1. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    I guess I knew the question would raise its head and I know mum has confused me with her late sister before now, but this morning she literally had no idea who I am. On top of that cannot believe that we live together, understandable if I'm a stranger. I've told mum my name and that I'm her daughter, but she cannot accept what I'm saying, she isn't upset as such, but totally confused. To mum I'm not even a familiar face!

    We have had three solid weeks of asking for her mum, a little over a week ago she could not remember her name or address. These things worry me. I've got an id disc which she now has on a chain around her neck and her days of going out unaccompanied seem to be over. I know it's just the way it is, but its very sad at the same time.

    We went shopping on Saturday and I foolishly in hindsight let mum put the shopping away. The frozen roasted potatoes were defrosted in the fridge by the time I came across them and the sandwich cake which was meant for some visitors on Sunday was frozen solid despite the words not suitable for freezing.

    As I've said before, mum has been on a steep decline, or at least it feels that way to me. Mum has recently started taking Aricept, I know its meant to help, but can it have exactly the opposite effect and increase confusion?

    I guess I am feeling sorry for myself. I had no idea how hard caring for someone with dementia can be, or how even small things like the ruined roast potatoes cause me so much frustration. I am not the most tolerant person on the planet. I said nothing to mum about food I had to bin. It wouldn't have helped her or me to bring it up, but at the moment I'm full of self pity, my ability to adapt and understand seems to be constantly outstripped by dementia.
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    Yup, sometimes it seems that you just about get used to one stage and how to deal with is and you are onto the next one. :(

    Every time they are no longer able to do something and you have to say to yourself "OK I wont do that again" is a mile stone along the way, but the first time they look at you and say "Im sorry - I dont know who you are" is a mega, mega milestone.

    Im so so sorry you are at that stage.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    I bet most people have no idea how hard it is caring for a person with Dementia-it's almost unimaginable unless you are actually doing it. You sound pretty tolerant to me Lavender; just by binning the food and not saying anything to your Mum makes me think you are highly sensitive to your Mum's feelings.

    You are allowed to feel sorry for yourself you know and after your Mum not knowing who you are-well that would unsettle most people. Do you have any help for your Mum such as sitters/daycare?

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Its positive that you recognise your ability to adapt and understanding is outstripped by dementia .

    Do you get any Respite of any kind from looking after your mother ?

    Hope you don't mind me sharing something I posted in another thread ....

    In order to understand why patients with Alzheimer's disease lose their memory, it's helpful to know how the brain creates memories. Once a person with a healthy-functioning brain learns something new or has an experience – whether it's when they're five or 55 – it registers in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which sends that memory or info to other parts of the brain for storage. That "storage bank" retrieves the memory. When Alzheimer's starts to take hold, the hippocampus is one of the first areas of the brain to be damaged. Because this part of the brain doesn't remember that the event (or person) ever took place, it can't assist in retrieving the memory.




    As the disease progresses, memories start to slowly dissipate. "The first thing that gets affected is the ability to take in new memories,
    New memories that don't have the same emotional attachment are stored in a different place than other memories, which is why an Alzheimer's patient whose disease has progressed might remember an event from 20 years ago, but can't remember what they did 20 minutes ago.
    As a result, you cannot teach a love one to not repeat themselves because the hippocampus cannot register the teaching or send it to the storage units of the brain -- this is caused by damage to the hippocampus.

    When plaque builds up in the brain's nerve cells – one of the causes of Alzheimer's – memory and thinking are impacted. That is one of the causes of confusion among people with Alzheimer's disease and their inability to organise their thoughts or remember the faces of people closest to them.
     
  5. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    441
    My mum frequently does not recognise me in person or on the phone. She tells me that a nice lady visits and calls. It is often easier to play along than try to remind her who I am, especially since when she does remember she runs me down!
     
  6. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,296
    SW London
    I am so sorry - it really does hit you when this happens for the first time. My mother also went through a phase of thinking I was her sister - later I was just a 'nice lady' (if she was in a good mood!) who made her cups of tea and brought her chocolate. But even that was better than the long, final period, when there was barely ever any response at all
    It's OK to feel upset and sorry for yourself - you can tell yourself 'it's the disease' until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't stop it hurting. x
     
  7. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    #7 Slugsta, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
    (((Lavender))) it's OK to feel sorry for yourself sometimes and here is the safe place to say so.

    My mum started confusing me with her, older, sister some years ago but, at that stage, that was about the only sign of a problem.Since my aunt died, earlier this year, mum seems to have totally forgotten that she ever existed (they never got on well together)!
     
  8. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    130
    I can so relate to this lavender as I've cared for dad for 8 years now and it's often been frustrating and upsetting. Bizarrely as he's worsened I've found it easier.
    I saw this recently and it's helped me explain dads dementia to family who can't understand. It's emotional stuff but very true for my family's experiences.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLmQU6C4-NA0Ddapt8iXeQFAu2pjcyiZ65&v=5SpQxD90lyE



    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  9. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Thank you

    Thank you for all your replies. You're all so kind.

    I really had no idea how tough I would find it trying to cope with the endless questions. It's like an endless loop where's my mum? Etc over and over.

    We do get some variations. This morning we were going for her flu jab, so it was I've got my glasses, but where are my glasses? In your hand mum. Yes I know they are my glasses, but where are my glasses? Honestly it was hard not to laugh at her, but then we had where is my walker? By the front door. Yes I see that, but where is my walker? That is yours mum. Yes I know, but where's mine?
     
  10. jimbosmith

    jimbosmith Registered User

    May 10, 2013
    77
    My Mum often refers to me by my Dad's name and also tries to kiss me in, lets put it, 'a certain way'. My Dad she must have known someone else with the same name as him as she wasn't that amorous to him back in the day.

    It is very hard to take and like someone said above, as you get used to one aspect, it moves on again.

    How long has your Mum been on Aricept? Being honest I am not a fan of any of the medications. I feel that they have made my Mum hyperactive.

    My Mums specialist said that it would help slow down her memory decline, which maybe it has, but with the price of her being hyper, it has been hard.
     
  11. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    4,014
    Essex
    It's strange with my mum. She always remembers my name, but not always me.

    On a recent visit, she was saying to my OH, "Where's , oh, what's her name, you know, your wife "

    OH pointed to me & said I was just there.

    Mum turned, looked surprised & said " Blimey, doesn't she look like Linda?"

    Lin x
     
  12. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Hi jimbosmith

    It must be so hard deflecting your mum from her more amorous attentions. These are things you just couldn't imagine ever having to deal with pre dementia.

    Mum has only been on Aricept for a week and I know I shouldn't judge yet, but if anything she's more muddled than before. Today she seems to think almost all of the family are living here, or are passing through. She's struggling to keep track of who is here. I can only say me too.

    We went shopping this afternoon and whilst waiting for the bus home she treated the few people waiting to her rendition of oh dear what can the matter be two old ladies locked in the lavatory in a loop. I have no idea if this song has verses, but mum definitely only knows the one verse.

    I'm not anti drugs in part because I know so little about dementia (though I've read quite a bit in the last few months) I'm willing to clasp any straw which might help mum and by default me, but I just don't feel she's quite right. She's a bit more manic. Is it the drug or the disease, I just don't know. I've booked an appointment with mum's GP, the earliest available being 7th October! You have to plan to be sick in our practice! My thought is by then there might be a definite pattern her GP and he might be able to tell me if Aricept is causing it or that it's just coincidence.
     
  13. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Hi Lin

    There are sometimes two of me as well.

    Mum will ask where is xxx and I will say that's me, she'll inevitably say I know, but where is the other xxx. Sometimes wonder if the other xxx has more patience than me!

    Lavender x
     
  14. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    4,014
    Essex
    Exactly the same here. I've probably locked the nice one in the basement :rolleyes:

    Lin x
     
  15. jimbosmith

    jimbosmith Registered User

    May 10, 2013
    77
    Hi Lavender,

    Do you take your Mum to the specialist? With Aricept I would try and book in with them as well and see who you can get to see first.

    When Mum got on Aricept I thought it was the Holy Grail as there were lots who couldn't get it at the time, postcode lottery etc. I don't know if it has helped a little bit or been a total burden. Either way it certainly wasn't the Holy Grail.

    I can't remember past 'the stuck on the lavatory' ... worrying sign for me :eek:

    I do sing nursery rhymes with my mum and to be honest I have forgotten a lot of them myself so they don't last long beyond 4 lines. she is usually able to finish the end of each line though.
     
  16. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,296
    SW London
    2nd verse (according to my father who was fond of such merry little ditties) - can't remember any others:

    'The first lady's name was Elizabeth Porter
    She was the Bishop of Chichester's daughter
    She went there to pass some superfluous water
    Nobody knew she was there.'
     
  17. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
  18. banger696

    banger696 Registered User

    Sep 17, 2015
    225
    North East
    I get the same, I say Im here then she says not you the younger one thats thin.

    I also get when she doesnt recognise me why have you kidnapped me and if I dont handle this correctly she can be banging on all the windows and doors shouting call the police Im here against my will.

    I saw a little of this tonight in hospital when she wanted to leave the ward and was saying she was being held on false pretences.
     
  19. Lavender45

    Lavender45 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2015
    1,598
    Liverpool
    Hi jimbosmith

    Mum has seen a geriatric psychiatric consultant 3 times in the last 9 months, mostly because I got really pushy about a lack of diagnosis. TBH I don't have a lot of faith in him, he's due to see her again in January. Whilst I have little faith in him mum actively dislikes him and won't "engage" with him. Seeing him again will cause more stress. Poor mum can barely remember her own name at times, but she remembers she hates him!

    Today has been quieter, with no extra visitors for mum to my knowledge. She has made me laugh though, hope you will too.

    We were out shopping this morning and rushed to catch a bus home. The bus driver closed the doors and started to pull away from the stop as we got there. Mum yelled at him "stop you tight bu*ger". Good enough he did stop and laughed, mum got on the bus sat down announcing well I stopped him. Very true mum, very true! She'll be getting us banned for abusing a driver! Still chuckling as I write this. I know I shouldn't find it funny, but its good to laugh! Mum has always been outspoken, though she's always been against any bad language (l know bu*ger's not bad) but now there are no holds!
     

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