PDA

View Full Version : Caring for a loved one with dementia



Pages : 1 [2] 3 4

liv
05-29-2012, 12:04 AM
This is one of the most difficult things to deal with when faced with caring for aging parents. Your parent can sometimes disappear and become someone they would be horrified to have become. I work in long term care and i once treated a former high school principal who ran down the hallways naked with feces in his hand. You know that this formerly quiet, dignified gentleman would be horrified by this behaviour.

Always remember that it is the disease, not your parent, that is responsible for the possible violent, rude, forgetful, inappropriate behaviours that you could see.

Good luck to those of you dealing with this right now. You are very caring people and your parents are lucky to have you. It doesn't get easier, but knowing you did your best is all you can do.... and remember to talk to others in this situation. Support is always very important and can keep you sane when things become worse.

Prancer
05-29-2012, 12:14 AM
Mom was hospitalized right along with Dad.

We were told that caregivers are often more in need of hospitalization than the dementia patients, and, indeed, I have heard many stories of dementia patients who are physically in pretty good shape who end up being placed in care because their caregivers have collapsed from exhaustion or are very ill from stress.

One thing that really helps with dementia patients is having a rigid schedule. Much of their "bad" behavior comes from stress; a schedule helps reduce their stress levels--and also keeps them from not sleeping, a common problem that makes their behavior much worse.

Another way to keep them calm is to try to never set them straight. Arguing with them creates stress. Agree and redirect.

And last but not least, redirecting them to things that remind them of happier times will often calm them down as well. Nothing makes my MIL happier than watching Shirley Temple movies or speaking French, two things that take her right back to her childhood.

nursebetty
05-29-2012, 01:06 AM
Count me in also, my mom, stage 7. There is a book, "The 36-Hour Day, by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins. Please google the alz. association, they have lots of information. There are meds to help with the paranoid thoughts and aggression please use them. Your family member is probably scared with everything that is happening, but can't control themselves. I read a post by a man who had alz. and was worried that he would hurt his wife. It's just a lot to take in. Good luck everyone, it is a brutal disease.

judiz
05-29-2012, 02:22 AM
Something very important I forgot to mention, put a lock on the house door that your mom can't reach so she can't leave the house alone. My grandfather forgot what a key was but he was still able to unlock the door and walk out while everyone was asleep.

Latte
05-29-2012, 07:28 PM
My Mother had it for the last few years before she died. It wasn't sudden, it came on her little by little. She started doing strange things and saying strange things but we dismissed it as just getting forgetful because she was getting old. You know, laughing with her about it. I guess I just didn't want to admit what was happening.
I took care of her along the last few years of her life and it isn't easy, but, all you can do is give them the best care you can, and try to be patient.
I keep telling myself that she took care of me when I was helpless and now it was my turn to take care of her.

mrr50
05-30-2012, 01:55 AM
I have read about GPS tracking devices which can be attached to dementia patients, I don't know if they are readily available or not.

AYS
05-30-2012, 02:10 AM
I don't have any productive advice to add to this thread; much has already been provided and I don't specifically have experience with this issue, but I want to express my support and hugs to all dealing with this difficult situation in their lives. I have dealt with terminal illness, failing capacity, and eventual loss, of both my parents, but dealing with this in the context of dementia in your loved ones must make it that much harder. My thoughts are with each of you.

madm
05-30-2012, 03:01 AM
Something very important I forgot to mention, put a lock on the house door that your mom can't reach so she can't leave the house alone. My grandfather forgot what a key was but he was still able to unlock the door and walk out while everyone was asleep.

I agree, make sure house keys and car keys are hidden and that all doors are locked with a key bolt lock. My father was demented the last 3 years of his life and my mom (12 years younger than him) was his primary caregiver. He died at age 92. She hired male help during the day to get him dressed and bathe him. One morning she found him outside the front door at 6AM - he had imagined he was going to get from CA to St. Louis to see his mother (dead for 50 years). Thank God he didn't wander onto the L.A. streets! Another time he got up at 3AM and walked (with a walker) to a phone and called 911 repeatedly for an hour trying to get the police to remove my mother (who he thought was a stranger living in his house). Fortunately the police called the number back and my mother answered the phone in her bedroom, when the operator told her an elderly demented person had been calling for an hour from her number. It's sad to see the strange things demented people can do, but you need to keep one step ahead of them and protect them from leaving the house or doing any other harm via phone, computer, etc. If you have weapons in the house, lock them up. One of the hardest things my mother had to endure was verbal abuse when my dad imagined she was someone else. It was heart-breaking to watch this intelligent, very successful man deteriorate this way, but somehow my mom was able to appreciate what he had been all his life and not focus on the last 3 years. Thankfully he never became physically abusive. If the situation had driven my mother to a nervous breakdown, my brothers and I were prepared to put him in a senior care facility.

judiz
05-30-2012, 11:45 AM
Same exact situation, my grandfather would drag my grandmother out of bed and push her out of the apartment thinking she was a stranger. We would get phone calls in the middle of the night from my grandfather yelling there was a stranger in the house and it would turn out to be my grandmother.

pat c
05-30-2012, 02:45 PM
I feel for everyone who has or is going through this. I watched my grandfather and my uncle go through this. It is so very hard on the family. I can not add to the good advice already given, just going to reiterate take care of yourselves. It is not easy being the caregiver.

my little pony
05-30-2012, 02:52 PM
Another way to keep them calm is to try to never set them straight. Arguing with them creates stress. Agree and redirect.



this is really good advice

however, my grandmother is convinced that her neighbor is trying to kill her. i have yet to come up with another subject as pressing as murder to redirect her to

skatesindreams
05-30-2012, 02:56 PM
Find out what the senior care/residential options are in your area.
The possibility may be difficult to face.

However, it's best to know about them before - and in case - they become necessary

my little pony
05-30-2012, 03:00 PM
i'd love to put her in one but i cant even trick her into seeing a doctor or social worker so i'm up a creek for now

LilJen
05-30-2012, 03:06 PM
Hugs to all who are dealing with this. Dementia/Alzheimers is a terrible, terrible illness and so tough on family members.

My grandmother-in-law had dementia for years. . . finally got to the point where she was leaving things out on the counter & the burners on in the kitchen (as her life was organized around preparing meals for the family). Just wasn't safe; we were waiting for food poisoning or a major burn or fire. Once we got her into the nursing home (which, fortunately, we were able to do) she talked many times a day about how she "just wanted to go home." :(

skatesindreams
05-30-2012, 03:18 PM
i'd love to put her in one but i cant even trick her into seeing a doctor or social worker so i'm up a creek for now

Could you explain the situation, invite the doctor/assessor to come; and let them handle it?
Most of them have experience with similar cases.