Dealing with dementia is like grieving.

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Having spent a lot of time reflecting on Mom's situation and not having anyone, until now, to talk to asbout it I have come to realize that caring for someone with dementia is grieving for them in chunks.
The first time I had to go to the drugstore to buy adult diapers, I stood in line to pay for them and felt the tears well up. Luckily I held it together til I got in the car.Since then it has been little things, that make me grieve. Is this life or some higher power making the end easier to accept?

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A RN friend of mine just moved away. We keep in contact through the internet and I also post updates about my Dad daily concerning his condition, etc. (For those who don't already know, he has Advanced Stage Alzheimers.) She posted a message there that comforted me so much, I just wanted to share it with you. She wrote:

"I know this is a terribly difficult time for you...In your heart of hearts you know that he loves you and that he is still the man he always was and will always be. That is the person who you continue to talk to and share your life with even when he is unable to respond. He knows you in spirit and that will carry you until he is healed [in heaven] and can again bridge the valley that he walks through now. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Much Love..."

Focus on the good memories, the love. The rest will pass.
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If he could have it his way, I would be taking care of him 24/7. I physically and mentally can not do that. He is mentally draining me, esp with his cruel comments. He's being cruel to everyone he encounters. So my mind can't really take too much more. I think I am going to wait til the dr have the hospice appt made and then I will meet them out there. I also feel like I should be at work.(feeling guilty) But I know I would not be productive. I will keep continuing to pray for strength and guidance.
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How is your relationship with your Dad? Does he want you with him? Does it comfort him? If you didn't sit with him, and he did die, would you have regrets for not being there?

A friend sent me an email yesterday, after reading about my Dad refusing food and medications, etc. I quote:


I know this is a terribly difficult time for you...In your heart of hearts you know that he loves you and that he is still the man he always was and will always be. That is the person who you continue to talk to and share your life with even when he is unable to respond. He knows you in spirit and that will carry you until he is healed [in heaven] and can again bridge the valley that he walks through now."

It will help to pick up a Bible. I suggest you read Psalms 23, I Corinthians 15:3 and II Peter 3:9, Acts 3:19 and Romans 10:13. That will help both of you when you read it out loud to him. The living Word of God comforts like no human can.
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As of yesterday, my Dad is now ready to die. He is refusing some of his medications and he is not going to dialysis any longer. We had a priest come to visit with him last night, but he's done fighting. He can't keep anything down any more, running a low grade temp, and his pulse is high. Amazingly, his blood pressure is good. I'm going to have Hospice come out to meet with him today. But he is refusing any kind of help. It's so hard to watch him suffer and he knows it's not going to be an easy death. I don't know whether I should sit with him or not. I can't work. Any suggestions?
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i'm speaking about the responsablty of my wife
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mitzipinki and all thank you all for givinging any help its not an easy roe to hoe but but i would never disrespect her and try to just stay out of the way i'm only 5ft away the problems start with my where my responablety starts and hers starts-remember i'm disalbeled witch is neither here or there I get the feeling my status in the house depends on my amount of asking her to help more with her mom there are 2 other sister's 1 stops by for money the other hides living 5 blocks away God folks i'm sorry for the babbling. Monty
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I don't know whether Aricept or Namenda helped my Dad. I think it's just his Alzheimer's and dementia. I saw and see no improvement, but only rapid decline daily. He's been weened off most of those meds now. Psychology never helped me or Dad. Prayer does. I'm comforted by it, and by the compassion and support of loving friends and family. Does any of that help Dad? Dad has done nothing but decline since the beginning of his disease. First memory problems, denial, and withdrawal. Then confusion, anger, aggression, delusions, and hallucinations. Then physical decline and loss of appetite. There are many other symptoms as well. I don't believe there's a drug in the world that can help
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peitz that's a good question. If you find another medication that helps that I would sure like to know. My father is also 74, with vascular dimentia. I think they are lonely and spend time making phone calls so they don't feel as lonely. They like the attention, just like children. My Dad is also on Aricept, makes him tired alot. He seems to not have as many outbursts, like he used to. He would also hang up on me. He blames me for everything bad that has happened to him. You might as well roll with it, after awhile you kinda get used to the verbal abuse. Just tell him that you are not going to let him upset you, in a calm happy voice over and over. That worked for my Dad the other day. Reverse psychology. Good Luck!
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Peitz, my mother was glued to her phone. She had her own, at the nursing home, so she could call her friends. But she would call me over and over and forget she called and call again.

I learned to answer the first time and find out what was going on. Maybe answer the next, then let that sesson go to voicemail. I'd start answering again later in the day.

I'd often call the nursing home, after a call, to make sure nothing was wrong. I went every day, anyway, but a lot can happen in an hour. But don't be held hostage by the phone and don't let guilt eat you up. Take care of yourself and keep coming back to let us know how you are doing.
Carol
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My first post. My Dad is 74 diabetic, hypertention and chronic kidney disease patient who takes dialysis 3 times a week. Over the past couple months, he has lost all of his short term memory and has become VERY irritable. We tried to start him on Aricept because he was diagnosed with vascular dementia, but he could not tolerate the medicine. He calls me over and over again until I pick up the phone. He is in a nursing home facility, but has a phone(which is like his blanket). He calls everytime I'm not there to help with "his crisis" and makes me feel horrible and guilty. I have tried to ignore his comments and told him not to talk to me that way, then he hangs up, but then about a half an hour later, he will call and not stop. Does anyone have any experience with this behavior? What are your suggestions? Is there any kind of medication that can calm them??
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