New member dealing with dementia(family member)

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deedeero
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/3/2014 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I was wondering if there is anyone could help me with the 'stages' of dementia. My mother in law (mil) is in the 3rd stage??
Any help greatly appreciated-just need to talk.
thank you

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4762
   Posted 10/4/2014 4:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Three Stages of Dementia, What to Expect.
www.understanding-dementia.com/stages-of-dementia.html

My dad is also stage three. It's pretty tuff on everyone...But he's in a memory care center...

deedeero
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/4/2014 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Steve,
Thanks for respnding. We are also in the middle of selling her house. She knows she can never go back there to live (she is in a retirement home right now where she has been for 1 1/2 years),but sometimes she will say to us 'it is still my house and if I want to go there,I can'. But all of her personal stuff has been moved out and the house is just staged for the sale. She will forget stuff in 10 min that she just discussed. It's real hard. When we go to visit her sometime she will tell us we have not been there ina month and she has been abandoned.. We live about 5 minutes from the home so that is not at all true. Hard to handle right now

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4762
   Posted 10/6/2014 2:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Guessing you've learned to not argue with her... The good news about her being mad that you haven't visited (or so she thinks) is that she'll forget she's mad.

Tuff part for us is that my dad is pretty good in the first part of the day and keeps begging us to not lock in up in the physc ward... We keep telling him to stop beating on the nurses with his cane... Course he doesn't remember that part..

deedeero
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/6/2014 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I ended up going to see my MIL a 2nd time last nite. She called my husband and said she was very scared,that she wanted to go to her 'other room'(there is only 1 room). I got on the phone and could hear she was on the verge of tears so I told her I would be right there. Luckily we are only about a 5 minute ride from the home. When I got there she was pretty upset. I sat with her and asked her where her other room was. She said she wasn't sure. I asked her if it is in the building that we could walk to it or it we had to take the car to get to it. She wasn't too sure. I reminded her that the room she is in is her only room and again showed her all of her pics. She was ok then and no longer had to go to another room but she wanted to know who put her in 'this place' and why. I explained that almost 2 years ago she fell off her treadmill(she's 91 but wanted to keep her looks!LOL) Instead of turning the speed down,she turned it up and it spit her out the back breaking her arm and a hairline fracture of her kneecap. So she could no longer stay in the house alone so she was taken to Rosedale(the retirement home where she has been since then). She said 'well, I wish people would tell me all of this,cuz I don't remember ANY of that!'. What could I say to that?
Just today myself and her daughter Bonnie were there to see her and my husband John called to see how her was and she said she was lonely cuz nobody had been to see her. He called at 6:30pm and we were there about 2pm??
I did see my husband tear up a couple days ago,the first time since she was in I think.
Diana

JaSanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2079
   Posted 10/14/2014 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Diana and welcome to this forum,

I mostly post at the Crohn's forum since I have the disease, but I check here occasionally since my father had the disease.

There's no denying how hard emotionally and physically Alzheimer's and other dementias are on families. My father was told up front that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he understood what that meant since he had uncles and an aunt with the disease years before. It helped him to cope when we reminded him that it was the illness that was making him forget and causing his body to stop working properly. I don't know if your MiL knows she has the disease; I'm sure there are families that choose not to broach the subject with the patient, but for my dad it worked better to talk about it. My mother had Parkinson's and when she would have hallucinations, it was easier for her to cope when I reminded her that it was the disease firing the images.

It sounds like you're doing a good job helping her cope with being there and calming her when she was afraid. It may be helpful to her if you put a calendar in her room and when you visit, write something on the day you visit so that she has something visual. We tried different things with my dad like that. I had his newspaper delivered to the home he was in even though he could no longer read as such, but it helped him pin down what day it was and it was a familiar touchstone from his life at home.

One thing we learned with my Dad was that when he suddenly became far worse with the dementia symptoms, was to look for a physical cause. If dementia patients get an infection, it can really ramp up their dementia. Dad's bladder was affected by the disease and he would get infections that would send him into another dimension. We learned to watch for sudden changes.

I found the stages of the disease listed on several medical websites also.
55 yr. old--CD over 43 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor, other times I have no humor at all, but most of the time I just have no sense.

deedeero
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/14/2014 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 Thanks for your response. It is so good to hear from someone that is experiencing the same thing we are.
 Ma does not know she has Dementia. I swear it happened overnite!. She has a temper that she never had, it just 'isn't ma' as we say. My SIL and I had a little talk yesterday after we had Thanksgiving dinner at the home where ma is. She said we have to remember this is a different ma and we have to learn how to love her all over again. It's so sad. I have only been in the family for 9 years but for my husband,John and his sister,Bonnie it has to be overwhelming. I actually saw my husband tear up for the time last week.
I don't remember if I said we are going to support groups and that helps but on the days there is no support group,there is really noone to speak to. I have been looking around to see if there is someplace else we can contact,or even speak to online but other than this one,nothing really.
I do have a sense of humor also but lately it is lacking.

JaSanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2079
   Posted 10/20/2014 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry there's not a lot of posting here. I'm sort of used to the Crohn's forum where people post daily even though I'm not online daily myself.

It does help to talk to others dealing with these issues.
55 yr. old--CD over 43 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor, other times I have no humor at all, but most of the time I just have no sense.

Susie820
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/3/2014 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
deedeero said...
I was wondering if there is anyone could help me with the 'stages' of dementia. My mother in law (mil) is in the 3rd stage??
Any help greatly appreciated-just need to talk.
thank you


DeeDee, I have just recently taken over the care of my MIL with Alzheimers. My MIL is 87 and my FIL is 88. He had been doing the best he could to take care of her in their home up until the beginning of November when he became very ill and was hospitalized. He now has been in the hospital four weeks and my MIL has been living with my family. Years ago my father had Alzheimers before he died and I am somewhat familiar with the stages but it has been exhausting taking care of my MIL full time. She is lost most of the time and really doesn't know what to do next. I direct her throughout the day from one activity to another. Sometimes she knows us and sometimes she doesn't. Her short term memory is almost completely gone although sometimes she can retain some new information. She can still feed herself if I put the food in front of her and she can dress herself and brush her teeth and hair if I lead her through the processes. Left to do it herself she just turns round and round trying to figure out what to do. I want her to have as much independence as possible but I will not let her become agitated trying to do it alone. For quite some time now she has been having problems with soiling herself somewhat. She will take off her underwear and wash it out and hang it to dry. After bring her to my house and going back to her's to collect belongings she needed I found bag after bag of soiled underwear that needed to be thrown away. She also, for some unknown reason, will used the toilet paper she uses and put it in the waste basket instead of flushing it down the toilet. I have to follow after her and clean up any messes she makes. In her mind she is doing the right thing. She is still enough herself that she tries to "hide" these accidents from us and I never let her know I'm cleaning up. I have come to this forum just to talk about how to be a good caregiver and not become burnt out in the process. We may end of with my FIL living with us also when he gets out of the hospital. It has not been determined yet whether a skilled nursing facility is best for him or if it would be better for him to come here. They will never be able to go back to there on home. Looking forward to getting to know others in this same situation and maybe learning from them.

livingngrace
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 12/4/2014 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
My name is Gina and I have taken care of my Mother who had dementia for over eight months, and she is now in a nursing facility. I know about the caregiving and the stressors.
Susie, I had my best friends fiL that did the same thing with the bathroom issue. He would go to the bathroom in the utility closet. Bless their hearts, they seem to get really confused with that, but seem to too, know that something is off. When I took care of mother she was in the beginning stages and it was so hard to tell with her what was dementia and what was her not wanting to remember. After my father passed, mother just did not want to remember, then dementia hit and she couldn't.

I don't know about the rest but momma got mean. She still is. She's a biter. She must be in the later stages, (I don't know stages) because she is aware that she is loosing her mind. she screams a lot. Or she did when she got phenomena. The hospital had to sedate her very heavily, she just screamed and screamed. It was harrowing. Incredibly stressful, for her and the family. Once momma got better she told us that she knew she was loosing her mind. At least in mom's case, she's went from one stage (or at least it's seemed) to another and back.

One thing that I do know, it's hard. It's hard work -- emotionally exhausting and mentally taxing. It takes courage and fortitude, compassion and guts. I took care of my dad for eight years. He'd had a stroke that was caused by a aneurysm in his brain. Two aneurysms really. He was a walking miracle. I cherished everyday with him.

So I understand and am here to support. God will bless each and everyone of you!!!!

Grace blessings,
Gina
“If you open your heart, love opens your mind.” Charles John Quarto

Susie820
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/6/2014 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
livingngrace said...
Hi,
My name is Gina and I have taken care of my Mother who had dementia for over eight months, and she is now in a nursing facility. I know about the caregiving and the stressors.
Susie, I had my best friends fiL that did the same thing with the bathroom issue. He would go to the bathroom in the utility closet. Bless their hearts, they seem to get really confused with that, but seem to too, know that something is off. When I took care of mother she was in the beginning stages and it was so hard to tell with her what was dementia and what was her not wanting to remember. After my father passed, mother just did not want to remember, then dementia hit and she couldn't.

I don't know about the rest but momma got mean. She still is. She's a biter. She must be in the later stages, (I don't know stages) because she is aware that she is loosing her mind. she screams a lot. Or she did when she got phenomena. The hospital had to sedate her very heavily, she just screamed and screamed. It was harrowing. Incredibly stressful, for her and the family. Once momma got better she told us that she knew she was loosing her mind. At least in mom's case, she's went from one stage (or at least it's seemed) to another and back.

One thing that I do know, it's hard. It's hard work -- emotionally exhausting and mentally taxing. It takes courage and fortitude, compassion and guts. I took care of my dad for eight years. He'd had a stroke that was caused by a aneurysm in his brain. Two aneurysms really. He was a walking miracle. I cherished everyday with him.

So I understand and am here to support. God will bless each and everyone of you!!!!

Grace blessings,
Gina



Gina thank you so much for the support and sharing your story. My MIL is not mean or angry but before my own father died from the illness he was angry most of the time until he couldn't speak any more. She is just lost and sad. She knows she has memory problems and apologizes to us. She really doesn't know just how bad it is. Her personality has changed much although she is much quieter due to the fact she cannot carry on a conversation. She has "wrote" things she says over and over again. However, the other day she was in the car with my husband and adult daughter on their way to visit my FIL in the hospital. While at the hospital she held his hand but said almost nothing during the entire visit. Then, on the way home my daughter was in the backseat and carrying on a conversation with her father. All at once my MIL said, "Will you PLEASE make her stop talking!" "She has been talking ALL EVENING!" My daughter was shocked at that outburst and came home in tears. She had never had her grandmother say such a thing to her and use that tone of voice. She understood that it was the illness that made her grandmother do that but it hurt her terribly. Then, two days later her grandmother apologized to her for saying that to her. Then, I was shocked that she even remembered it had happened. My daughter is now skittish to talk with her grandmother in fear it may happen again. You are right about how hard it is taking care of someone you love and who isn't the person you've known all your life. I'm glad you had the time with your father before he passed away. Stay in touch and thank you again for your encouraging words.
Susie
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