I need to vent!!

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Dolores M
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/30/2011 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
My sister and law and I alternate every few months, caring for my mother in law. I'm kind of at my wit's end. She REFUSES to bathe... probably because she's afraid of falling. I'm a vegetarian, so she eats hardly anything I cook. Maybe coffee, half a banana, and some cookies for the whole day. I tried buying Ensure for her, but she keeps getting thinner & thinner. She sleeps til 2, and there's not much to do here (I work from home all day, sometimes take her to bingo. Husband & I try to play Scrabble with her every night). I just see her wasting away & depressed .. and I don't know what to do. :(


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Post Edited By Moderator (Red_34) : 3/30/2011 12:45:03 PM (GMT-6)


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 3/30/2011 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Is she on medication?
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(50mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds~OA-Tylonel Arthritis~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis~GAD-Klonopin (.25mgs)~Rosacea-Metrogel/Elidel

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 3/30/2011 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Honestly, it is a tough thing to see them waste away. My mother has a swallowing disorder, and she is a whopping 82 pounds. And now because of her Alzheimers, we have to remind her to drink Ensure when she can get it down. The only thing she really eats anymore is ice cream, chocolate, and a little Ensure. She never was one to take naps and now is napping all the time, and doesn't even want to get up from the corner of her couch. I'm not sure what to do at this point either so I try to keep my Dad going. How old is your m-i-law? Would she take meds? I know my Mom refuses..... rolleyes

bbomber
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 5/21/2011 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
You need to find caregiver help in your town.  I' 53 and the accident baby.  I cared for my mom till she died of ALZ  7 years ago.  Then My dad ..my best friend, got to be 89.  His last year was horrible with singles.  My relatives would say... you know why your dad is still alive don't you?   I knew he was here for me.   That part of telling them it's OK to go and I will be OK.  is the famous last words they need to hear and I needed them to hear me say!!!!   It was time for us both.  Them are the words are loved ones want to hear.  IT'S OK TO GO...WE WILL BE FINE.  YOU'VE TAUGHT US HOW TO SURVIVE BY WATCHING AND LISTENING AND LOVING YOU BEING YOU!

bbomber
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 5/21/2011 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
They act up in the evenings.  I,ts called sundownin.  Before evening comes close curtains and turn all lights on. Play spelling games.  I found my mother was very good at spelling words  Like family names, where she  was born and spell it!!!  Who knew...  I also took her outside and put her barefoot feet in the grass.  In winter I stopped her wheelchair at the door, and when people walked in she got the winter air blast...and reacted to it by holding her hands up and saying whoooooooo thats cold.   Well Mom with ALZ4 thats what I want you feel.....Lifes changing seasons that you are suppose to feel. the rest of your and my life...

tryn2gtbtr
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 5/25/2011 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
idea  hi,my nanny had dementia,luckily for all the family she was the sweetest thing ever. Up until she had to go into a facility, she lived on her own and would walk outside in a city near Newark,NJ. not to safe until one night by a miracle, was found on the steps of elizabeth general hosp.with a broken shoulder. From there we all pitched in to try and take care of her. But it was hard. I would visit with my children, when we could take her out for walks or lunch. And luckily my cousin was a nurse at the nursing home where she did die at.If you have a loved one who has to be in a facility my advice to you is.Make sure you drop by at all times. I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to someone who doesn't even remember your name. One day my grandmother asked me if I say that flying horse outside her window. I said sure Nan, it's a unicorn.What can we do but try and make them as comfortable as possible. With love and compassion.Patience, patience and more patience.Don't try and take on the responsibility alone. It's really taxing on your nerves never mind your physical well being. My advice, if you can medicate her with moods or appetite go for it. What else do you have to loose.
good luck, i live with my mom who is 82 and starting to show signs of dementia. It's really nerve racking. I'm sick with polymyositis. So stress ofsets my pain, and my  mental health, well, I see my shrink on thursday thank god. good luck to all. remember your not alone.peace and love to all.
sue

zeeeb
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/9/2011 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
i tend to agree with trying to see the funny side and humour them. My grandfather had alzheimers and my grandmother in law has alzheimers, and my mum is going through the process of being diagnosed at the moment, i'm pretty sure we're going to get a diagnosis next week (she's only 57). it's very stressful for me, and i'm not looking forward to it at all because she's severely depressed and i can see that this first phase will probably be very long.

But my partner seems to deal with his nanna really well by humouring her, by prompting her to repeat her funny stories from "back in the day" over and over again, reminding her of all the funny things. by humouring her instead of being so sad about the way she is, by the fact that she has no front teeth because she won't go to the dentist, by the fact that her hair is out of control because she won't go to the hairdresser, so when he visits, it's just a laugh, instead of sad. She is obsessed with moving back to her home town, so when we see her, he is always asking "when are you going back to melbourne?, can I get a ride with you?" etc. to allow her the freedom to think that there is going to be a nice trip for her in the future as opposed to more years at a nursing home. he asks her about her sewing, and she always tells us that she sewed all the kids clothes and this and that, and we just humour her and tell her she does a great job, even though she hasn't picked up a needle in years.

tryn2gtbtr
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 6/9/2011 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, i've posted before on this site. Thanx to all that replied. I was wondering how do i go about having my mom checked out for early signs of dementia. She is begining to get really combative, angry, miserable. the smallest things will set her off. She's a recovering alcoholic, so medication is really hard to suggest. She thinks she'll be on dope as she calls anything but tylenol dope.It's a very difficult situation. I had to come and live with her in oct/09.I have polymysotis.An autoimmune disease. I've been on an uphill climb, but stress hits me like a ton of bricks. There is so much tension between us that the dog even has the runs. Our communication skills are not the best. She's a screamer, controlling and very jealous.Every day is a battle. I've sat her down several times and tried to convey my feelings.Needing boundries.My privacy.And demand respect.She's always interupting me when i'm on the phone,or if i'm at neighbors house's she'll come looking for me and cause a scene. We use to have a good relationship over the phone, but now that i live with her it's a whole new ball game. She treats me as if i'm 5. She wants me to be on call 24/7. I have to ask permission to give the dog a treat!!!!!Now that i've lost the prendisone puff and took off 30lbs. Befriended a few women in the complex, have gone out a few times. omg... she's soooo mad, jealous,judgemental and cruel.After being in a 12step program for over 15years you'd think she would have some serenity. Which leads me to believe that alcohol only masked her problem. I truely believe she needs an antidepressant.But how do i go about telling her that???Do i go behind her back and call her doctor?she is so tightly wound up. Such rage and meaness. It's so hard to be nice to her when she's so verbally abusive to me.Is that a sign of dementia???I recently read an article about vitamin B12 helping. I'm wondering about her arteries to her brain. Every day she is complaining about migraine headaches. She was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure.She just is miserable. She has said such mean cruel abusive things to me and then forgets.Or maybe she doesn't but is lying.Sometimes i hear her talking to an AA buddy and can't believe what i hear. Just lie after lie after lie.....I'll approach her and she'll just laugh it off while i'm crying my eyes out.She resents me living with her, she wants to throw me out. But i've lost everything and gave all my things to my daughter who lives 3,000 miles away.I've got nothing or nowhere else to go.I hate living here as much as she hates me here. I can't do enough to please her. Garden, cook, laundry,shop, cook, clean, nothing is enough.I'm at a loss here.The stress is over the top.And it really hurts to be abused by my mother who should be my best support system.I'm very vulnerable, cry, depressed, scared, not sure of my future,still on meds for my disease.Not being able to take care of myself financially. I waitressed all my life so i can not do that line of work anymore. The little bit of SSD i get would not allow me to live on my own.Gave my car to my daughter. My credit has gone down the drain, when i became ill, i was unable to keep up with my credit.I can handle all of that, but the only thing i can't handle is her. Does anyone have any suggestions????I'm at such a loss of resources.My depression has escalated and stress will enable the immune to come back. Don't know what to do. Can anyone relate?????Please help if so. Thanx for listening it does help to get it out....sue

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 6/10/2011 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I would contact the Alzheimer's Assn www.alz.org and speak to one of their counselors. I think they can direct you to the right agency for help. Yes, people with Alz also have depression, anxiety, agitation. Some become withdrawn and some go the other way and become very combative. The disease causes major confusion. My mother became very depressed and I worked with her doctor and got her on an antidepressant right away. If she does have some form of dementia, it would be good to work with a doctor that has a social worker, someone for you to talk to and possibly get your mom in too to talk to. Also, there are support groups and again, the Alz Assn should have this information for you.
I hiope this helps,
Miriam
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 6/11/2011 6:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree that you need to talk to someone but it sounds like she may have more then possible dementia but another form of mental illness for example Schizophrenia or BiPolar. She may even have something really wrong with her brain. Has she ever had a MRI of her brain? If not, I highly recommend she have one - if not to rule out conditions (brain tumors or aneurysms can cause migraines and aggressive behavior) but to see if plaques can be found. Someone with AZ MAY have plaque formations on the brain (but not always).

Was she this bad when you were a child? If this is fairly new then she should be checked out. The first place to start is her doctor, he/she will not be able to discuss her case with you but you can voice your concern. When my Gma got dementia, I called her doctor. Luckily he is a geriatric doctor and had access to many social workers and other resources.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
~Left sided Uc-'92**Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines**
Colazal(9 daily)/6mp(50mgs)/Bentyl-Prilosec~allergies-Singulair/Zyrtec~Reynauds~OA-Tylonel Arthritis~Scoliosis~Sacroilitis~Dry eye-Restasis~GAD-Klonopin (.25mgs)~Rosacea-Metrogel/Elidel~IBS~Diverticulosis~Fibromyalgia

bbomber
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 7/2/2011 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I was going to mention SUNDOWNING but it has been said. How good it was that they had a name for a specific mood. And its right on. Call Visiting nurses about their help plus others. I paid anybody I trusted $10.00 anHR. VN was paid for thru some program.

bbomber
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 7/2/2011 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
There is only one pill that I know of that you must start them on as early as diagnosed.  ARACEPT...

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 8/11/2011 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
There is more than one pill for memory loss and dementia. My mom is on Namenda and Aricept and there are certainly others. My mom has been taking the combination for 8 years and she has been stable. She is still in the moderate stage, although leaning towards the end of it.
She refuses to change anything, whether it is her diet, or her schedule. I think some of it is that the need to have some control over their lives. Since they are becoming so dependent on others, they need to feel they can control something, like when they decide to bathe. It is very, very common for people with dementia to stop bathing. We can only get mom to bathe one day a week. The other days, we try to wash her privates.
I wish you well,
Miriam
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, back problems, hypothyroidism.

mcbrion
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/21/2011 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I would agree with MT lady. As I posted in another post today, I also gave my mother Namenda (the actual non-generic name is Memantine) back in 2003, when I saw an article in the New York Times. Memantine (Namenda) was not available in the US, and one had to get a doctor's prescription, fax it to a company, and they got it overseas. At that point, it cost $550 for a 90 day prescription.
It sure worked well. I was taking mom to daycare, and told the nurses to watch her. After -- literally -- 10 days, the nurse (who was older than my mom, who was 79 at that point), asked if I was giving her "that drug." When I asked why she was asking, and did she see an improvement, she emphatically replied, "YES!" Mom was apparently very lively again.
The memantine, in my mom's case, worked for around 6 months. I noticed a falloff in its effects after that. I had insisted to the doctor that I wanted combination therapy, Aricept and Memantine together. He resisted, but we made a deal that if she hadn't improved in 90 days, I would give her the medication he wanted to try. That never happened, since the Memantine worked.
However, synthetics cannot penetrate the blood/brain barrier, where all the "sludge" is slowly covering the nerve endings, so they cannot communicate with each other. I found Turmeric (sold in health food stores) actually restored partial memory, but even more, her self-awareness (a sense of appropriate behaviour, like whether she had made a fool of herself when the pastor came over to give her communion one time). Since I'm a gay man who lived in San Francisco from the early 70s until 2002, and had had nearly all of my friends die of AIDS, and develop dementia at one point or another, I had a lot of experience in gauging how bad their dementia was (we used to ask them to name their mother, father, sisters and brothers and ask math questions, like what's 10 x 5, in order to gauge when they could no longer answer those questions and were deteriorating further). Turmeric, if you look at studies, has been offered as a way of slowing deterioration, and, as I mentioned in my other post, it DOES penetrate the blood/brain barrier, since it's a natural substance. It seemed to almost act as a "detergent", maybe by scrubbing the sludge off the synapses. Even my brother, who is slightly mentally slow, noticed that mom seemed more alert (although I initially told him he wouldn't see any results for 30 days, just to throw him off. I didn't want to influence anything he saw. After about 8 or 9 days, he came to me and said, "I know you said we wouldn't see anything for at least 30 days, but..." I had noticed it too, and knew that my mother showed signs of improvement on the Memantine after 8 days as well, but he wasn't around then).
I am highly disgusted (and wrote the New York Times two days ago), about the fact that doctors won't suggest natural (aka "homeopathic) remedies, since they have not done enough "studies." I wasn't going to have my mom deteriorate just because they'd rather give her drugs than suggest anything natural. I had taken an Alzheimer's training course when I moved back here (East Coast) from San Francisco in 2002, and asked the doctors at the Alzheimer's training sessions why they didn't recommend ginko (at that point, turmeric had not been known to help in slowing down the progression of Alzheimers). Their response? "Well, we can't be sure of the quality of it." Anyone who was an AIDS caregiver knew that ginko, as well as vitamin E, only worked in LARGE doses, not small ones. Again, I thought this dumb: our parents and relatives are dying and they're worried about a NATURAL substance that doesn't kill off the vitamins in the body (have no doubt about it: man-made drugs use up vitamin B and other vitamins in your body to process themselves through your system). I was completely disgusted earlier this year, when doctors proclaimed ginko had no effects. I thought they were completely moronic. In the AIDS crisis, we all figured out -- long before AZT, and we were the ones telling the doctors things we'd found worked (vitmain E in large doses [ 1200 mg or higher -- E is an anti-oxidant and provides oxygen to the brain. It also works great if you're a runner or work out. You'd notice you're much less fatigued]) and ginko IN LARGE DOSES, meaning 1000 mg or higher. Small doses of ginko don't work at all, and the doctors used 250mg in their tests. I was completely frustrated that they didn't have to sense to consult people, such as those of us who were caretakers in the 80s and had a network where we consulted each other about what remedies so-and-so was receiving and did it work about this. All of us knew it worked only in large doses, and wish I knew who to write to about that study, so I could verbally lambaste them for such idiocy.
Turmeric works, as I said in my other post, but has the side effect of causing constipation after a few months. Big deal. I'd rather have a mother (and she was at Stage 5, out of 7 stages of Alzheimers) who got back some of her memory and who knew when she was demonstrating inappropriate behaviour (well, to HER it was inappropriate, such as making a fool of herself in a public place or when the pastor came over to give her communion), then wait for them to find a cure. Besides, neither ginko nor turmeric can harm the person, although it's a good idea to observe them and give them a series of questions to answer, so you can tell if they're becoming more forgetful. I asked mom to name her 10 brothers and sisters and asked math questions (she helped people do tax returns, so it was easy to ask "how much is 10 x10" or "What's 12 divided by 100, to which she replied, 'Glen, you can't divide 12 by 100" so I replied, "Fine, what's 100 divided by 12?" She was able to say "8..." and couldn't remember the fractionalized portion of it. Pretty good for doing it in your head at stage 5 of Alzheimers.
I do realize some people's relatives become violent: my mom did not, and she remembered who I was until the end -- when she had a stroke.
Anyway, enough babling. Germany used Memantine (Namenda) for 20 years for dementia (I can't remember if it was for vascular dementia or another form), but as MT lady mentions, it works. I gave mom the Aricept, Namenda AND the turmeric all at the same time (the turmeric I would give her 300 mg 3 x a day = 900mg).
If you want to try the drugs first, do the combination theory, but I beg of you to at least TRY the turmeric for a month or so. The constipation doesn't set in that quickly and, unless they have an allergy to it, it does help. Look up information on the 'Net.
I just wonder how long it will be before we understand that Nature does the best job of healing our bodies. I also wonder when medical professionals will open their minds and not be afraid of lawsuits if suggesting natural drugs for Alzheimers. They may be avoiding lawsuits but meanwhile our loved ones are sinking deeper and deeper into madness. As a survivor of the AIDS crisis (I never got it), Alzheimer's is, to me, a "repeat" of a war I've already been through once, and experience being the best teacher, I found vitamins and natural substances working surprisingly well.

Post Edited (mcbrion) : 8/21/2011 12:03:45 PM (GMT-6)


knit1purl1
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/21/2011 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info - wish I would have had it for my late husband, father, mother and mil. Drs. do seem to only want to use manufactured drugs and not even give nature a chance. Will pass this info on to other caregivers.
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