I am trying to figure out how to help my mother-in-law who has been with us 2 months.
I need an official diagnosis but would like more details on caregiving and what level she's at, and whether certain meds are affecting her paranoia. Need advice on psychiatric meds, etc. So do I go to appointments using HER insurance? Or go to my own psychiatrist and ask questions about her? (I don't actually have… read more
My Uncle has already prewritten his requests for funeral arrangements. The clothes he is to wear...the newspaper obituary. This man put all of that together before he became too ill with Alzheimers. We talked about the disease when he was first diagnosed officially... he knows what to expect (His two brothers had it) but will often say things like, " I don't know how someone can lose so much of their life in one fall swoop!" That made me cry. :( He now remembers very little and spends his time doing simple things, colouring, word search, puzzles... anything I can get him to do to get his mind working. He never seems to mind when I talk to him about the disease and what he is going through. His main responses are "I don't know, Never thought of it, or Never gave it a another thought." He is very mellow...always has been...not aggressive in any way. I will get the steely Blue eyed look once in a while if he is getting annoyed, but in most cases that lasts a few seconds and is gone. I am very blessed to have him still with us. He is 94.
My Uncles psychiatrist respected him and would call him in alone first and have a sit down talk with him. She would then ask him to sit out in the waiting room and call me in to discuss what they talked about. This gave him the opportunity to say what was on his mind as his own person without me hovering. I think that gave him a sense of himself even though much of him was “missing”. I will be forever grateful for that.
I think even if we told my dad about it, he would forget. We don't constantly remind him. Seems pointless...
Good understanding: protect the dignity of the afflicted; live with their reality; accept their limitations without correction or condemnations. I try this myself but find my imperfections are very visible to me.
My husband himself sought out his diagnosis. He questioned his own memory issues a few time with his medical doctor who eventually explained that Neuropsychological testing would be necessary to determine any changes. He had the testing, and medical testing to check any brain disease, eye disease and finally referred to a neurologist who had him take the special PETscsn to identify ALZ. Once the diagnosis was official he felt there was a purpose for him to have found out at the early stages so that he could educate others. That was 2 1/2 years ago. Today he defies that diagnosis and feels it has stigmatized him so that people treat him differently. Two and half years ago he had mild to moderate cognitive impairment, today he questions how many grandchildren he has and he sees his grandchildren regularly as we live in the same town. I guess with anything it’s case by case, and knowing the individual. Early diagnosis will definitely help with making executive decision for the patient, Preparing power of Atty and living wills, car registration etc.
Not to sound selfish but the diagnosis help me , his wife, understand him better.