New to forum

giftofgaladriel

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
6
Newcastle
I have only today registered with this forum but have been an avid reader of the many threads and have been truly impressed with the people who are members of this site - what a wonderful bunch of people you are! My Mum has alzheimer's and is now in a care home. I am having great difficulty in coming to terms with everything that has happened over the last year or so (her decline has been remarkably rapid) as well as dealing with very difficult family relationships. But I am looking forward to sharing experiences with you all, trying to help others who are new and seeking help from those of you who have lived with this dreadful disease for some time. Many thanks to alll for the helpful information I have found on this site so far. Regards, Lynda
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,454
Hiya Lynda, welcome to TP - the more, the merrier! You are right, some pretty special people post on here.
Love,
Helen
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Warm welcome to TP Linda. If you have been reading the threads, as you say, you will have a good idea how things develop here.

Do keep us informed how things go with your mum, and perhaps share some of your experiences with us. Regards
 

kazlou

Registered User
Feb 3, 2006
75
Surrey
Hi Lynda,
Welcome to TP an excellent site where we can all let off steam, laugh, cry and above all support each other.
Kaz
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Hi Lynda

Could you bear to divulge your Mothers age and the events of this rapid decline
I suspect it might help many to figure the progress/ stage of their own LOs illness

I sure cannot work out whats going on with my 90 yr old Mother
 

Jazzy

Registered User
Jun 3, 2006
34
Derbyshire
Hello Lynda

Glad that you've joined the forum as it's really helpful. You don't feel om your own any more. My mother's decline has also been very rapid. She's nearly 84. In mid Jan she was living at home with support and calling taxis to go places. She's now in an assessment ward, after spells in a local hospital and 6 weeks in a care home. I have been amazed at just how quick the deline has been. And yes, it does take time to get used to the new situation. In a sense you have lost your Mum, even though she is physically still there. Posting to this forum does help though.

All the best
Jazzy
 

giftofgaladriel

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
6
Newcastle
Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome - I feel part of the community already. I will spend some time at the weekend replying properly - I work full time and travel quite a bit for my job so don't get a lot of time often during the week, so hope you will bear with me.
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
hi welcome to tp
looking forward to sharing good and "bad" days with you:)
 

giftofgaladriel

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
6
Newcastle
Not sure where to begin. Less than 2 years ago my Mum seemed perfectly OK. She has always been very fit and active and going here there and everywhere. Her house was always full of friends and neighbours. She did all her own shopping, cooking and cleaning and looked after all her own financial affairs. She was a little forgetful, but no more than you would expect of someone in their 80's.

The signs that something was seriously wrong became apparant around 18 months ago. She was often confused, getting her medication mixed up, forgetting the PIN for her pension card, trying to collect her pension with her bus pass and wondering why the post office clerk would not give her her money.

As time went on, she forgot our birthdays (something she had never done before), how to cook, even how to turn on her TV, she started accusing people of stealing things, hiding things - I could go on and on.

Mum was unable to accept that there was anything wrong with her. She was living on biscuits and cakes but insisting that she was cooking herself lovely dinners.

Her health started to get worse and taking her to doctors and the hospital was a nightmare. She insisted that there was nothing wrong with her. Getting her to go and, once there, making sure she didn't run off was such an ordeal.

I arranged for carers to go in 3 times a day to make her meals, shop, clean and do her washing. But she (and her neighbour) contrived to be out as often as they could when they came or told them to go away, nothing needed doing.

Through her GP, I arranged for a doctor from her local hospital specialising in elderly mental health to visit. The initial diagnosis (about 6 months after the symptoms had become apparant) was that Mum had moderate dementia. Mum would not initially go to the hospital for further tests and assessment but, after some months, I finally got her to go and she had various scans.

She flatly refused to go to day care.

About 4 months ago, the doctor came out to her home and re-assessed her. In a period of 8 months she had gone from moderate to bordering on severe dementia. She had to be taken into hospital for her own safety and at last the full assessment could be done.

Mum was in the hospital assessment unit for 3 months, still convinced that nothing was wrong with her and that she was perfectly capable of doing everything for herself. She has now been in a nursing home for just over a month

She is 85, is totally oblivious to the poor state of her health and wants to go home.

As you all know too well, dementia is very difficult to deal with but I am learning fast!

But there is still a lot I don't know and would appreciate advice. For example, what is the best way to approach it when Mum talks about going to see her Mum (who would be 110 if she were still living!). Do I go along with this or do I gently explain that her Mum has been dead for some years?
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,454
Hiya,
Thanks for sharing some of your mum's story with us. If your mum wants to visit her mum, well why not? That is better than distressing her repeatedly with the 'news' that her mum is dead. If you don't like the deception, then try distraction. I know this has been discussed before, and it was suggested that you made comments like "You used to enjoy day's out with your mum, tell me what you did". So it allows your mum to talk about her loved one.
Love, Helen
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Hi Lynda,

You sound a very caring daughter. It is not easy to find ways of getting our parents to the doctors either for a diagnosis or a scan, nor to persuade them to accept some day-to-day help and care, especially when they are consistently saying that nothing is wrong.

Going along with your Mum's idea of visiting her Mum has to be kinder and Helen's suggestion sounds very sensible to me.
 

Libby

Registered User
May 20, 2006
625
62
North East
Hi Lynda

What you have written is so similar to what we've been through with my mum. She was always hiding money around the house, said she was eating, when it was obvious that she was rapidly losing weight.

She's in a home now and is constantly talking about going home to her mums! She's forgotten all about the farm she lived on for about 50 years. She doesn't ask as much where dad is any more, but when she first went in, she was always asking, and to begin with, we gently told her that he had died. But she was constantly in tears as if his death was all new to her, so now we just try and change the subject or distract her with something else.

After 16 months, I still hate lying to her, but it's better than seeing her greive for dad all over again. Horrible disease.

Libs
 

Grand daughter

Registered User
Jun 29, 2006
3
Hampshire, UK
My Grandad (who is 90 this year) also asks where his mum and dad are and why they haven't been in to see him - he loved them dearly and gets so upset that they haven't been in. My mum and I tell him that they are getting on a bit now and can't make the journey but that they always ask after him and send their love and we keep them updated (little white lie is much better than distressing him!). It's funny that he asks after his mum and dad but will not talk/remember his wife, my Nanny - they were devoted to each other for 64 years and I think it's too painful for him to remember.

The other day, he asked me where his school satchel was and when I said I would be coming in to visit him the next day, he told me that might be OK but he might have classes! Bless him. There are so many upsetting things, sometimes you have to laugh at the lighthearted things! xx
 
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Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,559
66
Toronto, Canada
Looking for mum

My mother goes through phases of asking where my grandmother is. At first, 5 years ago, I didn't know better & would say she was dead (she died in 1970). Stupid me!! Floods of tears from my mother etc.

Now when Mum asks me about Grandmother, I just say she's fine, same as always & when she wants to go visit her, I say "yes, let's do that tomorrow" and then distract her.

My rule of thumb is to go along with her if I think reality will upset her. What good is the real world to her now? I just try to go into her world & work with that.

By the way, my mother wanted to go home pretty much every day for the first 4 or 5 months. I used to say that she was paid up to the end of the month & that we'd lose the money. That worked quite well and it didn't matter when it was, as Mum was quite oblivious to day/ month/ year. Perhaps that will work for your mother. Something about that generation & wasting money, God bless them.
 

Libby

Registered User
May 20, 2006
625
62
North East
Canadian Joanne
I used to say that she was paid up to the end of the month & that we'd lose the money. That worked quite well and it didn't matter when it was, as Mum was quite oblivious to day/ month/ year.
I'm going to try that one Joanne - good suggestion.

Libs
 

bel

Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
757
coventry
Hi Lynda

I also am learning fast it is my hubby that has dementia
i find to distract him and also go along with what he thinks works best for us
any way welcome there is a lot of people with a lot more knowledge than me on tp and we are all in the same boat -----trick is not to let it sink perhaps we ought to get a few more boats
Love Bel x