When A Parent Becomes Child Like - Altzheimers / Dementia

  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Apr 29, 2011 6:25 AM GMT
    Dementia cases expected to triple as world population ages

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/04/dementia-cases-expected-to-triple-as-world-ages.html




    I recently realized that my mom has dementia...

    A very difficult thing to deal with in life.

    My father died of cancer when I was 18. My best friend/business partner died 6 years ago. I'm taking care of the businesses, my home, still helping with community events which is really already too much for me to take care of properly. And now...because everyone feels that I'm the most responsible one in my family...I'm going to be responsible for taking care of my mom's health and assets...not an easy task. *****breathe****** seems overwhelming to me...but more importantly, I want to make sure that she is taken care of properly.

    Have any of you experienced having to take care of parent almost as you would as a stubborn child?






  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 29, 2011 7:14 AM GMT
    Yes, my mom was diagnosed with Altzheimers early last year and while it was slow in the beginning the past 2 months she has become increasingly forgetful. She was a highschool teacher in the UK, a special ed teacher over here, has a degree in Botany etc and an avid gardener who could name just about any flower or plant. Now she doesn't even remember the name of her favorite lilac tree outside her kitchen, cannot write a cheque properly, mixes up all the days. It's getting very scary and more and more stressful. My one sister lives about 35 miles away and is working so she can only come in once a week so I'm now having to go check on her everyday. This is probably going to be her last summer in her house. I dread that day coming although she always told us years ago that when the time comes she's prepared to move but now she doesn't remember that. For the most part now all she can remember clearly are things from her distant past/childhood. I'm really dreading the day she can't remember who I am.
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    Apr 29, 2011 7:23 AM GMT
    metta8, I have no good advice other than you have immunity from me flaming you on RJ. My Aunt had to take care of my grandma as she died from Alzheimers. It took a major toll on her.
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Apr 29, 2011 7:26 PM GMT




    Quote:
    Your chances of having dementia rise as you get older. But this does not mean that everyone will get it. People rarely have dementia before age 60. But, after age 85, up to half of all adults have it.
    Quote:
    What causes dementia?
    Dementia is caused by damage to or changes in the brain. Things that can cause dementia include:

    Strokes, tumors, or head injuries. After Alzheimer's disease, strokes are the most common cause of dementia. This type of dementia is called vascular dementia.
    Diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia.
    In a few cases, dementia is caused by a problem that can be treated. Examples include having an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), not getting enough vitamin B12, and fluid buildup in the brain (normal-pressure hydrocephalus). In these cases, treating the problem may cure the dementia.

    In some people, depression can cause memory loss that seems like dementia. Depression can be treated.

    As you age, medicines may affect you more. Taking some medicines together may cause symptoms that look like dementia. Be sure your doctor knows about all of the medicines you take. This means all prescription medicines and all over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements.

    Quote:
    What are the symptoms?
    Usually the first symptom is memory loss. Often the person who has a memory problem does not notice it, but family and friends do. As dementia gets worse:

    You may have more trouble doing things that take planning, like making a list and going shopping.
    You may have trouble using or understanding words.
    You may get lost in places you know well.
    Over time, people with dementia may begin to act very different. They may become scared and strike out at others, or they may become clingy and childlike. They may stop brushing their teeth or bathing.



    http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/tc/dementia-topic-overview


    Is dementia hereditary?
    Is Alzheimer's disease inherited?
    http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=917



    Communication Tips For Serving Individuals With Dementia
    http://www.crisisprevention.com/CPI/media/Media/Resources/ebooks/communication-tips-for-serving-individuals-with-dementia.pdf
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Apr 29, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    Away From Her

  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Apr 29, 2011 7:54 PM GMT
    Wow, that must be very difficult. Here's to rooting for you and your family.
    I don't know if it will help, but I remember hearing this radiolab podcast about a different perspective on dealing with elderly patients with dementia and I thought it might help.

    It may or may not be relevant, at least at this juncture, but describes an approach of working with the elderly in their world rather than constantly trying to force them into ours. I haven't done any real research into this beyond the following, but I can see it making a significant difference in quality of life for the elderly and even for the caretakers in many cases. It's talking specifically about life in a home (inst.) for the elderly, but I think many of the general principals could be applied in most living situations--the part towards the end (briefly mentioned) regarding the baker particularly struck me.

    About 14min long if you have the time.
    *hug*



    http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2010/mar/23/the-bus-stop/
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    Apr 29, 2011 8:03 PM GMT


    "Have any of you experienced having to take care of parent almost as you would as a stubborn child?"


    Oh yes.


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    Apr 29, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    Such a heartbreaking thing to watch. I've never had to be the sole care giver for someone suffering dementia but I've dealt with being around it and it is really heartbreaking.

    You and your family are in my prayers.
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    Apr 29, 2011 10:17 PM GMT
    I spent years nursing people in a dementia word. Some people are in a beautiful place, others are in hell.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    Apr 29, 2011 11:30 PM GMT
    I am currently taking care of my mother who has moderate Alzheimer's. Three of my grandparent's also suffered from the disease. Once my last kid graduates from college (8 years from now when I am age 57) if I ever start to develop dementia I will step in front of a train because I never want my children to have to go through what I've gone through.
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    Apr 29, 2011 11:40 PM GMT
    monet saidI am currently taking care of my mother who has moderate Alzheimer's. Three of my grandparent's also suffered from the disease. Once my last kid graduates from college (8 years from now when I am age 57) if I ever start to develop dementia I will step in front of a train because I never want my children to have to go through what I've gone through.


    matey you know I in many ways is more devastating for the carer, the family, not the person involved. They get to meet new people every day.

    But...... I understand the stepping in front of a train.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Apr 29, 2011 11:47 PM GMT
    Metta, there is a very well written book on Alzheimer's. It's called Still Alice. Perhaps it may help you get more perspective on your mother. The book is very well researched and comes from a neuroscientist.

    Metta, please look into support groups now for carers before you become too overwhelmed and too melancholy. It will help you understand your feelings and will provide you with advice from those who go through this now, and in whom you can later speak to.

    still-alice-final.jpg
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    Apr 30, 2011 12:09 AM GMT
    neosyllogy said
    About 14min long if you have the time.
    *hug*



    http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2010/mar/23/the-bus-stop/


    Thank you! Yeah...I probably should stop trying to let her know when she says something that is incorrect. I was hoping that she would learn to recognize it. But that has not been the case so far. And I think that she is in the beginning stages because she has not had any memory loss yet. She is thinking and saying crazy stuff about a person that does not exist. It amazes me how detailed her stories are. icon_confused.gif

    And thank you to everyone else for their good wishes. Much appreciated!
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    Apr 30, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    Oh Metta. This will probably be the first and last time I can relate to someone on here.

    My grandfather (my dad's father), who was a retired Professor and currently Public voluntary person within the community recently died on Dementia. He was diagnosed with it in Nov '09 and then passed away in Feb '10. To be honest we were all happen that he went away quickly, peacefully and quietly. He had begin rapidly forgetting things, place and most importantly, people. It was heart breaking to watch this VERY proud man reduced so quickly to an infant. It finally hit home when he couldn't remember any of his kids. My father was devastated. He too is VERY proud and damn near emotionless (or so we thought). My mother had never seen him cry in the 35 (going on 36) years of marriage but he broke down and cried when my grandfather couldn't remember who he was, his name or any of the things they'd done together. He couldn't remember his 11 other kids and he couldn't remember my grandmother.

    As I said before he went quickly, peacefully and quietly. He eventually died in his sleep. It's like he knew what was going on and he just wanted to end it and let go. Not being himself, able to care for himself or not remembering simple things was too hard like the people he loved crushed him from the inside. We got the call the from the hospital at 3am in the morning saying he had died in his sleep. It hurt but we are quick healers and we know he wouldn't want us to hold on to something like his passing. He'd want us to remember him as he was before his aliment: At his finest.

    Make the best of it. Just be there for your mom. It's all she could and would ever ask for from a great child.
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    May 04, 2011 10:58 PM GMT
    You can ask your representatives to Cosponsor the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act at the following link below this quote:

    [QUOTE]
    Passage of this bipartisan legislation would improve care and outcomes for people with Alzheimer’s disease by improving diagnosis, care planning, and medical record documentation. It will increase access to information, care and support for newly diagnosed individuals and their families -- providing essential support for those facing this devastating, debilitating disease. To learn more about the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act visit www.alz.org/hopeact.[/QUOTE]

    http://www.kintera.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=mmKXLbP8E&b=6742875&auid=8213583&tr=y


    [QUOTE]
    Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging and we don’t currently have any way to cure, prevent or even slow the progression of this disease. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
    [/QUOTE]

    [QUOTE]
    Many leading experts believe that a disease-modifying treatment will likely be a cocktail of therapies similar to what is done for heart disease or AIDS.
    [/QUOTE]

    http://inthearena.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/26/larry-king-to-host-cnn-special-program-unthinkable-the-alzheimers-epidemic/


    10 Signs of Alzheimer's

    http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp

    New Diagnostic Criteria Guidelines for Alzheimer's Disease

    http://www.alz.org/research/diagnostic_criteria/


    Shriver: A woman's nation takes on Alzheimer's

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/04/25/shriver.alzheimers.excerpt/

    The Shriver Report:
    http://www.shriverreport.com/shriver.php
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 04, 2011 10:59 PM GMT
    metta8 said*****deep sigh******

    *****deep breathe*****


    I recently realized that my mom has dementia...most likely Alzheimer's.

    A very difficult thing to deal with in life.

    My father died of cancer when I was 18. My best friend/business partner died 6 years ago. I'm taking care of the businesses, my home, still helping with community events which is really already too much for me to take care of properly. And now...because everyone feels that I'm the most responsible one in my family...I'm going to be responsible for taking care of my mom's health and assets...not an easy task. *****breathe****** seems overwhelming to me...but more importantly, I want to make sure that she is taken care of properly.

    Have any of you experienced having to take care of parent almost as you would as a stubborn child?








    My condolences, I am sorry for your troubling news and times.
  • JMex3

    Posts: 96

    May 04, 2011 11:04 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear about the situation you're dealing with. I'm going through a similar one myself, my mom has paranoia schizophrenia and it got bad enough to the point where she almost had to be taken to a mental hospital. She's been taking meds and is better but it has it's ups and downs, she's 42 and has been battling it for 4 years. At its worst I had to take my brothers to school (7 and 9) because she just didn't care about anything and wouldn't get out of bed it was as if i was taking care of 3 children, I think the two divorces really took a toll on her mental health, but always praying for things to get better and I wish you the best of luck and patience with what is ahead of you.
  • metta

    Posts: 39144

    May 06, 2011 12:59 AM GMT
    I went to a local dementia center today. I just got back. It is a private facility which means it is privately financed. People who have Veterans benefits or with long term care insurance can get help paying for it. My mother has neither. Otherwise, they told me that 'it is tax deductible'. In other words, I would pay for it. It costs $70,000-$80,000 per year. It is a nice place and I have a neighbor with a father that goes there and she told me that the staff was wonderful. They have nurses there and they can provide proper care to any stage of the disease. She told me that the average person stays there for around 2 years (iow, that is how much longer they typically live). I have read that stories of people who have it for 10 years and up. So they must not typically go there at the beginning stages.

    On a side note, I can't believe that local city politicians go there to get votes. That just seems unethical. Most of them are so out of it.

    I do worry that if we need to put my mom in a facility, that we may run out of money. I don't exactly have millions of dollars at my disposal but on the other hand, I want to make sure that she gets the best care possible.

    The last couple of weeks, I feel like I have been going through kind of like a mourning over a loss.
  • Goofeyman

    Posts: 199

    May 06, 2011 1:30 AM GMT
    Yes. Although my mom does not have dimentia or alz she is in a nursing home, and I, the youngest of 5 siblings, am paying the bills, to include past due bills and how to pay them off on a tight budget I am maintaining the house, taking care of my mom, and taking care of my disabled sister, who has epilepsy, legally blind, and diabetic.
    I also used to have an antique store and haul things around with my small pickup. The minute my moms back gave out, and my sister needed help, my merchandise quickly went into the garage.

    1. Prayed for guidance. Seriously
    2. Find out the budget, bills (past due and current) and installments.
    3. Contact local social service, senior disability case manager in local county.
    4. Set up schedule for Medicaid for someone to give you Resbit. A couple of days a week for you.

    That's what I did, with the help of my oldest sister.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    May 06, 2011 1:41 AM GMT
    My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 4 years ago. He was lucky, he got on meds right away and he is still in pretty good shape. I am (with my sister) the point person who takes my dad to his neurological appointments. The doctor said that the disease usually amplifies the patient's personality. If he is quiet, he becomes more quiet, if he is talkative then he becomes very talkative. We put my dad on depression medicine also. He suggested it. I wish you the best Metta! It is a very hard thing to deal with!!
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    May 06, 2011 1:49 AM GMT
    So sorry to hear that you and others are going through this. My father died of advanced Alzheimer's a couple of years ago after a number of years with the disease. It's hard to see your loved ones struggle and not be able to remember or do the simplest of things.

    There are lots of community resources out there that can provide information and varying degrees of assistance. Educate yourself on what's available. Also, build a support team as best you can to help you. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's is a 24/7 job. Unless you can afford full-time help, you will need others (siblings, relatives, friends, caregivers) to assist.

    Best to you and your mother.
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    May 06, 2011 1:55 AM GMT
    Metta..
    Seriously look for a Alzheimers caregiver group in your area. They are a godsend and treasure trove of information/help AND will give you the respite you need at times!

    Most have activities for both the caregiver AND the Alzheimers sufferer.
    I know this because I have been there. Trust me, its the best thing you'll ever do for yourself AND your mom!

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    Sorry to here about your mom my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer in January and started going down hill pretty fast. My grandpa was doing a really good job taking care of her. But she had a storke yesterday that caused her to be paralyzed on her left side and not able to speak anymore. I think it so sad to see someone you love go through things like what your mom and my grandma have been through. Good luck taking care of your mom. Have patients is al I really have to say about taking care of her; also watch your temper around her. Just keep reminding yourself that she is not the same woman you have always known.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 06, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    That is a lot to handle. I would really encourage you to try and steer away from the "adult as a child" way of thinking. Children learn and grow, your mother has lived a full long life and still has all of those experiences even if they are gradually degrading.

    Children are stubborn because they know no other way to be. Adults are stubborn because they are dealing with something very real and painful. In your mothers case it is the sheer confusion, anger and depression that comes with not being able to recall information. Whereas for a child you can simply tell them the answer, you will not be able to tell your mother the answer but instead will become a master of providing comfort and getting her to move on.

    Every presentation of Dementia is different and unique, but the disease does follow a fairly predictable course. You need to be familiar with this course. You mentioned "you" realized your mom has Dementia? Are you a physician/psychologist? If not, she needs to get the form diagnosis and to rule out any transient causes of altered mental status. Baring any other systemic symptoms (infection). In almost all cases progressive memory loss at older age is related to irreversible causes but there are some (rare) reversible causes.

    You really should get into a support group for this, there are various stages and having a plan for each stage of the disease will greatly ease how things go. If you can't take care of her at home, consider an assisted living facility and then she can progress through that system as needed.

    Also, this business of you being the most responsible one is great but that does not mean your family can not help and you will need a combined group effort if your mother does not want to go into a nursing home or assisted living facility.

    I wish you the best and I hope you can take some time for yourself in the next few days.
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    May 06, 2011 2:12 AM GMT
    And a caveat on administering the MSE to her. That's fine if you want to do that but you would need knowledge of the components of the test to know what the specific cognitive impairment is. For instance, poor calculation ability wouldn't necessarily effect people in the same way that verbal or orientation measures would.