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Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/7/2013 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello ...
 
  I kind of hit a brick wall yesterday when going to see my mother at her "assisted living home for dimentia". But first, a little background:
 
  Mom was living alone (at her insistance) from 1995 to mid-2011 - and was driving her car for approximately that timeframe ... until she fell in her Kitchen and could not get up. She went into the hospital for observation and when released, her doctor said she needed 24/7 care in her home. That was at the age of 93!
  For the next 15-months, she did have a 24/7 caregiver living in her home - and actually kind of got used to it! I think maybe it was a daughter-like relationship for her - since the caregiver was in her mid-50's. However, during those months, Mom had three different episodes - all in the late evening - all screaming that someone was in her home trying to kill her.
  The last episode was very bad, she was admitted into the psych ward of the local hospital ... and after over 4-weeks, the psychiatrist and her primary doctor both said she needed to go into a home that had nursing care or with a RN on staff. Mom's caregivers at home, were no longer able to contend with the level of dimentia - in the psychiatrists opinion.
  So ... the search for a home started ... and luckily one was found within two weeks or so that specialized in dimentia patients - and that had a lot of "home-y" type of things going on there. She was moved from the hospital to the Assisted Living home last September.
 
  I suppose the very typical reactions happened - and for months - on and off. That is, she would ask "how long am I going to be here" or "when am I going to go home"? But, gradually she did get used to many of the nice aspects of this Assisted Living home - and I saw her enjoying herself very often when visiting.
  Now ... over the course of the past 26-months of care (either in her own home or in the AL home) - her savings have dwindled down to pretty low levels. For 10-months now, her old home has been vacant and has been costing $500. or so/month to just barely maintain - with taxes, insurance and basic utilities.
  Since she will never be going back home, and with her money account getting smaller, her home had to be put on the market for sale. The months of May and June were spent doing fairly minor things to her home - and it went on the market a few weeks ago. The home went into contract in a short period of time - with a closing set-up for the end of this month.
  First ... the money from the sale of her home will allow her to stay in her current AL home - and delay or avoid going into a Medicaid Nursing Home. Second ... it is one responsibility off my back - going to her house 3x a week the past two months and once a week for the past 18-years. I am going thru major medical problems myself - including advanced prostate cancer (2+ years), kidney failure (2+ years) and COPD (5+ years).
 
  Yesterday, I brought over to Mom some lighter weight clothes - her request from last week-end - in the colors she asked for. She immediately got nasty with me, wanted for us to go into her room for some privacy - and then it escalated to a level I hadn't seen for at least a year.
  She did make up a few innocent-type of stories (signs of her deteriorating dimentia I think) - and then (as she had been doing in the past for at least the last 15-years) complained to me that she doesn't know why she didn't have a daughter because "they do so much more for their mothers than sons do"! It's been well over a year since I've heard that criticism ... but she was telling me that over and over - for at least the past 15-years.
  I did see a therapist, 18-years ago, for a number of things going on at the time - and the therapist told me my mother has been laying a guilt trip onto me since I was a kid! So ... this isn't from dimentia!
  I do not have any brothers or sisters (hardly my fault) - my Mom had been married three times and was an alcoholic (also hardly my fault) - and now ... my question for me is:
 
"What to do"???
 
Any thoughts would be appreciated! 

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 7/8/2013 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
That's a tricky question and only you know what's best for YOU. it's never easy to be there for someone that caused mental anguish over the years. I really can empathize but unfortunately I'm still trying to sort out my feelings about my father.

Maybe someone will come along to offer better advice. Hang in there.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma, Alzheimer's, IBS, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC '92 - meds: Colazal, Remicade (6mp discontinued due to neuropathy)*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, IBS, Diverticuliar Disease, Fibro, Sacroiilitis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 7/8/2013 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
What do you feel in your heart that you should do? Also, it will get worse, as litterly they go back in time to a kid. Mentally, they slip back as a kid and eventually, a baby but trapped in an adult body. It is extremely difficult and emotional for everyone. There will be "up's" and "down's" as they will also hallucinate as well. I had to learn during the down times to not let it get to me, as they do not realize what they say. You do what you are doing, continue to love, cherish, support her. We had to sell my gma's house too. And not all Medicaid homes are bad, it is just finding the right one. If you aren't able to keep her in that home, which I suggest to do as long as you can, but start looking for one just in case. Don't call ahead and schedule a tour. Show up out of the blue, on the spot. Talk to the residents, see if they are happy or not. By doing that you help cast away the not so good homes, and you see as they truly are. Visit her often, at all times of day, don't get into a pattern of visitation. I used to work in a nursing home, a pretty bad one at that, and the CNA's would let them be soiled for hours on end, til a diaper rash happened, it was horrific. The only ones that got the best treatment were the ones that had visitors that showed up on a routine. After moving Gma to a home, I showed up every day at different times for awhile, then I moved to every other day and I'd always change my habbit, and have some days I'd show up 3 days in a row, miss a day come back so on. They want a company to look good, to keep business going, its about money basically. So I did that to get my Gma the best care possible. I even stayed the night a couple times. That facility was Medicaid/Medicare and was really wonderful. I paid attention to all patients there, keeping an eye out for faults. Everyone was treated well. I am thankful I found that facility, but it is a man hunt. The facility had multiple buildings, ranging from assisted living to nursing, to respite to dementia to alz..it was nice. If the needs changed, she just changed buildings and rooms. Her care stayed the same - good decent care and they cared. I hope this helped, just some ideas to think about.
~Moderator - Allergies & Asthma , Alzheimer's~
"The Walking Medical Mystery"/~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~/ And Doctor's Worse Nightmare DX: Lactose Intolerance, Gluten Sensitive, ADD, Fibromyalgia, Carpel Tunnel, Arthritis, Clasterphobia, Anxiety, Diabetes Type II, Grave's Disease, Tachycardia, GERD, PCOS, Migraines, UARS, Anterior Scleritis, Orbital Tumor

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/9/2013 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   
To SmurfyShadow ...
 
  Thanks for all of the thought and explanations. I did call my Mothers Assisted Living Home yesterday just to verify a few things - and I was pretty comfortable with how the Social Director handled my questions and a few of my concerns.
  My Mother had made a few statements about how the patients went out with the caregivers for various things. I did know that in good weather, there were supervised trips to various places - up to 12-wheelchairs would fit on the small bus they have, and at least 3 care-givers would be on a trip typically.
  As I had suspected, the trips my Mother was talking about were all made up in her head (out to dinner - or for clothes shopping for example). Mom keeps asking me for money (for those trips) ... and I did want to make sure there wasn't theft going on there - or that one of the caregivers was not going out to pick-up lottery tickets (a long-term bad habit of Mom was in small time gambling). I keep telling her that I cannot give her money. Everything is billed - and I pay that bill once a month.
  I did give her inexpensive jewelry 3 or 4 times this year - and it all seems to be gone. Last Saturday, I wanted to bring home her two winter-type of coats ... one of them (the cheap one) was there but the 3/4 length leather coat had disappeared. She could easily have given away the cheap jewelry - knowing her ... but never would she give away that coat - never!!!
 
  I also called a psycologist yesterday to make an appointment, one I have used twice before last year. He works very well with the terminally ill and with depression. Since I started my third type of chemotherapy two weeks ago, my Oncologist keeps asking me if I have talked to that doctor yet. 
  The combination of the Lupron (hormone therapy) that I've been on for two years now and the three types of chemotherapy along with the Predisone I have been on for about two years now - all combine to create side-effects that, at times, can be hard to manage. Getting tired very easily and high emotions both go with the territory - so does trying to sell my Mothers house or getting it ready for a closing actually in less than 3-weeks.
  I do need to guard developing feelings of guilt. Creating guilt in me was a specialty of Mom's even from my childhood ... so that cannot be blamed on her dimentia. Saturday, she remembered that very well!!!
  For nearly 10-months in the Assisted Living Home for Dimentia, she was almost an angel ... well ... nasty words for others but not for me. I guess that's why my last visit with her was so difficult - when she struck out at me - and it seemed to be when I held firm on not giving her spending money.
  Thanks for listening ... it really helps to be able to just spill it out sometimes! 
 

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/20/2013 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Update .......
 
  I saw Mom yesterday and talked to her buildings nurse and to the social director. First ... she was much better (state of mind) - but looked and acted as though she had aged many months in a week.
  It was time for the patient review with the nurse and social director, and Mom has not withdrawn at all ...... that's a good thing.
  And the group did find her leather coat - that was missing the last time I was there. It always helps to believe your parent isn't getting ripped off at the Assisted Living Home.
  I had lunch with her there ... forgot how small the portions are! And believe it or not, too much salt on what I think was Beef Chop Suey - modified with non-chinese vegetables. The vegetables were very good though - fresh just like I've been told they use.
 
  Another day - but this time a pretty good one. 

Minette
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/21/2013 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
What to do? For your mother, you take care of her to the best of your ability. It sounds like you're doing very well on that score. You may want to find someone else, perhaps a friend of hers, who can take over from you if you're no longer able to handle it.

For yourself, you take care of the cancer and COPD, you make sure that you schedule enough time for rest and recreation, if possible you forgive your mother (notice that this is for your sake, not hers), and you grieve for everything you have lost and are losing. You get the support you need wherever you can find it. This place is a good start on that.

And remember, dementia is much harder on the loved ones, like you, than on the patient herself. When it's survivable, like the benign brain tumor I had removed last year, it can be hell on the patient -- I lost a decade of my life before it was diagnosed and removed; for some reason the only memories I retain of that time are the bad ones -- but a progressive, terminal dementia like Alzheimer's is much less painful for the patient than you might think, especially after she's forgotten her diagnosis. The time will come when your visits, or those of anyone else, are happy surprise visits from a total stranger.

Best wishes, Minette

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/21/2013 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the kind thoughts and words.
 
  I wish there was someone else who could step in. I'm kind of disgusted that my Mothers closest two neighbors, for over 10-months now of Mom being in Assisted Living, have not gone to see her once - or even asked me how she's doing. For the past two months, I've been over to her house thre times a week (average) and for the eight months prior to that, was over to her house weekly. I guess the one neighbor that my Mother always asks about, got what she wanted from my Mother in the past ... at least one small diamond necklace (that I know of). And the other neighbor always has been so full of himself, if someone isn't praising him for one thing or another, he doesn't want any part of that person.
  Very sad!
Mom was used to "buying love" - at least from others.
 
  My youngest daughter - and an old friend of my Mothers (closer to my age though) both have been very helpful the past two weeks over at Mom's house. Coincidentally ... those two are on my Mothers old Living Trust as Successor Trustees - in case (or whenever) I cannot be the Successor Trustee. They both seem to have been working together pretty well lately - so that gives me a sense of comfort if I'm not able to do the things I have been doing on my Mothers behalf at somepoint in time.
 
  When I was in at my Oncologists office Thursday, a volunteer from the American Cancer Society was there - and spent a little time talking to me. He lost his wife to cancer just over a year ago ... and I think he has me convinced to seek a local support group. My social life has been nearly non-existant for more than to 2-years now. I'm not at all a hermit, but I have resisted developing close friendships over the past two years or more.
  Your point of forgiving my Mother was well taken. I think I have. Actually, if I hadn't, I don't think I would still be caring so much about what happens to her. And ..... your point about dementia being more difficult on the loved ones ... is very true ... I think!
  The forum at HW is something I found by accident a little over a month ago, and sincerely hope that I can bring as much or more to the forum - as I am taking away from it. It is a solid step forward in this most recent chapter of life.
 
Thanks again ... and peace to you.

Minette
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/21/2013 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
When my Dad was dying of liver cancer 17 years ago, I was one of his primary caretakers, and got into a local (well, across town) support group that met once a week. They were very helpful. We all had pretty much the same problems and issues, and when one person couldn't figure something out someone else could. Losing him still hurt terribly, but I was able to get through it and past it largely because of that support group.

Minette

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/21/2013 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Minette ...
 
  Couldn't help but notice that you are new to HW - or at least appear to be. Let me be the first to welcome you. I will be giving the Cancer Society a call to find an appropriate support group for meetings.
 
Thanks again.
 
  I just got back from my Mothers house, and my youngest daughter worked her head off cleaning up the garage. She and a friend of my Mothers spent much of this week-end doing the final preparations for the closing of my Mother's house.
  With the closing scheduled for this coming Friday, I will soon have one large monkey off my back. Sad to see the end of an era ... but it's going to enable Mom to stay in her Assisted Living arrangement thru at least 2015 - because of the additional finances before having to consider a Medicaid Nursing Home.
 
Best wishes and peace in your life.

Minette
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/21/2013 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you. You are, indeed, the first to welcome me. I'm honored.

Minette

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 7/22/2013 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
huggss gizzy.... i know how chemo is on the body I been off and on it since 2008.

you hang in there!

remember zofran zofran lol (top of line nausea med)

I love my zofran. And remember to rest, and it is ok to let others to help. If you ever need to talk about it, let me know!
~Moderator - Allergies & Asthma , Alzheimer's~
"The Walking Medical Mystery"/~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~/ And Doctor's Worse Nightmare DX: Lactose Intolerance, Gluten Sensitive, ADD, Fibromyalgia, Carpel Tunnel, Arthritis, Clasterphobia, Anxiety, Diabetes Type II, Grave's Disease, Tachycardia, GERD, PCOS, Migraines, UARS, Anterior Scleritis, Orbital Tumor

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/23/2013 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   
The end of an era is near ........
 
It's always unavoidable - sooner or later - but the question is: how are you handling it? Or - are you handling it? In denial?
 
Well, it's less than 3-days to the closing on my Mothers house. I was there today for the final inspection of the Village, and for a few other minor things. I'm able to walk thru the house without a lump in my throat.
 
And that's good. Most of us come to that time where we have to accept - the time is near the end for someone - in my case it's Mom - a dementia patient. She will never go back to her home again. It will never be the same again. All those things are now memories!!!!
 
In some ways it's sad of course ... but ... it is reality.
 
Even though Mom still does complain some when I go to see her, I know she really does enjoy where she is at. The facility is very clean, modern and has caring care-givers. They have creative programs especially for dementia and other mind-destroying diseases. There are occassional local supervised trips (movies, horse-racing, etc.) - and weekly entertainers that come in - and in-house pets there daily.
 
Selling her house keeps her there at least another two years!
 
What more can be said! 
Initial Dx of PCa in 2003/2004
Radiation (5x5wks) & Brachytherapy (96 seeds) in 2004
Low PSA for 6-years
Casodex first - then Lupron from mid-2011 to current
Zytiga from January 2012 (5-months) - PSA increase
Prednisone from early 2012 & Xgeva from mid 2012
Taxotere from August 2012 (30-weeks) - PSA from 54+ to 12+
No chemo (8-weeks) - PSA from 12+ to over 23
Xtandi start - late June 2013 ......

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 7/24/2013 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I hear you Gizzy. We sold my parent's house about two years ago, and whenever I drive through the area I am reminded of all the good and tough times that we had -- but all in all, they are memories. I miss my Dad so much and miss my Mom being around the corner, but she is in good hands at her new home, and my siblings are taking great care of her. Take care Gizzy, and just wanted to know I'm thinking about you!

MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 7/24/2013 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish I had something positive to add. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 10 years' ago; my sisters and I really doubt it is Alz, definitely dementia, but she just hasn't progressed like most do with Alz. Now she is in a nursing home and thankfully a good one, just five miles from me and she is public aid pending. It took me three months to fill out all the paperwork for Medicaid and we have been waiting for NINE months...we are in Illinois, the state is just about broke and does NOT want to grant anyone any money. I can't see how they will refuse her. I responded to every question they had. In any case, we wait...
As far as what to do? I have two sisters that do help, but they work full time, I currently am out of work and I am her power of attorney, so most of the burden is on me. By burden I mean all the discussion with all her doctors, nurses and CNAs. My mother is extremely difficult, probably the most stubborn person they have met. I was told when she moved there, to the Alzheimer/dementia floor, that their staff is specially trained to take care of Alz/dementia people. They simply do not know what to do with her. I now get called every morning from her nurse asking me to please talk to her and get her to take her pills. She simply will not. For a while, I could say to her if you don't take them, I won't come visit you, and she would. Now she says "good, don't visit me, I don't want to see you." I went there yesterday at lunch, she still hadn't taken the morning pills, she has stopped eating breakfast too, and so I gently pleaded with her to take them for almost 15 minutes until she began screaming at me, told me as a daughter I am worthless, that I am good for nothing, which is something she has said to me since I was a very young child (she has always been a very nasty person) and so I gave up and left. It is getting more and more difficult to visit her. I go because I feel sorry for her and I am afraid she will not get the attention she needs if family doesn't show up. My sisters each go one day a week, on the weekends. I was going just about every week day. I am now cutting back. I have depression and anxiety and it has gotten so bad, and I know why, I know it's her, watching her go through this and as others have said, I realize she is not in any pain, she has absolutely no memory at all, but I feel as if it's killing me.

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/25/2013 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
To MT Lady:
 
   I understand the financial situation - being from Illinois myself. There is one program not well-known, and I am certain it's a federal program. It is available only to former members of the armed forces or their spouse.
   If your Father was in the armed forces, and your Mothers total estate is worth no more than around 30k as I recall - then she complies with the requirements. The benefit is somehow prorated, but it typically is close to $1000. per month for the rest of her life.
   That's a drop in the bucket for Nursing Home costs, but it is available to people on Medicaid - so it ends up being a supplementary small income that helps with medication costs, miscellaneous items and can be partially saved for - eventually the final costs.
   Once my Mothers lifetime of savings, and the balance from the sale of her house tomorrow get down to in the area of $30,000. total balance left, I will apply for that aide, as well as, getting her on Medicaid (which I think has the same net worth requirement).
 
   It's not a great deal of comfort, but at some point, it will be needed ... as long as she survives to that financial point.
 
   I think you're fortunate to have a Nursing Home with a 5-star rating close to you - and one that also (as I understand it) works with Medicaid or has some Medicaid assigned beds. Sorry to hear that your Mother is that difficult. Mine can be - but she isn't always. It's tough!
 
Best Wishes to you and your family
    

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/25/2013 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
One last time ......
 
   I just came back from my Mothers house for the last time. There were a couple of other things of hers to bring back to my house. Closing is in less than 24-hours, and all the "ducks seem to be in a row"!
   There still are no regrets. Mom lived there for almost 60-years ... but she doesn't even remember what her house looks like or where it is - now! At least there are very few bad memories from her old home.
 
Time to close the book there.

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/27/2013 7:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes it's the little things that count!
 
   Yesterday, two of my Mothers friends went to see her ... and brought over a couple of pairs of slacks and blouses for her - lightweight for the Summer - and some of the balance from her house that was just sold.
   They went thru her little closet and grouped or paired slacks with blouses or lightweight sweaters ... asked her if there were any she didn't like ... and then hung them up as "outfits" for the caregivers when Mom is being dressed. It raised Mom's spirits!!!
   Then, one of the ladys took my Mothers lipstick (for color) and said she would pick her up another lipstick ... then asked what kind or shade of powder she wanted so she could pick up some basic make-up. I hear that Mom really liked that attention.
 
   I was just a small gesture ... but it was highly appreciated!
 
   I'll go see her today - dying to hear her story of her visitors yesterday! 

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 7/29/2013 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Isn't that the truth?! So awesome of your Mom's friends. My sister's do that very thing for my Mom; make her up outfits to wear so she is always looking pretty. Very nice! How is the closing on her house going?

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 7/29/2013 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
To Lonie:
 
   Thanks for your thoughts ... I was beginning to wonder about my Mother's few friends. But they DID come thru like champs on Friday.
   My folks used to show dogs - 30 to 40-years ago, so I brought over a throw pillow yesterday that I think was darned ... for her. It was of her first Westie "Buttons", and she just held it on her lap the hour that I was there. And I brought a large framed photo of their first two West Highland White Terriers ... and asked one of the caregivers if she could make sure it was mounted on the wall over Mom's bed sometime during the week.
 
   The house closing went fine. I still have quite a few things in my garage, so this week's goal is to get rid of some of my things, so I can move some of Mom's things in with me ... mainly seasonal clothing changes. And then, there's two suitcases + two boxes full of photos ..... that's going to be tough going thru! I guess it really isn't quite "time to close the book"!
 
Best wishes to you ... and thanks!

figsk8
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 8/6/2013 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gizzie, My thoughts go out to you. My father had alzheimers and went through all the stages within one year. The day he passed away he was suppose to go into a nursing home. I don't think he wanted to go. My mum had to sell the family house due to bad health and moved into a retirement home where she only lived for about 4 months. Was a awful place. So I know exactly how you feel. Unfortunately my sister lives in Ottawa so I delt with this. Remember to take care of yourself.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 8/6/2013 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Gizzie -- did they hang the picture for you? We did the same thing with my Mom's room -- put a lot of of her memento's in her room. We have a picture of my Dad up there too, and she told me she likes it there because she can have words with him because he left her too soon. Then she gives a little giggle and she gets a little teary eyed. She really misses him...but they were married for 61 years!
 
Hope your Mom continues to do well.

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 8/6/2013 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
   I was over there Sunday, but I brought my dog with to see her. The dog was a little overwhelmed with all of the strangers there and started to howl - so all three of us went outside for our visit. It was a beauty of a day - about 76 degrees with a light wind and sunny - blue skies!!!
   Mom really does like it when I bring Gizmo over to see her, and Giz has seen her enough to feel very comfortable with her.
   For Christmas, I put together a collage of photos and bought a frame that holds 10 or 12 photos ... gave it to her last Christmas. There was a picture of her wedding, one of her parents, one of a family Christmas years ago, then photos thru the years of me, my two daughters, her dogs and finally Gizmo when he was a puppy.
   I thought it might bring a tear to her eye, but ... the dementia had progressed to the point of her being confused with the photos - even last Christmas. I asked her Sunday about the photo of her two (past) dogs, and I don't think she knew what i was talking about.
   Brought a tear to my eye though!

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 8/10/2013 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I was at the Psychologists office today .........
 
   I did a little going back in the past with him - namely about losing three close friends to death in the past 7-years ... and about two failed relationships in the past 15-years.
   But ...... I did also want to know the differences between Alzheimers and Dementia. I couldn't possibly repeat what he said by memory but ... the Dementia is much more common and is essentially the deterioration of the brain cells. Alzheimers is much more complicated than I had thought.
   And while Dementia is typically a progressive deterioration of memory when someone gets older, Alzheimers can strike people in their 40's. This Psychologist specifically works with people with terminal diseases, and he stated that his youngest patient with Alzheimers died in his (her) 40's!
   Summary ... as I had suspected, my Mom has Dementia. My Grandmother who passed over 20-years ago just may have had Dementia - even though everyone called it Alzheimers. It is possible that 20-years ago, Alzheimers was misdiagnosed. The Alzheimers is more neurological in basis and can be treated with medications - to a degree. The Dementia can be caused by excessive alcohol or any other means of brain cell destruction - and it to can be treated to a degree, but much differently. 
   We didn't get into which of the two, if either, is hereditory. Just the bare tip of the iceberg ... of information.
  

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 8/12/2013 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Went to see Mom on a Monday .... which is unusual!
 
   It really was a nice morning, weatherwise, so I went over to Mom' Home for Dementia. There was a group of about 8 or 9 sitting outside in what was called a "book club". The facilitator asked as I approached if my Mother wanted to visit with me. So she was wheeled over toward me outside.
   We had a really nice sit down visit for 90-minutes or so - all outside because if was close to 80 degrees with low humidity and a light breeze - just beautiful. The "book club" actually was made up of readings that were prepared with copies given to everyone ... kind of simplified but intended to encourage the mind to search.
   Mom was in good spirits, and she remembered my daughters name. She wanted to see an old friend (sister-in-law) who lives over 400 miles away - and one of her neighbors that lived across the street. It is so sad ... Mom did give some jewelry to that neighbor long before she went into this home, and yet - the neighbor has not even visited her once in the 11-months Mom has been where she's at.
   All I could say about the neighbor was she really should be visiting you ... no other negatives from me.
   By noon, I wheeled her back inside - and to the dining room for lunch. A very pleasant time visiting ... for both of us.
   I can tell ... she really is feeling comfortable there. My hopes ... are that she can develop some fond memories even there. In fact, I think she already has.   

Gizzy'n me
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Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 8/23/2013 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Just an update ..........
 
   The last couple of times I've gone over to see Mom has been on a Monday now ... tried early aftrnoon last time. She was at the Beauty Shop there, so I stopped by to say Hi ... then went outside of that building to sit for awhile. It was another beautiful day out.
   When she came out, I suggested staying there because the shade was good - and her eyes are very sensitive to the sun glare. While we were out, a few of the house dogs came by - one sat next to us ... a half dozen of varying workers came by saying "hello" ... and about the same amount of patient/residents came by.
   What I saw in my Mother, was a sense of peace ... and actually a sense of belonging too. She started telling me some stories - and her stories were about where she used to live - about different people. It took me awhile, but I finally figured out she was really talking about where she's at right now - not her old home.
   Of course with dementia, she creates some things ... but now she's creating things (and people) from her surroundings at the home for Assisted Living. I really think that if she were able to go back to her old home, she would feel lost there. There's activity around her often even if she may not want to be a part of it at times. It's still there.
   After a little under an hour of outdoor sitting, I asked her if she wanted to join in on the Bingo game that was already going on inside. While we were sitting out there though, two of the care-givers that came by complimented her hair. Yeah ... her hair is still a big thing to her. She goes to the beautician there every other week ... just like she used to at home.
   Then it was time for Bingo. A nice day!
 
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