My hubby Quinn passed away new years day. I have moved my mom and dad in with me as my dad had a stroke and my mom has alzheimers. My dad is recovering okay. He still drives, but mainly sits in his chair in front of the t.v. But my mom, geesh, she is a handful. She insists that my youngest sister is a gambler-aholic because she goes to the casino on occasion. My brother has been giving my sister the money to make the house payment, and my mom cries and carries on that she is gambling it all away. She thinks because my other sister is over there going through their things to get the house ready to sell, that she is throwing all their things out. She makes my dad take her back there everday, to bring back more stuff, that i dont have room for , so i am constantly having to weed it out on this end. Yesterday, the neighbor brought her home. She was wandering around by the road and said she was looking for the garbage can. She woke me up one morning at 2:30 in the morning banging stuff around. She had stuff scattered all through the house. Said she was looking for her drivers liscense. She hasnt drove in years. I feel worn down just keeping an eye on her. Caught her with a scoop of laundry detergent , getting ready to put it in my machine. On closer inspection, it turned out to be cat litter ! Thank god for that save. Alzheimers is a terrible thing to suffer from. Its hard to watch a parent going through it. Its like caring for a child again, only the child is your parent. My dad deals with her during the day, but he is in bed by 9, and she is up and down all hours of the night , so i have to sleep with one eye, and ear, open. Calgon take me away........
If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. It's hard to see our parents start to fail. My Mom is 78 and she's getting a little less sharp but I pray she stays with us for a lot longer. Mostly I think she's just playing with me and it's not as funny to me as it is to her. Usually if I tell her she's messing with the wrong daughter, 'cause my sister is the one that crap works on, she just returns to normal. I am very fortunate that I have an older sister who thinks that she controls the world. Very bossy but we love her! At 42 I am still "the baby sister" so she would handle anything like that for our family. She is also an RN Administrator at a Nursing/Rehab facility so she can handle that sort of thing better than me. But I can tell you that if she had to, my Mom would much rather live with me because I don't tell her what to do. Maybe you can find an Alzheimers support group to help you with your feelings and fears about what she's doing? Talking to others who are going through it might help.
I do understand how stressed you are.Do you have an alarm system on your house that she can't turn off in case she decides to wander at night? It sounds as if it is time for someone to watch her 24/7. You can not do that by yourself and neither can your father. Are other family members able to come in at night to watch her. I am caring for my step-mother and dealing with some of the same problems. My brother doesn't want to face the fact there is a problem so he just pretends there is nothing wrong.Please try to get some help before you become worn out from stress and lack of sleep.
Well Deb, with the recent loss of your dear husband, this is more than a handful. The time you are spending constantly worrying about your Mom is wearing you down, and interfering with your grieving process.There must be at least respite care available, and if that's just not enough, you may have to resort to locking your Mom's room at night. I know it sounds harsh, but you know that it is not meant to be. You just cannot risk her getting out of the house at night. The other not so nice solution, is a dose of sleeping meds, which your doctor may prescribe anyway. There are also retraints, and none of these are pleasant, but sometimes, when you've done all you can do, these are necessary aids to guard your Mom's safety, and keep you sane. You've taken on an enormous load, and very much to be admired for doing so.I would have a family sit down, and make a plan of action, because you cannot be expected to do this all on your own. Good luck with getting the help that you need, and the much needed time for your self to just sit back and hug your dogs. Take care.
Oh Dusty, that sounds so very hard. I lost my father last summer, and his dementia had taken a horrendous toll on my mother, even once he was in a nursing home after breaking his hip. The longer you can keep your mother out of an institution, the better she will do. But you so need to take care for yourself. Are you working with an Alzheimer caregiver's group, either in person or online? I just can't imagine taking this on so soon after suffering a massive loss like you did.
Anything you can do to keep your mother from falling will really help. People with dementia often can't do the physical therapy it takes to come back from a bad fall, which can make it impossible to keep them at home. My father fell right by his front door by trying to stomp a bug, then in the hospital kept insisting that his fall was my mother's fault.
Dusty, my friend had her mother living with her for many years, then she began to notice changes in her mom. A little forgetful at first, which happens to ALL of us.."now, where DID I put those keys"???
Then it got worse. Her mom rode a bike to the neighborhood grocery store and would forget it and walk home. She became aphasic, forgetting words for basic things like door or chair and replacing them with other, incorrect words..."I was sweeping with the desk"..I told her she might want to have her tested for Alzheimers. She did, and mom had it. She was actually pretty advanced by the time she was tested. They tried medication, but (for her) the side effects were awful.
I talked Lynda into getting her mom into a "day care" program so she could at least go to work without worry her mom would wander off (which had happened) or burn the house down (she came close more than a few times). I also advised her to check with the local program for the Alzheimer's support group, which provided respite care. They come and sit with the person, allowing the care giver(s) time to go to the grocery store or dentist without having to worry about mom or dad. She even got respite care over the evenings a few times, allowing her to go out for dinner and a movie.
This worked well for the two of them for a couple of years. Sadly, in this case, the diagnosis was long after onset and no medication worked well for her mom. She had to place her in a live in program after 4 or 5 years because it was simply more than she could handle on her own. Not an easy decision or one she made lightly. But one she simply had to make for her mother's safety and wellbeing.
You have a difficult role. You are always the care giver. With Quinn, with mom & with dad (not to mention the kids!). Just remember, we're here if you need to talk. Also remember that there are support groups for assisting with caring for an Alzheimer's patient. These programs are free of charge and the individuals involved are well trained. They know what they're doing and treat the patients with tenderness, patience and respect.
Hugs to you and to all who battle this terrible thief of a disease.
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful".
I work at an assisted living and have worked in memory care specialty facilities as well. I really don't know how you do it and I really feel for you. I've been taking care of people with Alzheimer's for a while now and I even wanted to be a neurologist because of it. I just saw on the news yesterday that pesticides might be what is causing things like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and MS. I called my mom right away (she has MS) to tell her, funny thing is she grew up on a farm. I hope someday we find the cause and the cure to these diseases.
Dusty, I am so very sorry. I think Nancy Reagan put it best, It is the long goodbye. Try checking local area, day care, and/or churches that help out with volunteers who are trained. You have to have breaks once in awhile, and down the road you have to consider some sort of 24/7 care. My heart goes out to you. You are all in my prayers, but please try to make time for yourself, you absolutely have to do that, it will help you and without it, you will eventually have no reserve inside of you to draw on. Take care Dusty, let us know how things are going.
Believe me I know exactly what you are going through. The doctor increased my mom's meds until she slept all day but then at night she was awake the whole time. We built on to our house and actually built her like the size of an apartment. She would start calling us about 2:00am thinking someone was breaking in, or she had dementia so bad she saw all kinds of things. My health is ruined, but, I would do it all over again for her so she would not have to go in a nursing home. The doc. said she would become beledgerant. She passed away the morning she said some terrible things. I don't think I could have took that, so God knows what we can handle. She did come to herself long enough to tell me she was sorry that she was not respondsible for what she was saying. I know she didn't mean some of the things she said but it really hurts when they get accusing of things you are not quilty of. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You have one of the hardest jobs anyone can do.