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Does anyone have a parent with Alzheimers/Dementia, and how do you deal with it?  I just found out my mother has it, and I broke down crying.  We haven’t spoken for a couple years, and my brother called me with the news that she’s now in a nursing home rehab unit for 20 days, but he doesn’t know if she’ll really be able to come home..she lives with him and his family.  Any advice? I’m going to visit her tomorrow.  We are not a close family unfortunately.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Jul 11, 2009
    • Deanna, I am sorry to hear this about your mother, it is a devastating blow regardless of whether you are close or not. I wirked in a specialized Alzheimer’s Unit and I don’t have any real advice to offer. All I can say is go see her and offer whatever support you are comfortable with. It is not easy tolose family to this illness, my grandmother suffered through this along with the rest of the family. You will be in my thoughts.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deanna Moon wrote Jul 11, 2009
    • Thanks Lola..I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight just thinking about dealing with a reunion with her, plus Alzheimers on top of it..I’m stressin’ big time




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Jul 11, 2009
    • Sorry to hear about the news you recieved,I know if it were me, I would spend as much time with her as possible. You are in my thoughts, Dianne




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote Jul 11, 2009
    • So sorry to hear about what you are going thru.. I know it’s hard.. No matter if y‘all aren’t close you need to be there for her.. My mother was diagnose with Parkinson’s Disease about 6 months ago and she has mild strokes the dr also told me that she too has dementia, it broke my heart as well when I heard the news and on top of all things she  lost her sight due to diabetes.. I did’t break down in front of her I do that when I’m alone..She has her good days and bad but she’s a strong lady and she does what she can for herself.. She has a provider 6 days out of the week.  She depends on me for everything else, she knows I love her.. And that I will be there for her.. ALWAYS!!
      I hope I’m not stepping out of line when I say this but.. Just be there for her and do what you can for her,there’s going to be some days that it’s going to get hard to deal with but thats ok.. Just take it one day at a time.. There’s nothing wrong with that..

      YOU‘RE NOT ALONE!!!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Jul 11, 2009
    • My mother didn’t have what your mother has , she passed away in feb and I loved her and forgave her for things I don’t like to talk about .  I will pray for you to have the strength you need .




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janet Wooley wrote Jul 11, 2009
    • I do not have anyone, but I can imagine hearing your parent has anything is hard to digest.  Like Marie said you’ll have good days and bad days, I wish the best for you and will hold you and your family up in this trying time. Have a safe trip going to where she is. If you need to talk/vent cry, ask for encouragement, we are here for you. God bless.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 12, 2009
    • Deanna...

      My mother has alzeheimers and has had it for over 11 years.  She is now in a nursing home that has a wing that specializes in alzheimers disease.  Prior to going into the nursing home almost 4 years ago...she lived in an assisted living residence that also specialized in alzheimers.  It has been a very long road dealing with this horrible disease but we have been very blessed to have the funds and the care that we have had for her.  All I can say is...just remember....the person your mother will be come is not your mother and you just have to accept it..and move on.  Each visit with her will be like meeting her for the first time.  I have to tell my mother who I am each time I see her...if it’s several days apart...or several hours apart.  For us...(there are four girls) we have also been blessed to all live right here where she does.  WE all check in on her daily at different times of the day.  We are also blessed that she is not combative like some get..but very pleasant and the staff absolutely love her.  She still has her sense of humor and we cling to that part of her.  

      I’m sorry you‘re not close to her but since she lives with your sibling...my suggestion is to do what you can to help out..no matter what the status is of your relationship..she is still your mother.  When she is gone...and you did nothing or felt like you just couldn’t do something...you will regret it.  Sorry to be so blunt..but I’m just laying it out there.  Put any differences you have had with her to the side...it doesn’t matter...it’s trivial.  REally it is.  Visit her...love her...and support her and your siblings in her care.  When she is gone...you will be able to say..you did the right thing (no matter how hard it is) and you will have no regrets.  

      And if you don’t remember anything I tell you..remember this:

      Don’t say to her...“remember when...so and so...did this..or did that“..because she can’t.  And don’t try to convince her that whoever is dead when she thinks they are living is dead.  You can’t do that.  YOU HAVE TO GET IN THEIR WORLD...go along with whatever she thinks...and keep it peaceful.
      A doctor once told me that alzeheimers like when you and I can’t remember something and it’s on the tip of our tongue to say...but we just can’t think of it...well multiply that times 100...that is alzheimers.  

      I wish you the best of luck.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Jul 12, 2009
    • I’m so sorry to hear about your mother Deanna. I use to work at a retirement facility that had an Alzheimers unit and It takes alot of patience and Love to care for them. I hope you and your family get thru this together and come together for your mother and show her lots of love.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janet Wooley wrote Jul 12, 2009
    • Good advice Mary, Deanna I hope you are holding up today ok.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deanna Moon wrote Jul 13, 2009
    • Thank you ladies for all your support and heartfelt advice.  I am going to see her this morning.  The news from my brother yesterday made me so upset I had to get my thoughts together and see what advice you wonderful wise women had to say before I go see her.  I will try to be strong and I won’t upset her I hope.  I will not say, remember this and remember that because she won’t remember and I don’t want to humiliate her at all, just be there for her.  I will try to visit her as much as she can handle, and I’ll keep you ladies posted on my progress. Thanks again, you all make me really feel loved.  You are great women with wonderful advice and I cherish every bit of it.
      You are my support team, and advocates and I love you all. And now I’m crying, but it’s a good cry. Bye for now, and I’ll talk to you all later in the day.
      Deanna




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 13, 2009
    • Deanna...believe me...it’s not easy seeing your parents become this way.  Not at all...but I have chosen to not dwell on it so much.  When I go to see my mother...I talk to her just like I would if she were not sick.  My sisters and I have always in a joking way called our mother by her first name which is Betty.  WE’ll go in and say..“hey Betty...how are you?”  Or..when I’m getting ready to go I’ll say, “Betty...try to behave today...ok?”  And usually her response is, “I’ll try“.  

      The biggest issue I have dealing with alzheimers is maintaining their dignity.  My sisters and I are very funny about her clothes.  We buy her nice clothes...cute outfits...that are easy to wash but match..and are stain free.  We expect her to always look just like she always dressed and wanted to look.  At the end of a season..if she has any clothes that are worn or has stains on them..we throw them away.  We buy her new.  Her nails are always polished and her hair is always done (except she keeps her hands in it..eventually messing it up)...but the one thing she can still hold on to..is her dignity.  

      Keep your mother calm as much as possible....and always tell her how nice she looks....do whatever it takes to make her happy.  My sisters and I bring my mother shrimp dinners because that is her favorite thing..and she WILL eat it. She barely eats..but they do get a Glucerna in her daily.  Eating will become an issue in the future.
      Sensory:  Alzheimers is sort of like children or adults with autism.  They get to where they don’t like the way things feel...such as a bath..a shower...their false teeth..if they have them...those are sensory issues.  

      If where you live has an alzheimers support group..I suggest you check them out.  Deanna...just love your mother...that’s all you have to do.  Please do keep us posted..and feel free to contact me personally anytime you need to.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deanna Moon wrote Jul 14, 2009
    • Thanks..I went to see her yesterday, and it was a really good visit.  She knew who I was, but at one point introduced me to a nurse as her niece, and that stung a little, but I just smiled and nodded along.  I stayed about 3.5 hours, much longer than I thought I would. The hardest part of all was just walking into the facility and choking back tears.  I didn’t cry in front of her which I was proud of, and I handled it pretty well.  She wasn’t as bad off as my brother implied, but her short term memory is totally shot, she was repetitve but I just answered her questions again and again, then changed the subject to the weather, or the food, or how nice she looked.  We went for a Wheelchair stroll outside in the sunshine, and watched the birds and bees literally.  She is walking with a walker, but get’s really short of breath, which has been an ongoing problem the Dr’s relate to a large Hiatal Hernia.  The biggest shock was walking into the lunch room where she was when I 1st got there, and seeing her sitting at a table  of women, and she was wearing one of those God Awful Big ass velcro bibs and everybody was wearing them, I thought I was going to lose it right there, but I didn’t.  I jsut walked up to her, smiled and said Hi Mom, and handed her a funny card I got her to cheer her up, and a Get Well Balloon.estatic




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 14, 2009
    • Deanna...everything that upset you...I understood it completely.  COMPLETELY!  But you should be proud of yourself for going...staying as long as you did...and spending time with her.  I know it’s very hard, but I promise...the more you go...the easier it will get.  I will say once in a while..it hits me like a ton of bricks and I do break down.  But...it’s like I have my cry...get over it..and move on.  Just remember....your visits...your hugs....your pat on the backs...your little surprises...ALL DO MEAN SOMETHING TO HER.  And....it will help you in the long run.  When it’s all said and done...you will be able to lay your head down at night and say “I’ve done right by my mother.”  I am so glad you went.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Blondzrbest wrote Jul 14, 2009
    • My Mother-in-Law has Alzheimer’s, it can be heartbreaking watching someone you love with this disease.  I agree with some of the other posters about patience, it’s a must and sometimes hard to muster.  One of the hardest parts of my MIL’s diagnosis is that I’m a nurse and made the diagnosis long before my husband’s family believed it, it was a terrible struggle with them (they were in horrible denial), I actually had to threaten to call Family and Children’s services because my husband’s siblings refused to get here in to a nursing home and were letting her live by herself while I constantly checked on her across town.

      I also agree with the 36 hour book, it’s very helpful along with the Alzheimer’s Association.

      My MIL is a shell of a person now, she is down to 89 pounds, I had her up to 128 pounds before her disease worsened.  The sun-downing is painful, up all evening and night roaming around.  At least my MIL is finally in a nursing home and doing as well as she can.

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom.

      Karen




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Desty wrote Jul 28, 2009
    • I wish my Mother had Alzheimers !!
      I became the “black sheep” of my family years ago when my ex. and I divorced. This ‘LABEL’ was the result of my parents’  expectations of the role of an adult child.  I had 4 childen under 7 yrs. and had to work full-time. They never did one thing to help and our elationship cooled to holidays, birthdays etc. I was never close to either of them. (My siblings who lived close by were very involved.)

      To make a long story short, in the beginning of May my Mother walked into the hospital, a physically healthy 86 yr. old, but with a diagnosis of atherosclerotic dementia, She died on June 4th. As a nurse, I was able to spend long hours with my Mother, and was with her when she died. I regret deeply that Through the years,I missed out on forming a close relationship with my Mother. Now it is impossible! The past cannot be redone.  While talking with my Mother (since she died), I was telling her about my regrets. A thought came to me (was it my Mother speaking?) “Be good to your father.”
      My father was always very critical and distant during my life and we never had a good relationship. He is now in an assisted living facility.  I will honor my Mother’s wishes.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tina Hengen wrote Jan 17, 2010
    • My mother is in the severe stages of Alzheimer’s and she’s living with me. It’s very, very difficult to take care of her, not only because of her disease but because I grew up in foster care because of neglect and abuse. I give her all the loving care that I can even though she was unable to do that for me. frown, but forgiveness is very powerful.  We don’t have any support groups here at all and there have been so many state budget cuts that I get very little outside help. But if it’s at all possible I would suggest you seek out a support system, you will need it. If you ever want to talk I am here for you.happy




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jan 17, 2010
    • My sweet mother that I had mentioned way back when this thread was started passed away Dec. 28th,2009. She was 83 years old. We dealt with alzheimers for almost 12 years.  It’s been a hard road....but we were grateful and blessed with so many people to care for her.  

      Now that she is gone....my mind knows she is better off...in heaven ...free from this horrible disease, but my heart says differently.  

      Love your mothers....spend as much time with them...even in their world....and look for the many blessings and lessons she is teaching you even during her illness.  They are there...you just have to open your eyes..your heart to them.

      Best of luck to all who have to deal with this horrible disease.  God be with you!




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