Maybe I'm the one that's crazy...

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I am so confused. My mom was diagnosed with dementia a couple of years ago.
She was living with my brother and sister in law and was very inactive, basically sat in front of the TV all day long. My SIL has severe OCD and couldn’t handle taking care of my mom.
We brought her here to live with us until she qualifies for Medicaid in April, then into an assisted living facility.
I took her to an internist here in town to establish a doctor relationship. He specializes in the elderly. He did a diagnostic test on her and she scored in the middle stages of Alzheimers, close to the latter stages.
Much of the time, talking superficial subjects, she is fine and appears to be able to hold a good conversation. She talks about what she had at her house, etc.
Other times she talks like a little girl and her home as she was growing up.
She is able to shower herself and is able to feed herself.
She does require supervision much of the time.
There are times when she doesn’t seem as bad as her tests suggest.
Is this the confusing part of being a caregiver for a dementia patient?
She seems so normal at times…..maybe I’m the one who is insane!!!!!

5 Comments

PinkLA.
We are all demented here.
You have known your mom all your life and it is difficult to see subtle changes in a loved one over time. just take it one day at a time and guard for dangerous behaviors When she is not safe using the cookstove maybe she can manage the microwave for a while. Keep her as independent as possible
No...haha...you're not insane.

Dementia manifests in many different ways and there are many different forms of dementia.

My aunt, for example, had alcohol dementia. She live in Northern California and I was in southern. Her ability to converse over the phone pulled us for a long time until she finally had a fall and ended up in the hospital.

She traveled well and enjoyed the distraction of activity, so I took her to movies and out for meals. I also took her to parties and weddings. Initially, although my friends knew what I was doing with, they were surprised that my aunt was so conversant and question whether there was anything wrong with her. Only when they'd spend enough time with her and experience the repetitive nature of her stories, or when they'd experience her crankiness later in the day, did they begin to understand.

But she could not be left alone as she was her own worst enemy in decision making. Before I got involved, one time she took 1/2 of a small box of baking soda over an 8 hour period because she thought she had an ulcer. She actually had a very serious UTI and very nearly threw herself into heart failure as a result of the overdose is sodium in the baking soda. That happened to have luckily been right when I had gone up to step in, otherwise the ER doc said she would have been dead.

I'm sure you've heard about pregnancies that everyone is different even your own.With a dementia patient, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, etc. is different. You will often believe you are taking care of many different patients, and that takes a lot of patience.
the mental decline is very subtle and often only those the closest can even see it. in later stages expect accusations, phsycobabble, paranoia, delusional reasoning and finally hallucinations and phsycosis. it will make you about 2/3rds nuts yourself. look at my avatar pic. the " after " shot of 6 yrs of dementia caregiving. my mother reached end stage and passed away in aug. im f*cking toast and recovery will come slowly, but eventually.
I lost a letter the other day CONVINCED SHE had misplaced it as she does NO i lost it and she found it? Ok just who is losing it here! Went into town today had to go for coffee and think about what exactly id come in for? if this is only the beginning ill be toast very soon.
And Captain youre doing really well dont ever lose that sense of humour!

They did a programme on TV here one time which was quite interesting: they got ten average men NOT military trained and trained them up for 3wks..........4 survived the training WHY? they each had a sense of humour this is what got them through it!
My brother described mum as "so shes in the wardrobe but hasnt reached NARNIA yet? thankgod for his sense of humour!
You are not crazy. Dementia/alzhiemer is a very confusing and varied condition. No two people are alike when afflicted with it. The only thing in common is deterior of the brain, but where the deterior portion of the brain that is affected changes dramatically where it changes from individual to individual. There are also different stages where each individual will react differently. Lucidity and confusion is very common. The brain is a very complex organ and modern medicine can only start to address the issues of deterioration. Why the rudementary portions of the brain (life sustaining) are the last to be affected is unknown. It will probably be easier to understand the person with the condition than the condition itself.

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