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The stage we are at now with Mum

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by JoshuaTree, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Registered User

    Jan 2, 2010
    496
    Surrey
    Hello everyone.
    I haven't posted here in over a year.
    I've just had glance at my old posts, and so much has changed. Reading it all hear is like reading a diary.

    Mum is now 72, in a lovely care home. She doesn't speak, but smiles and makes noises.
    She needs a wheel chair to get around, but gets very anxious at times.
    She has been falling out of bed so measures have been put in place until a new bed arrives for her - far more suitable.

    She does not cope well with personal care, but her carers are great at eventually calming her and keeping her as clean as she will allow, however she will not let them or anyone brush her teeth. She won't let anyone look at her teeth and they are deteriorating.
    I believe they are causing her discomfort, I don't think she's in pain but they are feel uncomfortable if you see what I mean.

    She won't let a dentist near her, and when I handed her a toothbrush she tried to eat it after staring at it first.
    Mum is incapable of understanding what she is supposed to do, she doesn't respond to questions or requests. Has anyone any idea how to clean the teeth of someone who has Alzheimer's and has no comprehension of what that actually means?!
     
  2. MeganCat

    MeganCat Registered User

    Jan 29, 2013
    356
    South Wales
    Hi Joshua tree
    Welcome back
    You could be describing my mum - she too has deteriorated a lot over the last year. And my earlier posts are about a completely different situation. I have heard of pineapple being used to cleanse the mouth (not teeth!) I had been thinking about that - cubes perhaps to freshen it up. I think it has enzymes. She'd fight a tooth brush I think.

    My mum talks constantly, very jumbled, but like your mum can't comprehend (it would appear) or answer questions or ask them. When she says no she means it mind and that's pretty clear!
     
  3. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Can't help with the dental care but so pleased to hear that things have settled down with your mum. I remember the traumatic time you were having and your update shows that a good CH is not, as many fear, the worst possible option.
     
  4. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Registered User

    Jan 2, 2010
    496
    Surrey
    MeganCat, Thank you for the pineapple tip.

    Chemmy, I am very lucky that Mum is cared for safely and, although there are sometimes issues, the home is the right one for her. They do try their very best to engage all the residents; trips out, plenty of visits from outside organisations like local animal sanctuary's and most importantly it doesn't matter which carer I chat to, they all know about Mum.
    Every month I lose a bit more of her, but especially so in these last few months. I try not to think about what is actually happening to her because the reality is huge and totally devastating. I have got to the point that I dread it when folk ask me how she is as to be honest I don't really know how to answer that question and it only serves to make me think about 'how she actually is' and upsets me.
    I believe this is the reason I dont post so often here anymore, but trying to be a bit braver and its lovely to talk to others who understand :)
     
  5. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,623
    USA
    Hello Joshua Tree,

    Looks like you are not the only one who's had this difficulty:
    https://www.caring.com/questions/person-with-dementia-wont-brush-teeth

    https://caregiver.org/dental-care-dementia

    I don't know that any of that is very helpful, but perhaps it's helpful to know you are not alone. I hope you are able to find a solution. At the care home where my mother lives, there is a dentist who comes in every other month or so. I don't know if your mother's facility offers dental services, but you might ask them or even ask your own dentist if they have any experience with dementia patients? I wonder if they could do a cleaning or just an exam, to give you more information?

    I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

    I'm fairly new to TP but have found all sorts of good advice and support here.

    If I may ask a personal question, which of course you should feel free to ignore as it's quite rude of me, but would you, by any chance, be a U2 fan? I wondered, with your user name...
     
  6. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    ...I got to the stage where I made up a word to describe things and told anyone who asked that Mum was " Frailing" ie becoming more frail and failing.

    Nice to see you back.:)
     
  7. MeganCat

    MeganCat Registered User

    Jan 29, 2013
    356
    South Wales
    That's a good word cragmaid
    I say mum seems ok, happy enough in herself - looking for something positive to say
    Which of course I have no idea - she seems content, I can only hope she is.
    occasionally, especially in the last few months, I say she continues to deteriorate which isn't really the answer some people were expecting, or wanting, and if they're then sympathetic that's harder! Especially in the kitchen at work.
    Inside I feel like screaming sometimes, it's awful to see and then compare to this time last year when we were walking in a country park eating ice cream
     
  8. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Registered User

    Jan 2, 2010
    496
    Surrey
    Thank you. Yes it's in reference to U2. The Joshua Tree was realeased at a very important time of my life and remains one of my all time favourite CD's. My son is named Joshua because if it too.

    As for dental care, the home does have a dentist that visits but as I said before Mum is beyond letting anyone near her teeth for any kind of inspection.
    One of the comments on the link you shared, sums it up:


    'I think the article misses the point. Someone with dementia (like Alzheimer's) doesn't have the ability to "learn".'

    It doesn't matter how many times we chat about it or we brush our teeth infront of her, I may as well be doing it infront of my cat and then expecting him to pick up a brush and clean his own.

    If only they could invent some sort of edible toothpaste!
     
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,623
    USA
    Hello again, Joshua Tree. I'm sorry there wasn't anything helpful in the articles or my not-great advice. From what you described, I thought probably not, but sometimes I feel better just knowing that whatever I'm facing, I'm not the only one.

    And it was a good excuse to quiz you about the U2 reference. I may as well out myself now as a fellow U2 fan and although I don't want to get too off-topic, it's fun to find a fellow fan here on TP. Will you be able to see them on this tour? It's definitely worth your time if you can manage it.
     
  10. In a Whirl

    In a Whirl Registered User

    Feb 23, 2015
    62
    There is an edible toothpaste & edible toothbrush! All designed for babies & toddlers. Do a google search!
     
  11. JoshuaTree

    JoshuaTree Registered User

    Jan 2, 2010
    496
    Surrey
    Really? I've googled but not found one.
     

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