New to caregiving, but not HW -- any basic tips?

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inflamed
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Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 4/3/2011 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm usually over on the Crohn's board, but have recently taken over care of my Mom. My Dad just passed away and we know she has dementia. We're not sure the severity because she obviously had a lot of stress going on with my Dad's illness and her illness took a back seat for some time.

She's going to be living the majority of the time at my house. I have a toddler and a baby and work part-time. Any basic tips for beginning diagnosis and treatment or dealing with dementia day by day will be hugely appreciated.

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/3/2011 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
My condolences to you and your family. First, you need to have someone in your family assigned as her Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney for health care. With that in place, you or whoever will be able to take charge of her care. When that is in place (or if it already is), you should have her evaluated to find out the extent of her dementia. From there you can decide on how to proceed. For instance, if she is left alone for any period of time but lucid enough so she doesn't wander, you might want to remove the knobs from the stove so she doesn't try to cook. If she is a wanderer, you might need to place her in adult daycare or have someone come sit with her when someone is not home with her. Also too, it wouldn't hurt to have an ID chain placed on her - either a bracelet or necklace. I personally like the tamper proof bracelets.

People with dementia also have a hard time remembering when to eat or if they have already eaten. So it's important to have her partake in meals with you so she will get the proper nutrition.

When you take someone with dementia out of familiar surroundings, there might be some confusion at first. She may get more agitated and confused but patience is the key. Do not lose patience with her if she keeps asking the same question over and over. Having someone move in with you with dementia, it's pretty much like having another child.

If you should have more questions, do not hesitate to ask.
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

inflamed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 4/3/2011 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, thank you Sherry. She's not a wanderer yet, but we're afraid to leave her alone. I hired a woman to come when I have to take the kids on outings she can't handle. She does not remember to eat on her own, that's one of the biggest reasons we won't leave her alone and had her move here. She was very disoriented and anxious about the move here. I've learned to be much more patient in the last couple weeks, but with two needy kids I sometimes just have to tell her to wait her turn. I guess that's a bit like the distracting techniques.

I do have all of the power of attorney taken care of at least. I'll check out bracelets next. We're on the wait list for a major memory clinic here. Hopefully we can get her in soon.

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/4/2011 4:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I understand what it's like to be a caregiver with small children. My kids were a bit older then yours but I had to go thru the same thing. I know what it's like to be torn in two or three different directions - between the kids, the husband and then there was my grandmother. It takes a lot of patience and dedication to be a caregiver. I applaud anyone who is willing to take on the that role. I just want you to know that we are here for you for questions, concerns or if you just want to vent okay?
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
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