourage her to go to the GP for a check up, and let the GP know in advance of your concerns?
     
  4. CarolineBella

    CarolineBella New member

    Feb 19, 2019
    2
     
  5. CarolineBella

    CarolineBella New member

    Feb 19, 2019
    2
    Thank you Louise, Mum is ok. Medication for depression. But unfortunately she has never really socialist due to her drinking in the past. I look after I now and do everything I can x
     
  6. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,154
    Hello CarolineBella. I was replying to the message from BrummieG but welcome to you too :) You've come to the right place for information, help & support and everyone is friendly here.
     
  7. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
    Hi

    Thanks for replies Louise7 and Beate. Mum is on depression meds which may be helping. GP not proactively supportive I’m afraid. Don’t think either parent would accept SS help yet but that time may come. I do have numbers for a couple of her friends so I could maybe call them to prompt them to visit or phone but if mum found out I think she’d be upset with me. But worth considering certainly. Thanks again.
     
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,266
    Female
    South coast
    Charities like crossroads do a befriending service where someone comes round to your house to chat to the person with dementia, although I must add that in my area there is a waiting list. If you think your mum might refuse to let her come, perhaps you could pass off the visitor as a friend of yours and be there as well for a couple of visits till your mum gets used to her.
     
  9. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
     
  10. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
    Hi Canary
    Yes I had heard if Crossroads and that’s a thought. I’ll be over at parents tomorrow and if the time seems right I’ll try another conversation about the importance of social contact. At the moment mum’s not willing to go to new (dementia) support group type places as it makes her face what is happening to her which is completely understandable. Unfortunately she’s now also not keen on going to her existing networks as I think she worries they’ll realise there’s something wrong - which they would. No easy answers or indeed any answers at all but good to be in the group with you all anyway.
     
  11. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    It may actually be very tiring for her to actively be sociable. My husband comes exhausted after an outing and invariably sits down and promptly goes to sleep. If family come for dinner, he is quite chatty as everyone arrives and after a couple of hours, starts to get confused about the conversation so tends to become quiet.

    And things outside home can be pretty scary for a person with dementia. It is important for her to feel safe.
     
  12. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,507
    Female
    As others have said it becomes tiring and scary for people with dementia to socialise, especially in groups. It sounds like your dad wants to protect her from a situation where she would find it difficult to cope, or where people would notice the changes in her. She may find it easier to socialise with a friend one-to-one or she may just not want to see anyone. Is there a close friend you could suggest she sees gets in touch with and meets up with individually? Some of my mother's friends disappeared into the hinterland as her dementia progressed, but she had a friend who continued to see her regularly right up until she went into a care home - the friend understood the issues because her own husband had dementia too.
     
  13. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
    Hi to Lawson 58 and Sirena and thanks for your posts and helpful thoughts. As you and others have said it must be scary for someone with dementia to get out there even if they used to be v sociable. I’ll keep trying to put myself in her shoes to remember that. There are a couple of people I have been encouraging mum to see but she’s not keen yet. Unfortunately my dad is part of the problem as he’s never been Mr Supportive or understood the need for friends and they’ve both allowed him to be the one who mattered. It means he’s refusing to grasp the fact that it’s not all going to about him any more and he’ll have to take on more. Plus of course he’s scared. Happy days!
     
  14. Hazara8

    Hazara8 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2015
    354
    Alzheimer's disease acts upon the brain in a manner still not truly understood. What seems 'normal' in terms of social interaction to us, can become a nightmare for those who are subject to dementia. The parameters change in cognition and each case is different. One finds that people attending daycare centres can benefit from the kind of interaction which embraces trained staff (aware and able to communicate with those living with dementia) and other visitors who present with varied states of dementia. Activities and conversation here can be productive, as with music and reminiscence. To an extent, routine can help, but there seems to be no pat answer, other than profound awareness, empathy within the bounds of affection and comfort applied to the world of dementia per se. The more you are in close proximity with dementia the less you seem to know in essence. Thus, sincere and profound awareness to one's own behaviour and a constant awareness as to the behaviour of the one afflicted with dementia, is paramount. The extraordinary thing is that often, what seems to be a state of total indifference or sheer boredom in a loved one, i.e. devoid of social interaction, can in fact be contentment within the sphere of this cruel disease. You cannot compel anyone with dementia, only suggest or nurture. In the Home where I work, there can be genuine joy in terms of 'social' events (a sing along, group quiz, games etc) and yet a contrary outcome once that has ceased to be, i.e. residents returning to their rooms or lounge afterwards. This is why, outside the controlled environment of say a Care facility, understanding and applying oneself to a loved one with dementia, is a genuine commitment and something which is not truly appreciated until that time arises. Then, later on as things develop, the nature of the disease manifests itself through that very loved one in a way which taxes every resource open to you emotionally and might one add, physically. This is not to scare nor alarm, but to state a fact. And where there is love and a heart filled with compassion, that journey need not be one to fear. In fact, it can enlighten in a way which is unavailable in the everyday functioning of a life.
     
  15. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
     
  16. BrummieG

    BrummieG Registered User

    Feb 19, 2019
    13
    Hi Hazara8. Thanks for your thoughtful post. One of the really positive things is that mum still loves hugs and cuddles and is very affectionate. And we can still have a laugh about daft things.....happy memories for me at least. Thanks to all who’ve replied to me. All very much appreciated.
     

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