Just joined the forum and wanted to say hi and introduce myself. My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's three years ago after my dad died of a stroke. It was obvious for at least three years prior to the diagnosis. My brother and I take alternate turns of caring for her. This is a huge challenge for me as I immigrated to USA (Hawaii) where our daughter lives just before my mum was diagnosed! I now commute between Hawaii and Scotland - spend 3-4 months in each location. This has been devastating on my finances and career. I used to have a high earning career now I can only do temp work when I am in Hawaii and care full time for my mum while I am in Scotland. However we are managing as best we can. My mum is now very dependent so my husband is with me on this visit and my daughter now 26 is still in Hawaii. We have put all our stuff in storage and are here in Scotland for a while. We stay with her in a small house and have all our possessions in one bedroom! She knows who we are through the day but at night time she doesnt always know who we are - she often asks me if the man downstairs has gone away home - or is the lodger about to leave (my husband!) She is highly delusional and entertains imaginery people and pets. Her neice gave her a small soft toy dog recently and it has now become her pet - she attempts to feed it and talks to it all day long. I am hoping it has the same therapeutic benefits of a real pet! I find it very hard to enter into the delusions but for peace and quiet I often go along with them if they are harmless - however on one occasion it was like a murder mystery event where having dosed off on the couch with jet lag had become murder victims and the police were after her for murdering us! I had to talk her out of that one - and it was very trying and difficult This is a very difficult journey watching one who was once very capable and loving turning into someone we barely recognise - appearance as well as behaviour (she is now only 7stone 12 having been 11 stones three years ago) However through it all we find a sense of humour and it has been a journey for us of learning patience, being tolerant, not letting anger rise when you are tempted to the limit! You sometimes learn things about yourself that are ugly and need to deal with that too. And we find out that we are far from perfect ourselves and fail often, but we learn to forgive, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and try again the next day to be a better carer. We have a strong faith in God and this has helped us through many difficult days. We have also found that although some days we don't get much sense out of mum she can still sing all the hymns word perfect if we put on a CD with her favourite hymns. There is also a sense of peace comes upon her during these times. I am in Scotland for the forseable future and will probably need to face up to the reality that my mum is at the stage of needing to go into a nursing home. This is such a hard decision to make - but I have been reading lots of your messages and find them helpful in that nursing homes are not always the dreaded thing that we think they are. We also need to work!! I was denied carers benefit as I am not accepted as resident in this country - even although I looked after my mum for 7 months last year and will do the same this year! I took it as far as my MP but still failed. After paying income tax at the 40% level for more than 20 years this was a difficult decision to understand. My mum had her 80th birthday a few days ago and we are celebrating with lunch at our local restaurant tomorrow!! Hope she doesn't have a day where she doesn't want to cooperate! Fortunately she can still feed herself and enjoys joining in at family events I look forward to participating in your forum and getting to know some of you better.