You could save on auto insurance when you complete the AARP Safe Driving course! Use code BELLS to save 25 percent now.

Reply
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
136
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

136 Views
Message 1 of 13
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, In the US 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were registered and approximately USD 245 billion spent on diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.
Browse Complete Premium Research Report https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/smart-pills-market-6591
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
136
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
203
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

203 Views
Message 2 of 13

The challenge is taking care of him without appearing to, since he is convinced that he is fine and I am just interfering. When he does ask for help, he pretends that this is something that is work for a woman, not a man. He was never sexist before. When he needs help but thinks he doesn't, I have to find a way to sneak the assistance in there. I can't have him using a fast acting insulin instead of a long acting insulin. I sort of have to try to keep an eye on him without getting noticed. When I do have to litetally step in to prevent a problem, I never do speak of the cause. I just tell him I think he might be absentmindedly making an error. But he will jump on it and say that he knows what I'm thinking and that it isn't Alzheimer's. I just say something like that it doesn't matter why he's holding the wrong pen, only that he not inject that one. That's about the best I can do. He gets angry that he made the mistake and angry at me for having to point it out. I know his anger is really at the situation, but he feels the need to take it out on somebody and there's nobody else here. He refuses counselling. He refuses any kind of assistance from anybody but me. I just hope he accepts this before he gets to the point where I can no longer deal with him, though with a little luck that could be a long way off yet.

Looking to the future, I have checked with a lot of organizations and services that serve some of the towns and cities in our part of the state, but we are so far out in the country that they all said we fell outside of heir service areas. I will check your list too, though. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
203
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
320
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

320 Views
Message 3 of 13

@karent141049

 

Dear Karen -- it sounds like taking care of your husband is very challenging.  I was talking to a friend who also dealt with her husband having what sounds like similar rages until he finally got diagnosed with dementia.  He actually felt better after hearing a diagnosis of dementia because it explained why he was having such problems processing information and with his memory.  But it is very common for people in early stage dementia to deny the diagnosis and be quite angry when people tell them that is the reason for their problems.  Anger is often a cover for the fear, grief and loss the person is feeling. 

 

Several practical tips:  First accept that denial is a frequent reaction to hearing the dementia diagnosis.  Second, don't force the issue.  It can lessen the stress to explain that their memory problems are because their brain isn't working as well as it used to rather than insisting their problems are the result of dementia.  Be in the moment with them rather than naming the culprit.  The final recommendation is to recognize that this is super stressful for you and seek the support of others and regularly seek out respite.

 

Here is respite advice from a recent blog posted by our friends at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care: 

 

Have you asked for support from your community? A few hours to attend to errands, get a new hairdo or spend some time in nature or with an old friend could make a big difference in your well being and those around you.

Sarah Lock, AARP Expert Brain Health
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
320
Views
Highlighted
Info Seeker
1
Kudos
377
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

377 Views
Message 4 of 13

He admits to many of the things he can no longer do. He asks me to help him or to do things for him because he can't. He admits that he makes constant mistakes, has to be reminded of many things, helped with many things, and has what he calls "fuzzy times", but he gets very angry if I point out any of these things when they are happening. He has terrible "tantrums", as he calls them. They are all out rages. He rages over nothing and once he starts, he can't stop until he is exhausted.Then hesulks. He does not take medication for dementia because he has other illnesses and his neurologist thinks adding the dementia drugs would be too much for him. He also had a brain abscess years ago that left him with very minor deficits. He has had a recent MRI and some other tests to make sure there is no new problem relating to that, and they found nothing. His mother died of early onset Alzheimer's. Now he has it, but he insists he doesn't. He pretends his problems are much more minimal than they are, claims he never had a good memory anyway, and insists he's just having a little more trouble from the old brain abscess. His neurologist knows all this and just says to hang in there because he won't be able to deny it much longer. I feel like the mother of toddler going through the terrible twos but the toddler is twice my size. I'm afraid that if I stopped helping him he would have a physical health crises. She also says this is all about his anger and frustration that this is happening to him and that, in time, he will accept it. He is already a full time job for me and his Alzheimer's is still in a fairly early stage. One thing I've learned is that a spouse does not get Alzheimer's; the couple gets Alzheimer's...

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
377
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
679
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

679 Views
Message 5 of 13

@karent141049 wrote:

Does anybody have any advice as to how to deal with a recently diagnosed spouse who is in total denial? What do you do, as you watch somebody slowly deteriorating but they insist they have been mis-diagnosed by two different neurologists?


Whoooo boy, Karen, that's heartbreaking. 

Well, i have a few ideas. Tell me what you think. 

 

I used to work in a chemotherapy clinic as a social worker, and i ran a whole bunch of support groups. "Denial" was one of our favorite topics. And one of the things that my cancer patients taught me is that it hardens the 'denial' if you come at it directly. People just dig in. So instead of trying to figure out a way to chip away at his denial, you just go on about your lives together. Don't fill in for his blank stares, finish his sentences, rescue him, unless he would hurt himself or you if you didn't intervene.

 

Ways to spot that the denial has big holes in it:

Did the neurologists prescribe one of the drugs that slow dementia? is he taking it? 

Is he writing down more reminders for himself?

Are there certain things that he can no longer do and he admits it?

 

I had a friend who's mother developed dementia, and one way the daughter could tell was that the crossword puzzle was no longer filled with words but with doodles. 

 

One other point: it's hard to admit to your wife that your brain is broken and getting more broken. Does he have a brother, or a minister/rabbi/yoga teacher that he trusts? Does he have future appointments with his primary care provider? Make that brother/adult son/best male friend/clergy person go, too. Your husband may be more candid. Or maybe less candid. Does he have a sister?  You know his world: who would he listen to?

 

What do you think? Please write more.

Jane

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
679
Views
Info Seeker
0
Kudos
1341
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

1,341 Views
Message 6 of 13

Does anybody have any advice as to how to deal with a recently diagnosed spouse who is in total denial? What do you do, as you watch somebody slowly deteriorating but they insist they have been mis-diagnosed by two different neurologists?

Report Inappropriate Content
Tags (1)
0
Kudos
1341
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
1674
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

1,674 Views
Message 7 of 13

@DonnaW710509 wrote:

I am trying to help out a person in our choir. I am trying to find ways to keep him/her in the choir because singing is so important for the brain. However, I never knew there were so many cognitive steps to following the music in the hymnal with the new songs. Nothing yet has worked out well... Larger print of the lyrics... a special notebook... line markers... all of the other choir members try to assist but is there anything else we have not tried that would keep this individual focused? The socializing and singing is so very important! Thank you!


How wonderful that you all are trying to help!

Perhaps relax your standards just a bit? Let him/her do what they can with the words in large type, and if they wander off the note, so what? Have at least one buddy, preferably two, right close, and wing it? 

 

In addition to the awesome movie, Alive Inside, there's also the delightful Young@Heart about a senior citizens choir. Hilarious and very moving. Here's the trailer: https://youtu.be/CjnfoFg7i7g.

 

Make a joyful noise, amen.

Jane

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
1674
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
1680
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

1,680 Views
Message 8 of 13

@s730678s wrote:

How can wandering be corrected with dementia patients?


Wandering is very tricky!  I have 2 ideas: one is to hide their shoes.

 

The other is to buy GPS shoes: they are expensive but you can always find your loved one if they do happen to 'escape.'

 

Any other ideas out there folks?

 

Jane

Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
1680
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
1948
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

1,948 Views
Message 9 of 13

@DonnaW710509

Morning Donna!  You are so right.  Singing and music and being social in a choir can be so great for a person living with dementia.  In fact at least two professors have studied the benefits of choirs on the cognitive health of people living with dementia.  Mary Mittleman out of NYU and Julene Johnson from UCSF.  I don't have specific expertise on this question, so I will ask them and get back to you!

 

Have you seen the 2014 documentary "Alive Inside" about the work of Music and Memory?  It's awesome!  Music & Memory is a NY non-profit that promotes music as a way to tap memories and reduce stress.  Sarah

Sarah Lock, AARP Expert Brain Health
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
1948
Views
AARP Expert
0
Kudos
1953
Views

Re: Challenges you face when caring for someone with dementia

1,953 Views
Message 10 of 13

@s730678s Glad you asked!   Wandering is one of the most common issues to deal with.  Here is a great Alzheimer's and Dementia care video with lots of ideas from our friends at UCLA who worked with AARP to post their caregiver training videos on AARP's CareConnection site.  Dr. Linda Ercoli is featured with several very specific suggestions about how to distract and dissuade a person with dementia from wandering with respect and love.    

 

There are lots of videos available on managing challenging behaviors -- scroll down to the one on wandering. 

https://www.careconnection.aarp.org/en/pages/tips-and-articles/dementia-alzheimers/dementia-videos.h...

 

Sarah (and my colleagues Sanjay Khurana and Sara Kim, and Drs. Zaldy Tan,  David Reuben and Linda Ercoli from UCLA!)

Sarah Lock, AARP Expert Brain Health
Report Inappropriate Content
0
Kudos
1953
Views