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. joyportsmouth

    joyportsmouth Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    31
    Hi All
    This may sound silly to ask and i hope i word this properly.
    I went to visit mum sunday and she was crying in her room when i got there ,asking why i had dumped her in this place,was it because she was just an old woman now and no good to anyone.I know this is expected,and im sure most of you have experienced this.{still very upsetting}
    When someone has VD do you think that at somestage they are still aware of what has happened to them and then suddenly they just accept it? Like they havent gone completley? I hope that doesnt sound to terriable but i cant think how :confused: to explain it.
    It took me ages to convince her she hadnt been dumped,then she started saying they had moved her to a luxury chalet and she was okay..

    Also i really dont like going to see her,hope that doesnt make me to bad but i get a sick feeling in my stomach as i pull up outside,i either want my mum back or her to be of in her own world,i cant take this going from one to another.

    Any Advice-PLEASE
    joy
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,722
    Kent
    Dear Joy,

    I`m sure most people with any form of dementia are aware what is happening to them and get flashes of insight into their condition, even after we think they have no knowledge of their environment.

    The tears and unhappiness could be caused by fear, fear of what is happening to them and of what may happen to them. Fear of strange surroundings and wondering how they got there.

    I believe it is just as hard to watch as to suffer, as we can offer no cure nor give any hope. It is so hard to visit and keep a cheerful face.

    But the only thing we CAN do is visit, to let them know they are still loved, not forgotten, not `dumped` , but cared about, and only sent to a care home as a last resort to keep them safe.

    I`m sure you don`t like going to see her, because you don`t want to see her in this state, you want her back as the mum you knew. But it`s the last thing you can do for her.

    It certainly doesn`t make you bad. You keep going, even though you dislike going so much. How can that be bad.

    No advice, Joy, except be sure of the comfort your mum gets from your visits, it`s as much as you can do for her.

    Take care
     
  3. joyportsmouth

    joyportsmouth Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    31
    Hi
    Thanks,i have never told her she is in a care home,she always seems to think shes on a holiday camp/boat ect so i just agree and this i can handle,maybe because she seems happy then.
    I think that i feel so bad when i go to visit because i feel guilty,i know everybody feels this at some time and i suposse i feel cheated as well as mum was the only family i have,i have my children but no brothers or sisters to help .My daughter who is 19 visits her regualy,but shes been in hospital the last week so she cant drive at the moment so its all down to me.
    I thought that when we found her a nice home it would be easier,go and visit take her for days out ect but it doesnt seem to be going like that.
    Sorry to go on ,think im just feeling down and sorry for myself at the moment,i know there are people on here in a lot worse situations.
    Thanks for listening
    joy
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,722
    Kent
    Hi Joy,

    It`s Ok to feel sorry for yourself, you`re in a very sad and sorry situation.

    No one could expect you to feel positive all the time, and there are no better or worse situations.

    We`re all in it together, at different stages and just have to cope as best we can.

    Don`t be too hard on yourself. Having your mother in a home, hasn`t been what you expected, and you are having to make very big adjustments in your life.

    Take it slowly. I`m sure you`ll get there.
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Joy

    Sylvia has said it all. Just wanted you to know that we do understand, you have every reason to feel as you do. We all feel depressed at times, and feel that we can't cope.

    Just carry on as you're doing, you're doing fine. And post on here whenever you want to. We'll all support you.

    Love,
     
  6. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Joy

    My Mum has been in a care home for over 2 years now, she is usually happy, but occasionally I have found her sitting and crying, and she has said she is no use to anyone anymore and can't see the point of going on.

    These episodes are rare now and always have been short- lived, thank goodness, but even after 6+ years, I am sure she has flashes of reality, all I can ever do is tell her how much she we all love her and how lost we would be without her,

    Mum is still, along with my husband, my best friend .............AD can't take that away from anyone.

    Kathleen
     
  7. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Dear Joy,
    I know just how you feel, because I also dread going to see my Mum, as I never know what kind of state she'll be in. Although she did choose to go into a Care Home, when she could no longer cope in her own home and she was happy there, she later had a fall and needed to go into a Nursing Home. She doesn't seem to be settled there and often cries, but I think it is her vascular dementia which makes her depressed and her rheumatoid arthritis, as the home is well run and the staff are kind.
    In many ways, she can still communicate quite well and remembers things from the past, but she gets so confused with what is happening in the present. She also thinks there are people in her room and still has hallucinations.
    Unlike AD, vascular dementia seems to affect people in a patchy, unpredicatable way which perhaps makes it harder to deal with in some ways, although it seems as if sometimes there are mixed dementias.
    I think we just have to try and be strong and visit regularly, even though it is upsetting. I will admit that sometimes I don't visit, because I just don't think I can cope on that day, but the next day I feel a bit stronger. I agree with you that being an only child makes life a lot harder as there is nobody to share the burden with. I hope you are feeling less depressed now.
    Kayla
     
  8. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,990
    Toronto, Canada
    Joy,
    I know how difficult the back & forth moods and abilities can be. You're still going in and visiting her, even though you don't always want to. I have certainly felt like that. Sometimes, if it got to be too much, I would take a break from visiting for a week. That would help me.

    I do want to say one thing - please try to enjoy your mother while she still aware of who you are. Granted, since she has vascular dementia, it does make things different from AD. But there may come a time when she does not recognize you as her daughter so cherish these moments now. We should just try & cherish and enjoy the good times when they happen, simply so we'll have some good memories for the future.

    You are doing your best and that's all anyone can expect.

    Love
    Joanne
     
  9. sheilarees53

    sheilarees53 Registered User

    Apr 11, 2006
    37
    Beckenham Kent
    Dear Joy,

    I too, struggle to go and see mum some days. I feel anxious and sick beforehand but usually I am ok when I am actually sitting with her.

    We all want 'our old mums back' but in our heart of hearts know that it isn't going to happen.

    My mum has dementia with Lewy Bodies and I am not sure how it differs from AD or VD. She has some days when she seems calm and not upset and other days when she cries and accuses me of not loving her because 'I have dumped her in a home and forgotton about her',

    I think we all have to cope with guilt and we have to go on visiting as and when we can. When I am really down I don't go because I know that another day I can cope with things better.

    Not much advice but lots of empathy. Best wished Sheila x
     
  10. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    #10 DeborahBlythe, Apr 11, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
    Swings, roundabouts & " It's a Great Big Shame"

    Hello Joy, sorry that you are feeling low. I visit my mum when I can. Some days are good and some are bad. Saw her Good Friday and she was comfortable: even joined in with some songs I started singing, correcting me on the pronunciation and smiling a huge smile when she realised that she had remembered the lines of the songs and how they sounded.
    Easter Day was, for the most part, awful. She was physically uncomfortable most of the time she was up and about and suspecting that the other residents were talking about her at lunch. I took her out into the sunshine briefly but she wasn't happy and just tolerated a cup of tea and biscuit. As soon as she got to bed in the afternoon she fell into a deep sleep and I sat with her for almost four hours reading, writing and doing crosswords, sewing a label into a new cardy because the home had managed to tumbledry her favourite wool one and reduced it to a matted felt kiddie's jacket. I was ready to run and get her anything she wanted but she didn't want anything except sleep.
    Easter Monday I went in late in the day and she was sleepy then too, but I encouraged her to eat some supper, (the carers had given up). It wasn't much: a few bites of a sausage, and tinned tomato, a pot of yogurt, some tea and a couple of Jaffa cakes, but she did seem to be brighter after the food.
    Yesterday I stayed at home. My turn for a duvet day..

    There is only so much you can do and you have to try and find a balance between caring for your mum and caring for yourself. Sometimes when I go in feeling haunted, I see my mum and immediately feel better. She has a knack of smiling which is enough to lift anyone's heart. Other days I find her looking grey and ghastly and very sleepy and I think 'Good Grief, how has she managed to survive the day?' I wish I wasn't sharing this role alone, though.

    A fortnight ago a carer saw me looking upset and said to me " Your mum is OK, she is strong you know." It was a very strange thing to say because my mum is totally helpless physically and looks like a beautiful but underfed bird. However, I think I knew what she meant. I am going through a kind of bereavement everyday, feeling tearful, guilty, worried about her care, dreading a call to say the end has come, thinking about how awful it will be without her... but in fact, there is still a lot of my mother left. It's a 'different' mother but not always as changed as you might think. I rather like my mother in her new self, she can be refeshingly forthright! ( I hope this doesn't sound silly) She continues to be a source of wonder to me!

    Not sure if any of this makes sense, but just wanted you to know that we almost all feel guilty about our mums sometimes but that there are also some good days and even some funny moments sometimes. I won't forget the look on my mum's face last Friday when we got to the end of " It's A Great Big Shame " ( 'and if she belonged to me, I'd let her know who's who... putting on a fellow that is six foot three and her only four foot two. They hadn't been married not a month nor more, when underneath her thumb goes Jim, OH isn't it a pity that the likes of HER should put upon the likes of HIM!' My mum sang that last line and then said with her long lost school marm's manner, " It's pronounced 'PUTT' you know, not 'PUT' ( i.e the word should rhyme with 'butt'.) We both laughed and I said I knew, but was privately amazed that she had picked on this point. Then I sang the song about the woman being jilted at the altar ( 'There was I waiting at the church, waiting at the church, waiting at the church. I thought he'd left me in the lurch' etc etc and when we got to the last line, she again joined in with ' Can't get away to marry you today, My wife won't let me' and we laughed together. She stopped herself and said. 'It isn't really funny, you know' and I said I knew, it was tragedy, but we were both laughing again by then.

    I don't know how it is that she remembers tunes and words, but it is a real bonus when something simple seems to make a few happy moments for her. You will achieve the same: probably already have done. Kind regards
     
  11. lynne84

    lynne84 Registered User

    Apr 11, 2007
    1
    relieved I'm not alone

    It's so good to read other people's comments. This is my first time on here. My Nan was moved into a home last month after a stroke made her dementia much worse and meant she could not live independently anymore. I visited her for the first time on Easter Saturday with my sister, as I live in Scotland so too far to visit before now.

    It was a real shock to me. She is having a very hard time adjusting. She misses her dog, thinks her family have abandoned her and is paranoid that my aunts are selling her house (my dad can still do no wrong!) although the house she talks about she moved out of when I was a little girl. There are notes all around her room on scraps of paper telling whoever may find them how unhappy she is and how she cries herself to sleep. The hardest thing for me to deal with was that she didn't know who my sister and I were. There was a little recognition, like she realised she should know who we are, but she had to ask us a couple of times who we were.

    But then we took her out for the day to a farm where they were doing lambing and for a time she was the same old Nan, a lot frailer, and definitely repeating everything more frequently, but also making the same jokes, and talking to the animals the same way she used to talk to her dogs. She was content with any decision we made, refusing to make her mind up, just the same as always (which so infuriates my mum!) and being happy and grateful that we had come to visit.

    Then when we came to leave she hung around the door, looking scarily and amusingly like she was trying to find a way to escape. I left with such a confusing muddle of emotions, feeling heartbroken and guilty, and yet having enjoyed a lovely day with her too. I was so glad to be there with my sister though, who had visited regularly and so was much more comfortable with the situation. I can't imagine how much harder it would be for any of my family without the rest of us as a support network.
     
  12. joyportsmouth

    joyportsmouth Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007
    31
    Feeling Better

    A big THANK YOU,to all of you for your replys,think i was just having one of them days!And needed somewhere to of load.
    I felt alot better yesterday,my daughter managed to go and see mum and she said she was fine,saying how nice the 'holiday camp and staff were' im going tomorrow so fingers crossed!!!!
    Lynne-mum mentions the house she lived in with my dad,and the dogs and cats they had ,always asking if im looking after them ect,but she left that house when they separated 15 years ago and she never mentions the flat she had for the last 15 years,its as though that has just vanished.I can understand how you felt as well about being comfrtable with your sister being there,my daughter is a carer and deals with alot of elderly people who still live at home but suffer with dementia so she feels quite comfortable and if mum is upset she seems to be able to calm her where i just feel like walking out.
    It was so nice to here about you and you mum singing Deborah,mums not one for music but ive found if i talk about her family ....when she was younger she seems to perk up and would chat for hours.
    Kayla as you said about your mum,the far away past is fine its the present that they seem to lose complete track of,my daughter said she asked her a dozen times yesterday why she had bandages on,thought she had fallen of a slide in the park.....my daughters 19 so not very likely.
    Well thanks again to you all ,sure i will have a few more BAD days yet but its good to know ther are people who understand .
    joy
     

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