I do not understand this disease. Dementia and the ability to focus oneself on the same subject.

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My Mom's companion ( Howard) walked out on her on 4/29. I do not blame him. He could no longer take her physical abuse and emotional abuse. I have had her in my care since. I did get her on meds and she has been so calm. She owns her home but, she cannot live there anymore. Her focus is only on getting Howard back.. I do not understand how she can remember that he left when she cannot remember what was said toher 5 minutes ago. How does one help her to get him out of her mind? It is so sad to see her cry and ask me to help her get him back.......If I could, I would..That is the only thing that would make her happy.

I do not understand this disease..It does not matter how much I read, I just do not get it.

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"I do not understand how she can remember that he left when she cannot remember what was said toher 5 minutes ago." This is really, really common, because in many cases of dementia short term memory is worse than long term. Someone emotionally important from the past will be remembered well even if what you ate for lunch isn't. In soem forms of dementia, particularly Alzhemier's, people remember the past vividly while not remembering more recent events, e.g. they dont' recognize a loved one because they remember them as much younger; in non-Alzhemier's it may be more common to recognize loved ones even when other aspects of memory and thinking are severely affected. The ability to do automatic, simpler and more often-repeated tasks are more preserved than multi step ones. My mom could feed herself but there was no way she would ever learn the steps in using a hearing aid; they had to TELL me that, because I was so frustrated at her never wearing it even after I got it all adjusted and working great to converse without yelling...I assumed somethng was wrong with it or it was hurting her. And many, many people with dementia lack the insight and judgement to realize their memory is faulty, hence the "looking at you like you have two heads" thing. THEY don't remember, so it didn't happen. WHAT disease?? We have a disease??? No...we're fine, thank you! It is very sad but try not to let it hurt your heart as if they were fully understanding and remembering and trying to upset you, thery're almost certainly not...hugs and God bless...
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Teepa has Youtube video's.I attended her conference last November after learning my mom may have dementia. It helped me to understand the disease more. Google it. She is awsome.
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that would be so helpfull. please let me know
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They had mention at the Caregiver conference about Teepa Snow. Was their any videos that she has that can help us caregivers that r dealing with a difficult parent sometimes? That way we can educate ourselves to reduce the stress for the person n ourselves as well.
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You are getting AMAZING advice and help here - and I have little to add. Just one thing. I had training with Teepa Snow this past week (so awesome) and the way she calms the person who is fixated on and worried about someone is to take them by the arm and look into their face and say "It sounds like Howard means a lot to you. Tell me more." and walk while you talk. It could be that you'll relieve a little anxiety by talking with her and really listening. I know this is hard - my 8 hour days with a woman with fairly advanced Dementia were extremely long. Hang in there - I trust you'll give yourself a break whenever possible.
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To all Caregivers who are suffering: Mental Illness is all-encompassing. It is many diseases. Dementia is just one illness. I couldn't begin to describe nor classify all the forms of dementia. For a laymen's explanation of mental illness you may want to read The Merck Manual. Seek help from a professional who will give you a diagnosis. Focus on Mental Health. Knowing what to expect and what not to expect, makes life easier when dealing with an ill person. Lighten up! It's a hallmark of mental health. Good Luck!
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Jeannegibbs, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Waverun, eventhough u live 3yrs away n I understand u r concern for you mom. However, a support group could help you so that when something does arise then u will be able to deal with it hopefully without so much stress. That way u will be able to help your mom as well. Because u mention that Howard walked out on your mom n that u said, "I do not blame him. He could no longer take her physical abuse and emotional abuse." All the more reason your mom should to seek or both of them go seek some support. Whose to say that, if Howard gets tired again of her abusiveness n leaves for good because he his tired of it. The issues need to be address to a profession, support group or counselor so that work on the issues to help resolved so that they can have a healthier lifestyle n you will be less stress.
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So you both can't go to the same support group ... but you could each go to one in your area!
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Jeannegibbs---That would be a great idea. However, My Mom lives 3 hours away from me. I just worry because I am so far away from her. I spoke to her today, and she sounds great!!!. One day at a time.
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