Mom still can do her personal care for the most part. She does not use the kitchen anymore, nor does she drive or go anyplace unattended. Her spouse is taking care of her for the most part with help from my sister and myself 3 days a week. Mom is getting very frustrated because we can't always figure out what she is trying to say. She also thinks we are always talking about her or that we are plotting against her. She also believes her husband is fooling around on her. One time said him and… read more
I just put my husband of 55 years in a very good memory care unit for a weekend today because he was declining this week to the point I was beyond able to care for him alone. I hope he can come home but I’m not optimistic. He is incontinent and anxious. Very difficult to control in the evening and much too strong for me at this point if he decides to resist or push past me. I’ve used every tool in my box to keep him happy and compliant but he is beyond me and I’m exhausted after five years with no break except for a week last September when he was much better and his brother and sister in law cared for him. Our kids and relatives would not be able to handle him now. I’m exhausted and sad. I hope he does well this weekend and makes some friends.
March 29, 2018
I am happy to report three weeks later he settled in just fine in just a few days. They asked me not to visit for about a week so he could begin interacting with others and get used to the place. That was very hard because I missed him so much. But they were right. By the time I saw him he said he liked being there and liked the staff and he had met several new men friends to hang out with. He was so happy to see me!!
Now I visit four to six hours a day and can take him out for short rides and lunch on occasion. I decided to are this a permanent home for him because there are so many activities and excellent care givers. I’m finally getting more rest and feel stronger and happier than I’ve felt in years because I know he is in the right place for him! I’ve stopped crying every day and am now happy as is he.
Also... On entering "The Dementia Zone," there are a gazillion ways to handle someone woth decency. First of all.. dont expect them to remember. Anything. Especially new information. They really cant.
For the thousandth time. They cant remember.
So be prepared to answer the same question 100 times. Patiently. Like on the 100th time she asks, it may as well have been the 1st time.
When she asks if its time to do whatever.. and its not... just say "soon." Dont argue it out. Its not worth it.
Soon is a good word.
You have to change YOUR responses and reactions.
And if she gets agitated or starts with her weird and wacky delusions.. just offer her a little snack. Find a simple distraction. She will forget she was upset.
She WILL forget.
That is the only guarantee. Its terribly heartbreaking.
And always remember... SHE is suffering far more than anyone else is. So just remember.the one rule to seeing mom is... YOU have a functioning memory, and are entering the home of someone who has EXTREME memory problems. Its up to you to make changes. Appease her in any way possible. If she tells a story thats not true... whatever. "Oh wow..gee! Thats awful." Or "Oh you saw the cat on tv!! Nice!" Dont argue. Seriously.
Who cares that her delusions arent true?
Make a game of it. You know its her brain illness. Distract, appease.. and always be quiet and kind. Xoxo much love.
"How do I know." Great question. First, are we talking assisted living, or are we talking memory care. Is Mom a flight risk? Does she understand date, time, year, current events. How much "assistance" does she need with the six activities of daily living (ADL) including bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, continence, and eating? Depending on your answer to that question is a good sign of need. good luck
I have just found an author Teepa snow. She has lots of u tube videos and discusses all kinds of different situations for caregivers. She has helped me tons in how to deal with mom. Would recommend her site and videos to everyone dealing with Alzheimers/dementia.
Honestly, you know in your heart and brain. You know whats best for her as well as your own health. When taking care of a loved one gets to be too much, assisted living is definitely something to consider. However, may I suggest hiring a private duty caregiver, a few days a week, first? Sounds like yall need a little respite care for her.. which is a break for you guys. That can also be done at home.
If she has dementia, she probably has a lot of delusions (long lasting ideas that are not based in reality) and all you can do is just comfort her through them. "I understand why you would think that. But no. We just love YOU very much." Leave it at that. If she repeats the question, you just need to repeat the answer, in whatever way soothes her. Maybe she needs more special date nights with her husband. She will still have that delusion, but she will be happy to go out with him, even for a picnic.. and HE will be happier as a result.
The problem with dementia is that it changes the relationship dynamics in the family, immensely.
You go from having a mom who you once turned to for advice, or a sounding board, to someone who grows more and more child like and needs you more and more.
Its really hard to maintain a balance of caring for a dementia patient's dignity needs while also filling all of theor daily needs. I mean, wiping their bottoms and getting them in the shower.. its a difficult undertaking, and the best practice is to do this in the most dignified way possible.
Try finding a home health agency that has
a lot of caregivers to choose from. Sometimes just having someone else in the mix can add a lot of knowledge and understanding.
Im a CNA and I have had plenty of experience in a memory unit of an ALF, a nursing and rehab center and also home care.
Just try to remember that whenever you are dealing with mom, you can change, and she cant. Her brain is ill. Yours is not. So you are entering the dementia zone.. her world. Full of her crazy ideas, her resistance to care etc.
Get someone to come in and give yall a hand. It is probably cheaper than an ALF, and you can learn a lot from a seasoned professional caregiver. Xoxo good luck.
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