Posted 8/24/2007 8:49 AM (GMT -6)
Hello everyone. It's been about 8 months since I last posted. Things are getting worse with my Mom and I need suggestions.
Here is the background on my situation. My Mom is 75 years old. She'll turn 76 in January. She has been having memory problems for well over 5 years. Three years ago she was diagnosed with AD. She has been on Aricept and Namenda for the past couple of years. I am her son (38 years old) and take care of her. We each own condo's in the same complex so it is easy for me to stop by daily and care for her. I make sure she takes her medicines, insulin, eye drops...I take her grocery shopping, I do her laundry, etc. Last winter she started having very paranoid thoughts. First it was her doctors were doing inappropriate things to her (we never leave her alone with her doctors). Then it was her neighbors being mad at her. The it was directed at my sister. She thought my sister stole $600 from her. Of course this didn't happen. My Mom had hidden the money and I found it. Even though I explained that to her, it didn't help. This "episode" lasted almost 4 months.
Well, things were better this spring and summer. I took Mom to the beach and she had a WONDERFUL time. Things were even great between her and my sister. But this weekend, she had a new paranoid thought - that my sister had stolen some of her clothes. She even remembers seeing my sister in a store wearing her clothes. She says my sister laughed in her face. Again, this is absurd. My sister is in her early 40's and is not even the same size as my Mom. And, the only time my Mom gets out to a store is if I take her and this never happend. My Mom has been VERY upset...angry...sad. She is now directing it at me too. She thinks she saw me and my sister talking and laughing. (I haven't seen my sister in over two weeks.) She is so angry at me now too. She gets very dramatic.
Eight months ago we started my Mom on Serequel which is an ant-psychotic medication. We started her at 25mg. She is now taking 200mg. It helped before, but I don't see it helping anymore.
I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle this situation. I feel so scared and alone. Even though I have 7 brothers and sisters, me and my sister are really the only two that are involved in caring for mom. And now with her being angry at my sister, it all falls on me. One of my other sisters has started helping with dinners, which is wonderful, but I still feel fully responsible.
I want to "fix" this situation, and I know I can't. I have prayed to God to help me through this. I am very lucky that Mom sleeps very well at night and usually is only upset during the day. (I know this is different from most AD patients.)
Does anyone have any suggestions. Have you all experienced this with your loved ones as well? How do you all find the strength to cope. I am a nervous wreck, I don't sleep at night and also have a stressful full time job to deal with.