Trivial advice needed

Katy44

Registered User
Sep 14, 2004
134
Hi everyone and happy new year!

I need some advice on something that seems like a very small problem, but it would make me feel a lot better if I could sort it out.

I'm getting married next month, and my Grandma, who has had dementia for about 5 or 6 years is obviously going to be there.
I have thought for a while, but it has become apparent over Christmas that she gets very stressed when she is in crowds of people, and this is made one hundred times worse when she doesn't know anyone. It's understandable really that she worries that she should know some but doesn't...can't remember people's names...is expected to make small talk etc.

When it all becomes too much for her she tends to pick a fight with my granddad and /or my mum and wanders off in a mood. She makes various threats of going home and won't be comforted.

Although I really want her there, I don't want, for her own sake for her to work herself into a state, but also selfishly I don't want this on my wedding day! I don't want the worry, and I don't want my mum upsetting herself too, as she did on Christmas day.

We have said that we will take plenty of taxi numbers and as soon as she wants to go we will call her a taxi (which unfortunately means that my young at heart granddad will miss the rest of the day too). Is there anything else we can possibly do to keep her happy on the day? There will be about 80 people there, of which she will know about 20. We can keep her out of the main crowds as much as we can, but I am at a loss to think of anything more.
 

lisaw

Registered User
Nov 22, 2004
18
Southampton
Difficult one, I am getting married next year but I don't think my mum will be able to come, she has AD. She needs at least two carers with her 24/7.
With regards your grandmother, I remember when my mum went through that stage, would it help if your grandfather constantly talked to her about what was going on ie it's your wedding day and how proud they both are of you etc? Sort of try to convince her why she is there etc? I know you probably do that already but it is all I can think of. Obviously sit her at a table where it is just people she knows, maybe even a smaller table with just 4-5 people on the outskirts of everyone else where she is not directly facing the crowd?

Sorry this is not much to go on but I can't think of anything else.

Lisa
x
 

karen_white

Registered User
Apr 21, 2004
72
Berkshire
I went through this when I got married 3 1/2 years ago. Dad had mid stage vascular dementia at the time and still lived at home with my mum. I wanted them both to be there so we had to put a plan together for his care throughout the day. He sat next to me for most of the meal as I wanted him close, but it did mean that I was distracted a lot. Mum was the other side and we helped with his food and drink. He didn't stay much after the meal as we had a disco and it would have been too much for him. We booked a venue with a small quiet room and Dad would sit it there and we would take it in turns staying with him. Then the rest of the family was great when it came to him going home. They all had a rota so that we could all enjoy the day. It did mean that we all didn't drink as much as we would have :) but it did mean that Dad could be there as well. The venue about about 15 mins from home luckily so travel wasn't too bad either. All of us, including Dad, had a wonderful day, even though he did get quite agreesive towards the end. We have some wonderful photos. Have a good think about it and see if you can get a plan together. You need to do what's best for you all.
Does do your grandparents have any assistance? Crossroads? If there isn't way she would be there - Is there any care that would be put in place so that you Grandma could be looked after while your grandad is at the wedding?
Hope it works out well for you.

Karen
Does your M
 

Chris

Registered User
May 20, 2003
243
Relief Carers

Hello

This may sound an odd message here but ..... when my Dads funeral was imminent I didnt know wha tto do about Mum - she had had vascular dementia for about 7 years then & wasnt talking very much or showing emotion or anything. It took me 2 days to tell her Dad had died - (you always do what seems right at the time - it often seems odd later on) - but Mum had moved into a care home on the very day Dad died. I was so scared she would have heart attack at the news - or not show any sign of understanding what I was saying.

when I did tell her I think she knew OK but didnt react 'normally' . I retold her each day when I visited for a few days. I hoped the home would back me up somehow - but No! their attitude was to wrap Mum in cottonwool - somuch so they looked diaprovingly when I mentioned the funeral. I was at a loss.

Finally 2 days before I knew what to do - simple really - I had to ask Mum - I did this gently starting with "You remember Dad was ill & he became very ill ....... etc etc endign with "and its his funeral on Wednedsay - Will you go - you dont have to - we understand " . For th efirst time in years she sat bolt upright & said in a clear loud voice "i've got to be there" . I rather ungraciously edged her out of the chair & down to the Managers office , sat her oppostie him , praying Mum still in the 'moment' and word for word went through it all agian. Mum had been loking down all the way - I htought her mind was elsewhere - suddernly she raised her head & looked him in the eye "I've got ot be there " she said. Manager looked down - he couldnt look Mum in the eye. Then he spoke into his desk & said "Well thats it then, can you bring her clothes in and we will have her ready - what time wil that be?" I hated him for ignoring Mum.

ANYWAY - sorry - my main point is I was feeling guilty as felt I'd spent more time on Mum finding her a care home that with Dad when he was in hospital - didnt inow he had so little time left - so I was adamant that I would at least spend the funeral service time thinking of him & him only.

I had a briliatnidea ! Asked the Dementia Care Trust who had provided a Relief Carer on a few ocassions to provide one to accompany Mum & the rest of us from home to the Funeral & back again. As they usually only provided one in the home it took a special meeting of the charity to OK this which they did. I spoke to th e'Relief Carer who had sat with Mum only once before & said she may have to do nothing but if Mum was at all distressed to take her aside or out of the chapel . It worked a treat. Seh was briliant - staying in th ebackgorund & Mum was OK - no way of knowing exactly how she was - but I was so glad she was by my side. As she said she 'had to be there' .

After the carer sat with Mum in the garden while the house was full .

So.. if you have a professaional organisation like Crossraods or whoever - I'd think about a Relief Carer for the day. Hope this is useful & you have tiem to try out relief care & that it works out OK - it often a bigger step than it acutally is. but there isnt one thing that works well for everyone - but almost anything is worth a go - wel I foudn that amyway. Good Luck & have a lovely day.
 

Katy44

Registered User
Sep 14, 2004
134
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely try to re-inforce that we are all looking forward to it and hopefully she will start to get excited too and see it as a good thing. To be honest, I'm a bit apprehensive about being in a room ful of people some of whom I hardly know, so it must be a million times worse for her.
We'll try and arrange for a room where there won't be lots of people or loads of noise and she can escape there if she needs to.
Karen and Chris thanks for mentioning outside carers. I hadn't thought of trying to arrange for something like that to take the pressure off my grandad a bit. Unfortunately she is still in denial that there is anything wrong with her, and any attempts at getting the medical profession involved have ended when she has refused to be involved (see many previous rants!!). We are trying again soon, and if anything comes of it, then this may be something we could try to arrange.
Chris, that must have been really difficult for you - you would know that your mum would definitely want to be there for the funeral, if only she understood, and it was really brave of you to push and not be fobbed off. It was definitely the right thing to do, even though it wasn't the easiest!
I'll let you all know how it goes, and I would love to think that she enjoys at least some of the day.
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Katy

hold on to the fact that, even if it appears that she may not know what is going on, that, as with so many things now, is the dementia.

Inside, she will know, and will be touched by the love you have for her to include her on this day. That makes it more than worth while.
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Katy
Mum probably won't know what is going on around her but she will enjoy the moment.
Remember also that other folks will not realise that there is anything wrong with Mum,they are very clever at covering up during the stage at which your Mum is at.
Good luck with the wedding
Norman
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Dear Katy, I started reading your thread and had already decided to reply, when I read Chris's. Her advice is very similar to my own. Last year a friend of mine who also helped care for my Mum at home, accompanied another client to her granddaughter's wedding. My friend knew the client well anyway so it helped. She wore an outfit suitable for the wedding and to all guests she appeared to be another guest who just happened to be with the bride's Nan so to speak. The minute the lady got a bit worried she was able to distract her and then she took her home and stayed with her till her family members returned. It worked a treat and meant that the family could focus on the wedding knowing Nan was catered for, she was able to take part in the wedding celebrations for a while and then cared for till they got home afterwards. Love She. XX
 

Kriss

Registered User
May 20, 2004
513
Shropshire
Hi Katy

I'd agree with the concensus that if she can be "looked after" by someone and can leave if or when she's ready then you will feel much better having had her as part of your celebrations however long she lasts the day.

We have taken Aunt on 2 "major" excursions (major by the amount of planning/worrying involved) and she has coped really well and each time kicked into auto pilot mode surprising everyone. Obviously she tired quite quickly but it's amazing how kind and understanding even strangers can be.

I hope you have a wonderful day - plan what you can but so long as you have back up in place for her then don't get upset should she not make it or last as long as you hope. You will have done everything you could. Hopefully you will have a few photos to cherish as well!

Kriss
 
C

Chesca

Guest
Oh! Katy, Why do you call it trivial? Wanting to get everything right for everybody in an imperfect world is not trivial. It's very important to you and that is what matters.

I agree with the others. Appoint a few willing, well known faces to care for your Gran and monitor any distress, returning her home if necessary, and you will know everything is OK. Perhaps somebody can stay with her while grandad stays at the festivities for an hour or two, using delaying tactics (he's just nipped out to check the car at the garage, whatever). Trust me (I didn't when it was said to me but turned out to be true something like a thousand years ago) you will have a wonderful day, your day, and you won't be in any position to notice any shennanagins.

We had great grandma (102) from the nursing home to the church to see the weddn' and my sister in law took her back after the service - she couldn't have coped with the mayhem of the reception. During the reception we snuck off to the nursing home, in the weddin' frock and festooned with glitz so that her friends could see it as she had wanted, gave her the bouqet and everybody a slice of the cake and left some fizzy. There was great merriment, in fact it was better than the evening reception (in my opinion).

Try not to worry about this, everything will be OK, the people who love you will make sure of that. Send pics.

May each day in your lives be a good day..........pass me a tissue, I'm off!

Lots of love
Chesca
xxx
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Ches, talk about a great soft center!! (but I love you all the more for it!) Katy, hope we have helped a bit, have a grand day, let the others do the worrying, it's your day, your THE BRIDE. Lotsaluv, She. XX
 
C

Chesca

Guest
Dear Min, Yes, alright! alright!. But despite the dress unworn and bought for me by the be'ed, I have yet to wear pink and all of my marshmallows are laced with grit! I just love a good wedd'n.
Love, Chesca xxx
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Yeah, yeah, yeah! (Bet its a pink dress and you toast the marshmallows together in bed on one of those 'lecky gadgets !!??) Lotsaluv, She. XX
 
C

Chesca

Guest
She! I have to tell ya, it has embroidered flowers on it! Do I look like an embroidery sort of a girly. Doing it, yes, don't mind that. Wearing it? Nah. Actually we often have supper in bed if the film is right. Have you been peekin'? I got sick of traipsing back and forth to the kitchen and one night just brought the whole kit and kaboodle into the room - tray, toaster, butter, bread and other bits and pieces, tea and a packet of fags. I promise you there was not a marshmallow in sight. But you may have given me an idea for stopping the door shutting in my face (despite the be'ed's best efforts) just as I arrive with the tray - a good door jam!
Chesca xxx
 
C

Chesca

Guest
Phew! I'm exhausted chasing you all over the place! I'll try dipping them, anything, even old socks, in chocolate if it tastes good. Such a gourmand! Chesca
 
C

Chesca

Guest
Min, Stow the cherries. Mine's the liquor - that way we both get a piece of the action. Who get's the chocolate? Toss a coin? Chescaxx
 
C

Chesca

Guest
I'm trying to lose a little weight here and you've got me scavenging for chocolate, you blighter. Does this really mean that I will have to steal one of JJ's carefully hoarded Thornton's? (in his tool box ready for downstairs, bless). Oh! misery mine! Life's a b'! Chesca and impalerxxx
 

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
116,389
Messages
1,702,298
Members
67,187
Latest member
TP1170