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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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@chausey wrote:

My mom is 81 years old and has dementia.   My sister and I take turns caring for her in her home, because she does not want to live with either of us...my sister and I have husbands who are 'somewhat' understanding about our time away from our homes...my sister's husband is not well and we're both pretty weighed down with our own personal issues...my mom is still pretty mobile, she's very mistrustful and will not give either of us power of Atty so our hands are tied except making sure mom's bills get paid..mom also drives our friends away when they come by to visit us  at mom's...says mean things to them...I feel isolated enough even though I know others are going through similar issues with parents and dementia...I've tried counseling but honestly I get tired of hearing myself talk about it...pretty burned out


Dear Ms Hausey, 

Have you the means to consult with a geriatric care manager? I used to be one, and many of our 'cases' were just as you describe. I would be hired to befriend a paranoid client. Sometimes i'd talk to them through there front door for a number of visits before they'd let me in. First i'd meet with the adult child(ren), get the lay of the land, then meet the person with dementia. I was hired once because a very cranky woman kept getting evicted from assisted living! Once i figured out what her triggers were, i found her a placement and put up a big sign "DO NOT TOUCH HER WITHOUT HER PERMISSION"  and she stopped hitting people. Oy.  You can find care managers on this web site: https://www.aginglifecare.org/.   

You can negotiate how much you need to spend and keep it minimal. 

 

First thing, though, is to check out who your area agency on aging is, by looking up her zip code at www.eldercare.gov. That is your tax supported help for all things 60+. Check them out.

 

I'm glad you've had some counseling. Keep writing here. We have an enormous amount of collective wisdom. I've been a caregiver for both my parents and a grandparent, and my partner has MS. We're all in this together.

 

Jane

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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Caring for a parent with dementia is never ever easy, but you're doing invaluable work! Keep it up Heart

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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My mom is 81 years old and has dementia.   My sister and I take turns caring for her in her home, because she does not want to live with either of us...my sister and I have husbands who are 'somewhat' understanding about our time away from our homes...my sister's husband is not well and we're both pretty weighed down with our own personal issues...my mom is still pretty mobile, she's very mistrustful and will not give either of us power of Atty so our hands are tied except making sure mom's bills get paid..mom also drives our friends away when they come by to visit us  at mom's...says mean things to them...I feel isolated enough even though I know others are going through similar issues with parents and dementia...I've tried counseling but honestly I get tired of hearing myself talk about it...pretty burned out

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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I think your mother's neurologist may be able to give her some medication to decrease her anxiety late in the day. This will ease her mind and relieve your worries. You can always call the neurologist's office to ask for an earlier appointment if things are getting worse. Good luck!--Barry Jacobs

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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Thank you for such a wonderful reply. I also like the suggestion of getting more light into the house in the evening. Fortunately, she doesn't wander, but becomes very anxious about where I am and when people are coming to get her (lunch dates, family). She may call several times an evening, very confused. I need to stop engaging her and simply give her the answer to her questions I know the tough conversation has to take place, but I hope that we can make it to the neurologist appt. at the end of July. 

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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Hi everyone. I'm Barry Jacobs, a psychologist on the AARP Caregiving Advisory Panel. Sundowning is indeed a common problem with loved ones with dementia. No one knows exactly why it occurs but an old reliable method for dealing with it is to increase the level of illumination in the room as the afternoon wanes. The theory is that this helps the person with dementia better orient themselves. In my experience, this method is at least somewhat helpful. However, if your mom is still markedly confused, she just may need a greater degree of supervision in the evening--more cue-ing, direction, and hands-on help.

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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@jw4905262 wrote:

I am new to this site and reading your post brought me to a sense of community already. My mom is 87 and I'm an only also, 2 hours away from her. She is exhibiting symptoms of Sundowners and if she calls between 7-8:00 pm, I know it is her in a very confused state. She is very headstrong otherwise and refuses to address future needs. 


Ah yes, sundowning. There's a blurring between day and night, and between waking and sleeping, that happens in much older people. Night is scary in some basic way that we all know from our earliest memories. I'm glad she calls you when she's confused. That is a very healthy thing for her to do: call someone who can ground her in reality!

 

A dear friend of mine's mom had dementia, and when the sun went down she started obsessing about 'the children', as in, 'where are the children? who's minding them? where are they?'  Never mind that they were all grown and in their 50s. She would be inconsolable until she would hear her sister's voice on the phone. My friend would call her aunt and put her mom on the phone. "They're just fine, Harold took them out for ice cream, everything's allright...."  Calming magic. Everything BECAME alright. Phew.

 

Does she have a life alert button? Is she wandering at all, getting lost coming back from previously familiar places? 2 hours is kind of far... Does she have concerned neighbors?  Not trying to raise your anxiety here, but... if she's stubbornly refusing to think about the future, you might be forced to....

 

we can help here. we've been through it or are dealing right now.

thanks for joining our chorus of coping...

 

jane

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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@Fefewhitt wrote:
Both of you just confirmed what I was feeling. My Mom is 85 years old. Her short term memory is basically gone. She does know me and my daughters and grandchildren. She is so sad about not remembering current events. She is the child now. And I'm the adult. No siblings. Just my Mom and me.

Hi Fefe!

 

I'm so glad she still knows you and your children and their children. And that she recalls her own past. The task of life review can be very meaningful for you both. Perhaps that's a place you both can 'go', together. You can become the next generation of history, a repository of stories of your ancestors, through your mother's remembrance. How cool is that. Very cool.

 

Current events are rather depressing lately anyway, am i right? Sheesh.

 

What do you two do that you both enjoy?

 

So glad you've written and joined in.

Jane

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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I am new to this site and reading your post brought me to a sense of community already. My mom is 87 and I'm an only also, 2 hours away from her. She is exhibiting symptoms of Sundowners and if she calls between 7-8:00 pm, I know it is her in a very confused state. She is very headstrong otherwise and refuses to address future needs. 

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Re: Caring for a parent with dementia

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I also love in MI & if she is on Medicaid you can pick up a form from your Dept of Human Services to fill out & submit to get paid for caring for her. I don't think it's much, but it's something!
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