Our universal needs

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
As I read all the different posts which have so many common elements, I sometimes tear up.

The greatest and most common elements are: I want to go home. I want my mother and father. Alzheimer's strips all the superficial things away, it seems. What can be more basic for us than home and parents, the ultimate security? My mother is so worried about her mother (who died in 1970), even though it wasn't at all a happy or good relationship. All that is forgotten & gone. Now it's just mother and child and home.

For me, it has put into perspective the rat race we often unknowingly get into. I have quit a stressful job & am opting for easier employment, even though it's not as lucrative. Relationships matter more than a new car or toy or whatever. It all comes down to that in the end.


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
you are so right.
Money is useful.
Not much good now to Peg and me,can't buy the one thing I want ,my wife's memory back.


Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
Hi Joanne,

I thought I had already learnt the lesson, many times over, that life is precious and the futility of material goods but AD has taken this humility to another dimension. :(

I guess being close to someone with AD is a constant reminder of the joys and terrors of being human. Sometimes the sadness of it is over-whelming but at other times I get a kick from the most mundane activity. Enjoy your new life style!


Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
Hi Joanne,
AD changes everything doesn't it? I used to run my own business and that was so important to me. Now my priorities are so different. I quit my business and am trying my hand at being an artist from home. ( so far so good ) If my Mom didn't have AD and need me every day I would probably have a job somewhere and have little time to give her. Now it is very important to me to give my Mom all the attention she needs and deserves. It is often difficult for me emotionally, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
It truly is a blessing that we can help them in this last walk of their life.
Rummy (Debbie)


Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
I sometimes wonder if it easier or more difficult the closer you are, but I would guess it all brings it's different problems.

In our case, my husband was never that close to his mum, and we did duty visits for many years. The visits became more frequent 14 years ago when she lost her husband, ( she was divorced from my husbands natural father)

In the last 4 or 5 years, they'd become once or twice weekly, as the illness took hold and she could no longer cope. I remember her phoning me in a panic because she'd gone into town and then couldn't remember what she went for
( she was meant to be going to get a haircut) She called me on her third trip on the same day. Later, she'd not remember how to get home, so she stopped going out on her own altogether.

She gradually alientated all her neighbours, finding things wrong with people she had been friendly with for years. Was that all part of the dementia, or just her nature? As her memory was getting so bad, it was difficult to say whether her not having a good word for anyone was really her or not.

Eventually, we sold our house and her house, and moved in together. That was in 2003, and so far it is still just her memory over the last 30 years or so that has gone. If asked what her address is, she goes back to her roots in Leicester, forgetting that she moved over 30 years ago. She seems to dwell on the negative side of things, forgetting all the good times.

I'm sure this is common to you all, but I wonder if it easier for us, as we've never had a "touchy feely" relationship with her, yet my own mum, who died last year was totally different. Is it a daughter in law thing, do you think?


Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
If it was my Mother in Law that I was dealing with and not my mother, my feelings and attitude would be different. I just don't have the history and realationship with her that I have with my own Mom. I would still take care of her but I wouldn't feel the loss that I feel now.
I am reading a really excellent book called The Validation Breakthrough by Naomi Feil. It gives an example of a woman who is bitter and hateful to her family and freinds. She gives some very helpful advice on how to communicatin with AD and find the roots cause for the things the say and do. I am finding it to be very helpful with dealing with my Mom. For example: She will forget that she is married to my step Dad and insist on his moving out. We used to just change the subject, or try to explain to her how things really are. After reading this book, I started to probe her with key questions and what I discovered is that she remembers being married to my real father (who died quite young of cancer.) and it is making her feel guilty about being with another man. Even though they have been married for 25 years now ! I talked to her about how my Dad would never want her to be alone and is happy that she is sharing her life with my step Dad. Her whole attitude improved and she left happy. I'm sure I will have to do this again but it is worth it to see her happy that someone "gets it".
It could be that your Mother in law has hidden reasons for her behavior other than it just being a symptom of the disease? Who knows, it is such a complicated thing!
Take care :)


Registered User
Jun 4, 2005
Coping,a changing challeng

Just when I thought that I was learning to cope with Anna's AD,things got worse.Somehow,I dont know how,I strained my back,now it is agony to walk,never mind reach a top kitchen shelf,make the bed,Ijust about manage a meal,shopping in only possible with my scooter if I can use it within the supermarket (sainsbury's) Si if I bump into you ever so sorry,but there are ppl there who will reach shelves for me,so I am not going to give up just ye. If it is a muscular stain it shouldnt last for ever!
Thanks for a place to let off steamBest wishes to all!


Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
I'm so sorry for your pain! They say the care giver must take care of themselves too. I hope you have someone to help you out there. I'm in Oklahoma US, or I'd reach those items on the top shelf for you ! I always give the ride around carts the right of way ;)
Aren't we lucky to have this forum to blow off some steam. I was punching my husbands punching bag until I hurt my neck. :eek: Now I write really long responses here.
Take care and I hope your back is better soon!



Registered User
Jul 5, 2005
When we took over caring for dad my sister quit her job, and I took demotion and went part-time as financially I could not afford to quit, but just reading posts here there are so many common denominations which have affected us all.
I sometimes read posts here, and say to myself "Oh does this person know me, because this situation has just arisen in my life too".
Since I became a member of this forum I have gleaned so much useful information, and help that I feel that you have all become very dear friends, and I feel that I will be forever in your debt. Thank you all so much.

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