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Some input for someone who just got into this

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
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I am not actually surprised that she was reluctant. I cant honestly see that plan working.
1 - Logic and reasoning dont work with dementia, so its almost impossible to get someone with dementia to change their mind over something.
2 - Even if the psychologist does get her to agree in the moment, she is extremely likely to change her mind back again
3 - She will not retain the things that they have talked about and after a few days may well not even remember that he came.
4 - People with dementia forget facts and experiences, but they remember the emotions that went with things that happened. Your mum will probably forget that the psychologist came to talk to her, but is highly likely to remember the feeling of wanting to go home and this my well re-enforce the obsession.

I honestly think that getting someone in to talk to her about it will just make matters worse. Much better to ignore it and eventually the obsession will fade. I think this is one of those things that you cannot fix.

I need to give it a go, if it is possible, of course.
I will test it and see how this works and what are their recommendation.

I don't look for logic, but I am trying to get someone to talk to her and see where she is at for the moment. Someone who knows how to talk with people with dementia. To see if someone can convince them.

The head nurse gave me an example of someone who was there since May and same, wanted to go home. After a while, he started accusing the staff they are lying to him and he will never go home. So I also understand why they are not very keen on talking., but I also want to try and avoid that.
Imagine grandma saying nonstop to the staff & us she wants to go home. Heartbreaking.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
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It doesn't sound as though your grandma is asking to go home at all when you are not there @JohnGroban . She seems to be pretty content where she is most of the time.

It will be interesting to see what the head nurse tells you after speaking with the doctor. I fear @canary is right when she says it won't help at all but I can understand your wanting to try. Sometimes though, we just have to settle for "the best it can be".

Doubt and guilt are frequent visitors for us. We need to send them on their way when there is no Plan B.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,360
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High Peak
@lemonbalm

I know and I agree with @canary. But the pattern stays the same, she will be like the other patient and will lose trust in the staff.
I just hope it will calm her a bit.
Not necessarily. Neither can you assume she'll lose trust in the staff. More likely - if people stop reminding her - she will simply forget about this obsession and - maybe - move onto something else. My mother would pack her bags and sit in the foyer everyday, determined to escape. The staff would bring her tea and biscuits and often set her a 'task', like asking her to watch for a delivery of flowers or to let them know if the handyman came in. Made her feel useful! It did go on for a while but she eventually just stopped bothering.

Don't forget that in the background your grandma's dementia is getting worse (and she will not get better.)

I'm not sure what help a 'visiting psychologist' could be. What outcome would you want from such an encounter? Are you hoping this person (who you imagine 'knows how to speak to people with dementia') can convince your grandma she's not well because she has dementia and needs to stay where she is to ensure she is safe and adequately cared for? Sorry - this plan will fail. Either 1) your grandma won't remember the visit at all or 2) she will turn what was said on its head so that 'You can't go home' becomes, 'You can go home.' Or 3) she will simply ignore whatever is said to her or claim it's a conspiracy. It may even make her more angry and determined.

I think you probably know how to speak to your grandma better than anyone else. I can't imagine a psychologist would be much use unless they have personal experience of caring for someone with dementia or are particularly specialised in dementia cases.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
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Not necessarily. Neither can you assume she'll lose trust in the staff. More likely - if people stop reminding her - she will simply forget about this obsession and - maybe - move onto something else. My mother would pack her bags and sit in the foyer everyday, determined to escape. The staff would bring her tea and biscuits and often set her a 'task', like asking her to watch for a delivery of flowers or to let them know if the handyman came in. Made her feel useful! It did go on for a while but she eventually just stopped bothering.

Don't forget that in the background your grandma's dementia is getting worse (and she will not get better.)

I'm not sure what help a 'visiting psychologist' could be. What outcome would you want from such an encounter? Are you hoping this person (who you imagine 'knows how to speak to people with dementia') can convince your grandma she's not well because she has dementia and needs to stay where she is to ensure she is safe and adequately cared for? Sorry - this plan will fail. Either 1) your grandma won't remember the visit at all or 2) she will turn what was said on its head so that 'You can't go home' becomes, 'You can go home.' Or 3) she will simply ignore whatever is said to her or claim it's a conspiracy. It may even make her more angry and determined.

I think you probably know how to speak to your grandma better than anyone else. I can't imagine a psychologist would be much use unless they have personal experience of caring for someone with dementia or are particularly specialised in dementia cases.

Thanks, Jaded.
I know how to speak with her, I learned a lot from the forum and from what I read, but as I posted, she does not listen to me, but to mum, and mum doesn't know how to speak with her. Mum gets all emotional.

There are two things that I think someone who knows this issue can help us.
1) the one I mentioned about her house.
2) To talk with her about the past months, to see what she remembers happened with her, how she ended up there, what was wrong with her, etc. To see where we stand.
I tried to do that, but I couldn't reach her. Plus, I was afraid to ask the questions.

A doctor doing it might help us understand where we are with her and how she actually is mentally. She acts different with doctors or other people, they can reach there better than we can in this case.

We skipped a lot of steps with this. We went from normality to a home care in less than 24 hours.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
The head nurse asked the doctor to visit today grandma and talk to her a bit, after what I've asked her + the head nurse felt grandmas was a bit odd yesterday, not her usual self.

They spoke and grandma said she thought she came there only to fix her hand, that she can take care of herself alone, she is better now and wants to go home. The doctor explained that she needs to get well before going home and asked her what she remembers, why is she there and she does not remember how she had the accident, mentioned "the other girl she has" and her house. So he changed a bit her pills so we will see the next days.

Also, next week the home will have a full-time neurologist also

Don't know what to make of this
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
Today was again a good visit :).

First of all, the full pill is working, but not just on her mind, but on her body also. Today she walked fantastically, similar to the way she was. The staff was there, to help, but she was walking well.
The head nurse was right when she suggested coming in the morning, instead of the afternoon, so I will try and make a window, at 11. a.m, every Tuesday. I say every Tuesday because even if we meet her at every two Tuesdays, I go once per week to bring her what she requested.

Another thing I noticed, she is really well when my SO comes. So she will come also.

But found out something today that broke my heart.
There is a help there, her dedicated carer., a lady that from day one was there with her. Half of the things I bring, grandma gives them to her to take it to her kid. And today asked me If I can buy her, for her kid, two-three notebooks for school.

Talked later with the head nurse to see if it's real and not hallucinations or such and she told me it's true, she does that and her carer had a horrible life, lost all her kids except one.
If there is something good in all of this is that this dreadful disease can't take her good heart.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,391
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Glad that you had a good visit @JohnGroban . You must feel so much better for it - you sound much more positive. What a lovely lady your grandma sounds. A good day.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
@Thanks, @lemonbalm

It was, yeah. The battle continues, but these smalls things really are wow.
When you think it's over, you hear things like this.

A truly rollercoaster of emotions.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
Hello, fellas.
A small update and a curiosity.

First of all, grandma is fine. She is calm and ok with everything around her since then. Went on Tuesday and bought was she asked for, now we bring two of everything for her and her roommate. :)

Now, my curiosity is on another subject, quite a sad one actually.
Mum has a friend, a lady near grandmas age, 90-92 if I am not mistaken. Great woman, great background, but who was living alone. She was great for her age, even if she had some problems in her life, more of a bad luck than health problems, but really fit and active.

Anyway, mum called her last week and when she responded she had a terrible voice, told mum she felt in the house and was feeling hurt. Mum told her to call her kids, but she refused (I think he doesn't have a great relationship with them). Mum called later and her phone was off for a few days. Finally yesterday she responded and mum said she felt different. The lady told her she was in the hospital and there the doctors were trying to kill her, she was lucky a nurse recognized her.
From what we can see it looks like a pattern with grandma. An injury (broken something), then dementia.

So my curiosity is this, because I am trying to understand more this disease: How does it start? What is the breaking point? It is there and then "dementia" makes you trip (like in the cases of this lady & grandma) or the fall is what brings dementia to the surface?
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
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High Peak
It's a good question! My opinion - and I am not a medic - is that the start of dementia is rarely seen, simply because it starts very gradually. Early symptoms such as forgetting a name or a pin number are easily dismissed as tiredness, 'getting old', etc. Many of these early signs will not be witnessed either.

My mum had (again my opinion!) signs of dementia for years but never saw a doctor. I didn't see her often but her phone calls became more concerning. She clearly had some memory issues and 'trouble' with various household appliances but she was OK and didn't really need help. She lived in a park home and led a very simple life, was still able to get the local bus, etc. Then one day she fell getting off the bus on her way home and ended up in hospital. When I saw her she was completely changed and seemed to have jumped from mild dementia (maybe only MCI) to mid stage overnight. It was a real shock. The changes were so great I had to move her from hospital to a care home, yet before the fall she was managing fine.

So yes, something like a fall or an infection can certainly 'bring on' or accelerate dementia. There is also the question of TIA's. In vascular dementia, there are often 'step' changes (rather than the gradual deterioration of Alzheimers) which can be caused by TIA's (small strokes.) Mum was eventually diagnosed with mixed dementia (VD + Alz) and I will forever wonder if the fall she had (and subsequent bang on the head/chronic sub dural haematoma) made her dementia jump or if she may have had a TIA that actually caused her to fall.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
@Jaded'n'faded

Thanks for your great input.
In the case of my grandma, as time passed since it happens, I can see small signs for a few years, like she used to repeat the same stories when we visit, but yeah, we were only thinking: it must be her age.
But the question is there, makes you wonder if there is a pattern.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,939
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South coast
Infections and falls definitely progress dementia. I saw this in mum even after she had been diagnosed - every time she had an infection or fall suddenly her Alzheimers was worse. With hindsight I can date her dementia symptoms going back to her getting norovirus, but Im sure the Alzheimers was already there before that, just not recognised. Scientists now think that Alzheimers starts years, perhaps decades, before diagnosis.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
Visit her today, we had a lovely visit, she was super happy to see us, so I think going in the morning is the trick.
Had some semi-bad news + something odd that happened.

The bad news:
It looks like she will not get the vaccine anytime soon, possibly not at all. Spoke with the head nurse and the local NHL, under the radar, stopped many of the vaccines for elders over 90s that are in home cares after the Norway incidents. They fear of the reactions the vaccine might be on them

The odd news:
Grandma told me today to be careful with dad and take care of him. We never mentioned to her he had those health problems that I told you guys about, before the holidays, so no idea how she knew that.

I was happy to see her, she looks good, was ok mentally also today. She developed a strong relationship with the head nurse.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,391
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Glad you had another good visit @JohnGroban. Interesting that your grandma said that about your Dad. Perhaps he had just been on her mind. I hope he's doing ok.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
Glad you had another good visit @JohnGroban. Interesting that your grandma said that about your Dad. Perhaps he had just been on her mind. I hope he's doing ok.

Found it a bit odd, earlier this week, her neighbor from home called mum and told her she dreamt of grandma. She invited her in the dream to eat an apple pie that I made.
The curious thing is I bought ingredients last week to make my first ever apple pie.
Now this with dad.

Make what you want of this.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
159
0
I don't think my grandmother likes her roommate that much because "she talks" too much.
I was thinking to move her alone, but the staff said a definite "no", she needs someone to talk to as this is something that helps their patients.

But as I sat today contemplating, I can see finally some signs, like the fact she forgot her age or forgot that she asked us to buy some socks for her roommate also. Plus, usually, the talks are very similar.
But is something that intrigues me, but I try to shove it away. At the last two visits, she said: I want to tell you something about this place, but only when we are alone.
I don't think is something real, but makes me wonder, nevertheless.

Her relationship with the staff is fantastic, at the point where another nurse brought her a religious object. Was happy to hear that, plus the head nurse which grandma calls her "part of the family" because of how much she cared for her.
Also, she told us in front of everyone how she got annoyed with another nurse that did not move when she was walking, so I have zero fears something might be up because she would have told us.

But she is pretty much stable & healthy.
It is really a strange situation, there are small progressive signs, but since that night when hell broke loose, there wasn't even a moment when she did not recognize all of us. She knows everyone who visits her, but most of all, mum is ... mum in her eyes.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
3,224
0
Southampton
I don't think my grandmother likes her roommate that much because "she talks" too much.
I was thinking to move her alone, but the staff said a definite "no", she needs someone to talk to as this is something that helps their patients.

But as I sat today contemplating, I can see finally some signs, like the fact she forgot her age or forgot that she asked us to buy some socks for her roommate also. Plus, usually, the talks are very similar.
But is something that intrigues me, but I try to shove it away. At the last two visits, she said: I want to tell you something about this place, but only when we are alone.
I don't think is something real, but makes me wonder, nevertheless.

Her relationship with the staff is fantastic, at the point where another nurse brought her a religious object. Was happy to hear that, plus the head nurse which grandma calls her "part of the family" because of how much she cared for her.
Also, she told us in front of everyone how she got annoyed with another nurse that did not move when she was walking, so I have zero fears something might be up because she would have told us.

But she is pretty much stable & healthy.
It is really a strange situation, there are small progressive signs, but since that night when hell broke loose, there wasn't even a moment when she did not recognize all of us. She knows everyone who visits her, but most of all, mum is ... mum in her eyes.
i would leave her sharing. the other lady may talk too much but probably thinks the same of your grandma you dont know. be guided by the staff as they see her all the time and am sure would tell you if issues are arising from the pairing. probably stimulates your grandma as well