What should I be doing?

kaybe

Registered User
May 5, 2005
19
Surrey
I'm hoping that someone reading this post will have an idea as to how my family handles the problem that is facing us at the moment. Mum is talking a lot about a baby that she says is hers but that someone else has. I have a brother and sister much older than me and we are all (including my dad) at a loss as to what to do. She gets upset that no one believes her but the details of what she is saying are so random and jumbled.
My nan was also diagnosed with Alzheimers recently and her gp said that in these circumstances it's best to change the subject. That's a really difficult thing to do if mum doesn't want to!
I'm not if I should take this story seriously, maybe it's something that she's seen on the news and it's become real to her, or is she trying to tell us something that she feels we ought to know. Should I let the conversation continue and risk her becoming upset or carry on changing the subject??
Any ideas?
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Dear Kaybe, oh lor, what a problem! I can see the position your in, tricky one. Is it a memory from the past resurfacing or as you also say, has she seen something on the TV etc. Personally, I think I would try to calm her, say you will check it out for her if that settles her, then hope like anything that she soon forgets about it. Yes, change the subject as soon as you can, but if she insists on talking about it, go along with it as far as you can to a point where you can say you will check it out. I found the saying "distract don't react" was they best way to go on many occasions. It would be hurtful to ignore her concerns even if it is just a muddled reaction to a TV show, to her it is real, perhaps talk about you and your brother and sister as children and kind of turn the baby into one of you if you know what I mean, this could well be where she is in her mind, looking for her babies of yester-year as she thinks that is where she is now if you see what I mean. They often go back into time and try to do things they once did etc. Love She. XX
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Dear Kaybe,

Whatever has triggered this belief in your mother, I think that it's important to deal with her feelings of fear and anxiety and offer her reassurance before trying to change the subject. In many cases, these worries seem to be linked to anxieties/fears linked to the progress of the disease - at some level the loss of skills and abilities and a sense of self. My father-in-law becomes obsessed by keys and credit cards, which we think relates to his sense of security and control.

The tricky bit is how to acknowledge her concerns and offer comfort when the scenario is a missing baby. You can't just say that he/she has popped out to the shops. One approach is to stay with the baby theme but to move away from the "missing" aspect. Saying things like "Tell me about your baby" might be enough to divert her a bit (having a photo album with you and your siblings' baby pictures in it might be a useful prop in this case). Something like "Granny's just taken her out in the pram" might work, if there was a "Granny" in her memory.

A friend of mine passed on this article on Compassionate Communication to me and even now, some time since my father-in-law first started showing signs of Alzheimer's, I still refer back to it : Compassionate Communication

Also, I've recently finished reading a book called Learning to Speak Alzheimer's by Joanne Koenig-Coste which I would hardily recommend. You can read the blurb for the book here .

Take care,

Sandy
 

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
790
Buckinghamshire
Dear Sandy,
Joanne Koenig-Coste's book is one of the best I've read, very down-to-earth and practical.
Thank you for pointing out the article on Compassionate Communication: I shall keep it for reference and I will also pass it on. Very useful indeed!
 

kaybe

Registered User
May 5, 2005
19
Surrey
Thank you for all your advice, I realise that it's tricky one. I wasn't sure where else I could safely air my dilemma.
I've read the articles that you recommended Sandy and found them both very interesting and useful. In fact I've ordered the book!
K. x
 

LADY45

Registered User
May 18, 2005
2
63
what to do next

Kaybe,
this is normal disease progression, her delusions are real to her. but the good news is, it can be controled by medications, you need to contact a geratric psychiatrist. These Deluisions will interrupt her sleep at night.
good luck
Denise
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Kaybe
who diagnosed Mum's AD?
If it was a consultant in old age psychiatry you should speak to him about Mum's
delusions,he is the expert.
Norman
 

kaybe

Registered User
May 5, 2005
19
Surrey
Hi Norman
Mum was diagnosed by a consultant neurologist after seeing her GP, which was the first and last time that we saw him. She did see another consultant for a while when she was first prescribed her aricept. Maybe it’s worth me making an appointment with our GP and having a word with her.
K.
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Kaybe
sounds pretty typical to me but I am no expert and could not give an opinion.
I think a word with the GPis the best bet,try to get to see a consultant in old age psychiatry,this is their speciality.
Norman
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Hi, just wanted to back Norman in what he says, speak to the experts involved, they have seen it all before and if you give them a chance and tell them the whole position, of everyone involved, not just the patient, they really will try to help if they can. You may need to keep reminding and pushing them, but they have the clout to make things happen. Love She. XX