Hello everyone, I am Claire (excuse the dumb screen name I went with). My mum was just diagnosed with late onset dementia, Alzheimer’s. It’s not a shock, as we’ve suspected over time this was happening, but the diagnosis seems to have accelerated mum’s condition exponentially. Is that something anyone else has perceived in a loved one? If it continues at this rate, Mum will be ‘gone’ in six months. I pondered whether having gotten and understood the diagnosis Mum has somehow stopped fighting it... but rationally I know that’s just nonsense, isn’t it ?
Hello Claire aka @DogMom and welcome to DTP - I think I met you on another thread too.
There is nothing wrong with your user name - I assume have a (or more?) dog, so it sounds quite reasonable to me. I do not use my real name on the forum as I want to be quite anonymous, but I know several members do. Its entirely up to you. My mum had Alzheimers. She too suddenly seemed to get much worse and I began to think that she wouldnt last the year, but she lived for about 3 yrs. Mum lived by herself and I wonder whether she had been successfully hiding the symptoms from everyone for several years, but then her dementia reached the stage where she was unable to do this anymore and it all came out, so it was that point she was diagnosed. Mum never understood the diagnosis.
Anyway, have a mooch around the forum and it is nice to see you have started joining in the conversations
i have been lurking for so long, and reading so many of your posts. I am so moved, and humbled, by all your experiences, and I am terrified of the future.
Mum is 87, living in her own home and wants to stay in that house. It is 2 stories, with 22 steps up to the front door and has a large hillside back garden. It has kept her as fit as a mountain goat, and will become her prison one day. Dementia has developed over a few years, looking back. I missed the start as she would brighten up when I visited for the weekend - I live off mainland UK but at least she is close to an airport.
Part of the problem, and maybe part of the solution, is my brother who moved in with her due to his own health issues - namely alcoholism. Mum tried to help at the start, but later joined him, so when I challenged her having wine for breakfast, she said she wanted to and I had to respect her autonomy.
2 years of visits which have been sh-1-t at times (figuratively and literally), I used all my annual leave, carers leave and some sick leave, I am now on a career break trying to work locally, and sort out carers and help my brother. At the start of this break, Mum fell and broke her hip, and then my brother ended up in hospital. She has improved and he is currently on the wagon.
I have missed my university-aged children being home in the summer, I miss my husband and I don't like the work I am doing. My family is very supportive, as has been my boss. So I am going to email my boss, firm up the carers plan, find some kind of entertainment for Mum and foxtrot oscar.
Sorry, but I am feeling frustrated, as well as missing my home. Last night, we did the "who lives with me" merrygoround. Mum has had her head in the sand for years and just assumed she wouldnt have to face "going gaga" as she puts it. I have endured the imperious look when she says "you are my daughter" when I suggest that she can't come to live with me as she would become too confused in a house she doesn't know (she didn't come to visit over the past decade after my father died because of her needing to look after her drunken son).
Someone posted that we are in a situation of balancing guilt and dread where our PWD is concerned. I add the guilt of missing my family, I add the guilt of greed - Mum lives in a house in an expensive area and she said last night that my brother would have to have the house as he lives in it (oh what i could tell her about what he has done with her bank accounts). I add the guilt of wishing she would die - preferably in her sleep, but any simple illness will do - as I see that she is now aware that her brain is not working right and she worries about her future, especially when I have indicated that I will not be with her 24/7.
I have flown so often that Easyjet invited me to their flight club - not that exciting but the ability to change flights without admin fee is better than nothing. The ferry and a long drive are a nice period for mindfulness. But it looks like I will do that long drive soon, and maintain the flight club. The future is walking blindfold down a corridor full of obstacles in unknown order and that terrifies me.