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Old 11-20-2011, 09:41 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,485 posts, read 16,475,304 times
Reputation: 13210

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
Sorry to sound like a record here, but how is it possible for someone to change so dramatically in a matter of days? Last week it was very hard trying to hold a conversation with my Mom but there were moments of clarity. Last night was another story. I called just to say I love you and she said she loved me too and that was the end of anything sane. A lot of paranoia about the government watching, can't trust anyone, trains........just crazy talk. I reminded her about my coming out in two weeks and she asked where I was going. I reminded her that her sister was coming to see her today and she asked if she was coming to my house and not to trust what "he" says. Today she spoke to my sister but as a stranger talking about her. She had what there is of our family over today and there wasn't any connection. The time has come for my Dad to make a decision whether to stay at home and have 24 hr care (not from a nurse) or in the proper facility where she can be treated and cared for properly with Dr.s and Nurses available. She fell last night and she was very wobbly trying to get up today. The caregiver my Mom has has for the last few months may turn into 24 hr care which means when I was suppose to arrive for my visit, the caregiver and her 25 year old mentally challenged daughter would have my room...the only free room. That is if she isn't in a facility instead. I just feel like putting my visit on hold until there are further developments?
Is there any way you could stay with someone in that town or get a hotel room? You may need to anyway as otherwise it could get pretty depressing and you may not be prepared for that. I mean, you know what you're going into, but you haven't been home in awhile.

Mom is going in for an MRI tomorrow. She had a TIA at my uncle's house and they're just going to check her over, but the doc now suspects Lewy Bodies Dementia which means it could go really fast. He said to start looking for a nursing home now, even though she's not quite ready for that step but it's hard to say when you do know? When you're losing sleep for fear of what may happen with her not in one? She's not driving so that's a blessing and she won't cook and never has so we don't have to worry about that, TG. I don't know, I mentioned the Lewy Bodies b/c maybe your mom has that too? One of the hallmarks is very uneven moods and attacks, or whatever you want to call it. You may just be talking to your mom at bad times lately so it seems like she's quickly getting worse when really she's in a spell. Another symptom of it is Parkinson-like trembling, which mom has done for years. Good luck on this, whatever you choose to do. It sounds like your dad needs a break or at least someone to lean on for now.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:51 PM
 
575 posts, read 853,621 times
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My Mom has had tremors in her hands since I can remember but it's not Parkinson's. My sister has developed it but not as bad. My Mom isn't violent and doesn't attack. She's just in her own world now. Thank god I got to see her in Feb when she still knew who I was. I have no one to stay with and would rather not spend the extra money on a hotel. I might have to sleep on an air mattress in my Dad's office. I have time..three Monday's from now. My Dad has been trying to talk me out of coming knowing what I will find. As far as my Dad is concerned, he would like to join his brother, cousin and uncle who all died around 94. With the stress of my teenage son and what the heck he is going to do with his future, if anything, I feel like I'm going to lose it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,594 posts, read 26,269,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
I agree.
Thank you!

Suzy Q
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:14 PM
 
575 posts, read 853,621 times
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I'm so relieved that I don't have to go on my trip back home alone. My husband cleared his schedule to come with me and we can stay at a hotel instead of in the eye of the storm. One night while there a few people from my graduating high school class want to get together since I missed the unofficial reunion in Sept!
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:23 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,485 posts, read 16,475,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
I'm so relieved that I don't have to go on my trip back home alone. My husband cleared his schedule to come with me and we can stay at a hotel instead of in the eye of the storm. One night while there a few people from my graduating high school class want to get together since I missed the unofficial reunion in Sept!
I'm really glad to hear it--you might not come home so thoroughly depressed. Here is my wish for you--that you gain meaning from this experience and connect with your folks in ways that you never have before. That has been my blessing with mom lately--our family has actually grown closer.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:18 PM
 
575 posts, read 853,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
I'm really glad to hear it--you might not come home so thoroughly depressed. Here is my wish for you--that you gain meaning from this experience and connect with your folks in ways that you never have before. That has been my blessing with mom lately--our family has actually grown closer.
I can honestly say that since this happened to my Mom, my Dad and I are closer than we have every been. If he didn't before, he knows now just how much I love him and my Mother and that I am no longer a little girl.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:53 AM
 
10,194 posts, read 13,920,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
I have no experience with this. How do you hold a conversation with someone that has trouble remembering what they said just five minutes ago? I don't want to frustrate or confuse them but I just don't know how to talk about the past when they are forgetting most of it and their day to day life is very dismal. Please give me constructive ways to communicate.
My Aunt had the disease. She died of flu when the care facility just thought she had a cold. We went to visit her about 3 weeks before she passed away. She had two children.

I asked her "do you have any children?"
What do you think the correct answer is and what do you think her answer was?

That will lead to my next question about this disease.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma USA
1,196 posts, read 787,017 times
Reputation: 4387
About "how to hold a conversation ", I found that sometimes if I would go off on a rambling, generally pleasant account on my own, sometimes it would get the grandparents reminiscing.

So I'd start out something like " I went to the post office and there were twenty people in line to mail Christmas packages and this one lady had six boxes, and it was starting to snow outside, and some man held open the door for a woman with three kids and they all had on elf hats with bells on them..."

Keep droning on, creating dull but pleasant imagery, and it would get them reminiscing.
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Old 12-19-2015, 12:56 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,876 posts, read 19,011,397 times
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There are different stages of Alzheimer's. My dad used to tell long, rambling and often fictional accounts of his childhood, and for a while he was sure that they were moving to California and that my mom was having another baby. We could still have meaningful visits when he was like that. Now he's past that stage and he mostly cries or yells at people. What I've found works best with him is to talk to him the way I would an infant, not baby talk (never did that with my babies), but a one-sided conversation that doesn't require any real replies. It's more about the tone of voice than about anything I really come up with to talk about. Anything I need him to do has to be phrased as a request rather than a command, and any request like that needs to be five words or less. "Please sit in this chair," is less likely to work than, "Put your butt down here." If it's nap time and it's hard to calm him down, I have him put his feet up and I sit beside him and softly stroke his lower legs, like petting a nervous cat. I rub his shoulders and give him hugs and put lotion on his hands. I let him pet my dog, who doesn't care that he can't remember anything anymore and doesn't get mad when he yells at her. I always have lots of pillows and little blankets and a sweater within easy reach when my dad is at my house, because he feels safer all bundled up.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:57 PM
 
11,535 posts, read 5,949,473 times
Reputation: 21311
My dad had vascular dementia. Lots of mini-strokes from untreated atrial fibrillation. By the time he was in his late-70's, he was quite impaired. At around age 83, he'd declined to the point where it was too much for my stepmother to handle and he was put in a dementia ward. My sister and I used to fly to Florida for a week a couple of times per year to spell my stepmother. The tough time for me was visiting him in the dementia ward and he no longer knew who I was.

My mom is 83 and has classic Alzheimer's symptoms. At this point, she has severe short-term memory loss and I had to move her to an assisted living facility last July. She was an Ivy League educated classical pianist and college music professor. There is a Steinway grand piano in her apartment and she's had virtually no drop-off in that skill. She doesn't remember what year it is or what happened 20 minutes ago but she can still do the New York Times crossword puzzle book. We're paying to have people come in every day. She goes back 10+ years with her pilates instructor. They're close friends and she comes in 3x per week. I arranged for coverage the other two midweek days. This is to have trusted outside eyeballs looking in and also to make sure my mom gets daily exercise.

With no short term memory, my mom is now incapable of learning. The memory loss is increasing and big chunks of the last 40+ years of her life have mostly faded away. Having dealt with this with my dad, I know what to expect. All conversations loop. Every time I visit, we cover the same ground we covered the last time and loop through it all a half-dozen times. I just look at it as "this is as good as it's going to get" knowing that it's only a matter of time before even these conversations won't be possible. My advice for anyone asking how you speak to someone with Alzheimer's is: Just remember they have a very poor short-term memory and can't learn. Don't worry about conversations looping. That's normal. Don't worry about anything that's upsetting. It will be quickly forgotten. There's a real advantage to living in the present.
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