I think my Mother has entered stage 6 of dementia. It is the most difficult stage yet.

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My mother has gone through so many changes lately. She is still able to walk and fix her breakfast, but she is losing her grasp on the world. It is like "Nothing matters and what if it did." She has never really had an empathy with me, but now she doesn't even bother to act like she does. She won't listen to me. If I get her medicine ready, she says she doesn't want to take it just then. If I get dinner ready, she won't go right away to eat. She'll wait 30 minutes or so. She fights me on everything that I do. And believe me, it is not me. She is always angry at me, even though I try so hard to be nice. There must be a name for this type torture.

She is obsessed with doing certain projects that have no meaning except to her. She'll do them for hours and hours, not wanting to stop to eat or go to bed. I tell her dinner is ready. No luck. I tell her it's time for bed. She stays up. She says she's not a child and I can't tell her what to do. I would love to not tell her what to do, but I know she needs her meals and medication and sleep.

If this is stage 6, it is the most difficult stage yet.


Ah, the angry volatile child who isn't a child stage. I agree, it IS the most difficult stage. Simply a mind bender at times when you just sit there and watch with an open mouth. And to think this stage could go on for years :O (jk Jess) perhaps it's time for those child proof door knob things in case she starts wandering. It was during this stage my mom did the wandering thing. Neighbor brought her home at 2:00 a.m., she was quietly tapping on their window? Next day baby knobs were on! You've got to get quite creative during this time, mom will out think you on everything and talk about scraping on your very last nervesss...yet you can't say too much ya know, it's really not of their doing (sort of) I mean there were times I would have sworn my mom was doing things on purpose, wiley ole lady! :D

As far as your mom eating/sleeping...no, you can't make her. You will lose more sleep trying to get her to sleep. Best thing is to secure the house and get some rest. I finally had to or I was going to drop dead long before she did. Eating? Well, if she's hungry she'll eat... make it, set it out, politely ask her to eat and if she gives you that sullen look, just say you'll leave it on the counter for her.

This stage will really test your patience Jessie.... then stage 7 hits and you'd wish for stage 6 all over again. Just an awful disease.
Jesse, you live with mom in your home? Are you going to be up to seeing this through to to end? My dads dementia has been progressing lately and it's breaking my moms heart to lose her guy. I'm dreading what lies ahead and I'm so sorry you're going through this.
Jessie, I remember a couple months back when your Mom was spending hours washing coins. Makes you wish you could understand the motive behind what she was doing, to get a better understanding.
Thank you, Jeanette and Windyridge. I have been staying with my parents in their home for 5.5 years. My father died three years ago, so it is just me and Mom. She has always been a difficult woman and we've never been close, but I am staying here with her for as long as I can. I do know there is going to come a time when I can no longer help her in the way she needs. I don't look forward to that time, since she is adamant about staying in her home.

Her dementia is complicated by having insulin-dependent diabetes, hypertension, and a long-standing mental disorder (terrible anxiety or maybe bipolar). It is a bit like the perfect storm when it comes to caregiving concerns. If she doesn't eat or doesn't take her medications, the diabetes or hypertension could take her out quickly.

This latest round of behavior was ushered in by her taking the SSRI mertazepine (Remeron). It sent her into an obsessional hypomania like one would see in bipolar disorder. I've taken her off the drug now, but the behavior is remaining. The drug may have just been coincident to a new stage of dementia setting in. I'm still hoping she'll go back to a more manageable baseline.

Jeanette, I always admired your strength in working with your mother. I knew I would not have been able to do it. Sometimes my mother is okay, but when she gets the obsessions going, she totally ignores or fights me. I know there is no reasoning or arguing that will work, so I have to wait a few minutes and tell her she needs to eat or take her medicine again. I start to feel like a major nag.

I do dread the time that I'm not able to leave her alone for a while. That may be when we'll have to look into a nursing facility to save my own health.
Jeanette, the latest obsession is shredding. It is harmless enough in itself. I gave her my office shredder so she could shred some bank documents. She did, and then she started shredding all kinds of things for two solid days. I can in once and she was trying to shred used Kleenex. Poor shredder! I told her to only shred documents that had personal information. So she picked up scissors and started cutting up cardboard and other paper, so "it wouldn't take up so much room in the recycle." I tried to tell her it didn't matter, but to her it did. I let her do what she wanted, since it wasn't really a problem. The only problem was to get her to stop long enough to eat and take medicines, and to get her to stop when it was time for bed.

I took away the shredder today. We'll see how it goes. I love her to have things to do, but there comes a point where it is more like twilight zone.
Oops, I didn't mean Jeanette... I meant FreqFlyer in the above message.
Jessie, ah, I can understand your Mom wanting to break down or cut up the cardboard boxes even more for the recycling.... I do that, too.

My sig other will get a delivery box and he will toss it into the recycling bin, as it... me, I take out that box, I take off all the clear tape [because I heard it can jam the recycling machine at the plant], take off the label, and break down the box so that it is flat.... just following the recycling rules :)

I also want to do all the shredding NOW and not wait to finish tomorrow. Yep, I have a bit of OCD but not enough to ruin everyday life... that might come later when I get older :P
Thankfully my mother never had any obsessional tendencies. Whew! She was very classic AZ. Followed all the stages to T except for one thing that not many people had witnessed or heard of an AZ patient doing. I do hate to say it, bless her heart, but it was plain weird... during her marathon pacing, she would walk into a corner and stand there for hours (if I let her) just stand there, talking at times to the wall, mainly just standing there like she was trying to figure out how to get out? Several times I'd find her in the back bathroom, no lights on, just standing there lost. Broke my heart to see her like that. It was all part of sundowning but on a severe level.

Jessie, thank you. It wasn't easy and I'd wished I was dead many times but I knew what would happen to my mother if I wasn't here for her.

Do you think it could be her current meds causing this? Or is she back on her normal ones? Least she's not shadowing you ;)
Jessie, I just want to offer some hugs. This has got to be hideous for you.
ff, I do the same thing to recycle boxes -- taking off the tape and folding the box flat. She was cutting pieces of cardboard into little strips. Kind of like shredding by hand. There was no harm in her doing that. The problem comes when she needs to stop to do something else.

Her obsessions are also creating work for me. She wanted to clean and reseal her wood swing. She got sandpaper and did part of the swing, but it was too much for her. So I got out yesterday with deck cleaner to finish what she started. The swing looks great now, but I still have to stain and seal. This project wasn't important to me, but I didn't want the scraped swing sitting out in the front yard unprotected from the elements. Looked terrible, too. She is also cleaning out some of my father's old cabinets, which is a job she now wants me to take over, breaking down the cabinets and getting them out of the house. The woman is trying to kill me! :-O

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