My Great Grandma, Grandmother & Great Uncle, all had Alzheimer's and we took care of them at home. Especially my Mother. She has Progressive Memory Loss, Gets lost when she drives, anxiety, depression , diabetes. She went to a specialist for Alzheimer's 3 years ago, and they said she was just stressed, depressed, and had a recent surgery that could cause memory loss. However, it has progressed significantly since then. And also lost her job of 15 years at UAB. They let her retire at 62. She is… read more
@A myALZteam Member Prayers are definitely going your way.
Please step back and take a breath and look at what you might be able to do to change your situation. You sound like you have burn-out. Your life has not been easy in any way for the past decade.... Cancer took its toll and now your hubby, Have you mourned the loss of your mate as he was? There is such a shift in your relationship due to ALZ taht you need to take time and actually get thru the grief of this major chage in your life. YOu might even talk to your Dr about antidepressants. If we need them,... we should take them. Have you been taking vitamins? CoQ10, folic acid, are a couple that come to mind for me that helped me turn around my brain and emotions enough that I was able to cut back on my anti-depressants. Remember that as we age (especially starting about late 50-early 60s) we need to restock the body with vitamins as things slow down like our hormones, and things like arthritis, and other things use up all our spare vitamins and minerals making the body slower to function and fight problems.
How is your support system? Your Best friend is now in destress making your emotions overflow. Ask your girlfriends to help you by listening and helping you work thru your problems. True friends want to give back and will welcome your request for help. Honor them by asking for an ear, a shoulder, an hour so you have some respite time....
I know you have a strong faith and that does help us in these trying times. But we are in a 24/7 job that has little rewards and we need to take the help wherever we can get it. If you need time to attend a service or an hour in the morning for a coffee and a bible read.... organize so you can take care of your soul too.
I really feel for you and want you to know that I am around to help in any way I can. Many Hugs and prayers going your way. God Bless you. -Sharon
It sounds to me that she needs sto see even a GP.Take a note with you of allthe things that you are noticing. As hardas it is, it may be time that ashe quits driving, if she is getting lost. Moms regular physician diagnosed her just as Dementia / Alzheimers ( although she did see Geriatrician for confirmation of ALZ and other things for elderly health issues) Her regular Dr also put her on Aricept (ALZ medication for trying to slow the progression). Her Dr also does the cognitive test every time Mom goes to see her and we gauge the changes by her score, among other things.
Secondly, keep your Mom occupied so she has something to focus on, not just her health issues. Have her help around the house as she is probably very used to doing these type of things. Sweeping the floor vacuuming, setting the table, helping with meals and laundry. You may do things better, but this will help her and keep her active rather than just sitting. It also gives you some time for other things.
As you said, you have hleped with others, so I am sure you know many things that may help as her carer. I think getting lost is an issue that becomes a safety issue for her. Good Luck in ironing out some of your challenges. Merry Christmas!
Each appointment I take notes on a medical summary sheet so we can look back to remember what was said by the doctors and when her next appointments are.
I have been going to all of my 80 year old Mom's appointments (mid-stage Dementia) with her to "take notes" because it is difficult for anyone to remember all the doctors tell us let alone if we are struggling cognitively.
I created a binder with an Emergency Fact Sheet that has all the important information on my Mom including her contact information, Healthcare providers, medical problems list, allergies, medications and dosages (with reason for taking), dates of exams, immunizations, and emergency contacts. She loves it knowing it is all in one place and I can help her be organized.
I have been able to communicate with her doctor via email through her electronic health portal (she is in able to navigate this) and we both agreed when the time was right she would be referred to Driving OT for an assessment on her driving ability. That way, it is a total stranger saying she cannot drive versus her doctor or family members. After she had a recent surgery before she could drive again, she was referred to this.
Driving OT first does medical exam that Iincludes memory and cognitive function. This is where it was confirmed she had mid-stage dementia and her challenges with processing and multitasking made it a high risk for her to get in an accident even just driving around town.
I homeshare with my Mom but work full time. Living with her I realized how much she was struggling with taking meds and managing paying her bills. Since she can no longer drive, she now takes a bus five days per week to an adult day program and she loves it! It really helps her with her moods.
Try to build a good relationship with her primary doctor and work together as a team to support her.