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Where am I?

Dragonfly1

Registered User
Jan 1, 2020
32
Poor Dad has had a heck of a time since Christmas. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on 16/12/20 after struggling with a short term memory problem for the last 18 months. He’s had 3 lots of antibiotics to clear chest infections and one urine infection. He has an underlying chronic lung condition called bronchiectasis, chronic asthma and macular degeneration in both eyes. So he’s really not very well at all. I’ve been at home trying to support my mum for the past 3 weeks. He gets confused every night about 4.00pm onwards until bedtime. He asks so many questions about whose house he is in, where his clothes are, who is sleeping with him, where his car is etc etc. He is completely overwhelmed by not understanding where he is. Mum and I have done our best to try to keep him calm, to ease his worries and to distract him. It can be harrowing, hysterical, disturbing and very emotional. Does anyone have any tips, snippets of advice, help or guidance. Anything would be a help. Nobody has done anything to help us since his diagnosis. We have been left to seek support from Alzheimer’s Society, and the local Carers, who have been excellent but we feel we need a more coordinated approach to support Dad.
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
8,873
leicester
Hello @Dragonfly1 and a warm welcome to DTP
it sounds like your Dad is sundowning
I’m sorry you have found little support but I’m glad you have found the forum for support now.
I‘ve attached the link to the Alzheimer’s fact sheets if you want to have a read..
I hope you will continue to post now you have found us.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
882
Hi @Dragonfly1, I agree with @nellbelles it does sound like Dad is Sundowning. It is so difficult to 'manage'. I went through it with my Mum - the whose house it this etc. started on the dot at 4.00pm. The only practical advice I can offer is not to contradict but try to reassure e.g. once Mum really vehemently insisted it wasn't her bungalow, so I just agreed and said she was staying there that evening with the owners blessing as they were good friends of mine and that worked, and of course in the morning she was fine - no memory of it. There is absolutely no point in applying reason and logic, it is basically reassurance that is required due to the fear they are experiencing. It must be really frightening not to recognise you surroundings. Sadly, in my experience, I can't say it will improve so having pre-planned strategies is the way to go, you will find what works for Dad. You do need to be mindful of potential wandering in the night too, which is okay in if it is in the house but leaving the property to 'get home' is a distinct possibility, so Mum locking the doors and putting keys in a new place is pretty much essential.
 

Dragonfly1

Registered User
Jan 1, 2020
32
Thank you for those replies regarding my Dad. They were very helpful. I do apologise for the time it had taken me to reply - it’s a long story.
As I am staying with my parents during the pandemic I can see first hand how difficult it is for mum each night. The questions start about 4.00pm and then he might also start say to my mum “would you ring my wife and let her know where I am?” Mum is sitting there with him!
It is heartbreaking all round. We did ring mum and he was pleasantly surprised that mum answered. You could see the relief lift. He says my brain is scrambled and sometimes there’s nothing there! 😥
 

Sunshine2*

Registered User
May 16, 2019
97
Poor Dad has had a heck of a time since Christmas. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on 16/12/20 after struggling with a short term memory problem for the last 18 months. He’s had 3 lots of antibiotics to clear chest infections and one urine infection. He has an underlying chronic lung condition called bronchiectasis, chronic asthma and macular degeneration in both eyes. So he’s really not very well at all. I’ve been at home trying to support my mum for the past 3 weeks. He gets confused every night about 4.00pm onwards until bedtime. He asks so many questions about whose house he is in, where his clothes are, who is sleeping with him, where his car is etc etc. He is completely overwhelmed by not understanding where he is. Mum and I have done our best to try to keep him calm, to ease his worries and to distract him. It can be harrowing, hysterical, disturbing and very emotional. Does anyone have any tips, snippets of advice, help or guidance. Anything would be a help. Nobody has done anything to help us since his diagnosis. We have been left to seek support from Alzheimer’s Society, and the local Carers, who have been excellent but we feel we need a more coordinated approach to support Dad.
Hello and I hope things improve for you all. My husband’s in his fifties and has many illnesses too, including being disabled with MS & MS Dementia. He doesn’t always know where he is, until he sees all the photos on the wall at the side of his chair and we have a lovely owl ornament on the mantelpiece and then he usually knows he’s home. He continues to ask me the same questions over and over again, all day and well into the night. He has many memories from years ago that he remembers very well, so we speak about those. Recent events he doesn’t recall. Take care.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
882
The questions start about 4.00pm and then he might also start say to my mum “would you ring my wife and let her know where I am?” Mum is sitting there with him!
Hi @Dragonfly1, I couldn't agree more it is absolutely heartbreaking to witness for sure. It sounds as though Dad 'switches' on a timer, which was the same for my Mum - which does make it easier to prepare for (not to accept though!). I found that when the 'timer' wasn't working i.e. it happened earlier in the day, this was a cue that there was an infection, and 90% of the time that was the case. I hope you find your own methods that help alleviate Dad's fear and worry.

In terms of the support, sadly you have to push for everything yourself. However, when you do get that network set-up it should help your Mum. Have you applied for Attendance Allowance which will help fund some support for Mum? Day Centres are another option to give Mum a break....

Stay strong and keep sharing.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
689
Have you tried putting on some soothing music? It can be very calming. A bit of classical or music from his younger days. A set routine may help, all sitting down for a cup of tea and listening to music together a little before 4pm? Shutting out any bright sunlight might also help. Best of luck.
 

Dragonfly1

Registered User
Jan 1, 2020
32
Have you tried putting on some soothing music? It can be very calming. A bit of classical or music from his younger days. A set routine may help, all sitting down for a cup of tea and listening to music together a little before 4pm? Shutting out any bright sunlight might also help. Best of luck.
Thank you for that idea. It is something that has worked before and we can try again.
Thank you
 

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