Today I wrote Mom a letter.

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As most of you know, the person with dementia seems to be "nice" and "normal" to most people but those of us doing all the work, tend to get the short end of the stick. Every 2 weeks or so, things get tense with me and Mom and we sit and talk about it. It's always the same conversation. I explain things to her that she "gets" when we are talking, but soon forgets. Today I wrote her a letter. I wrote it large. I wrote it to the point. She "got" it. I am saving it for 2 weeks from now when she has forgotten it all. I will keep giving it to her when needed.I wish I had thought of this a LONG time ago!

34 Comments

boni, i think you might have just caught her in one of her better moments. when shes feeling confused and picked on i think the letter will be just one more of those instances where shes always wrong and your always right and everybody is always telling her shes stupid. i could be wrong but i could be right, ive tried notes too cause mom can understand a note better than verbal communication sometimes..its the frame of mind that wanders in and out. the whole 2 hours of our first alz class was about their skewed thinking and how we have to work with their reasoning. you cant correct it, its pathalogical. ( thoughts take improper paths, arent with proper reasoning. ) my mother is beginning to hate my sis for trying to correct her too much.. i dont think a note during a good moment is going to have any lasting meaning when shes back in fog land.
a different path to comprehension doesnt repair flawed reasoning, boni.
I plan to give it to her during her "better" moments. Each time will be like the 1st (today). If it saves me the frustrating, emotional, impossible conversations we seem to have every other week, I think it's worth a try.
Mom comprehends what she reads MUCH better than what she hears (or doesn't hear, but pretends to). She doesn't remember what she reads for long...but definitely longer than a conversation. She is VERY hard of hearing, so confusion is much worse during important conversations.
I have done that too. My new strategy now is to record what I say to my husband, get his response to the directions/statements, and then when he denies I said what I said, playback the recording with his own voice so he can hear what he said. See if that works. Of course it will only work until he no longer recognizes his voice! Best wishes!
Roni, I think capn made some excellent points - I agree the written word can be helpful sometimes because it allows more time for them to process the information...they can keep reading it over and over again until, like you said, they "get it". But they have to be in a receptive mood in the first place, or that carefully worded note you took such pains to write might just end up getting crumpled into a ball and stuffed down your throat!
Cap'n, was the class you took specifically about AZ or did they discuss other forms of dementia too? I'm wondering cuz classes like that are offered around here every now and then. I almost went to one once but my MIL doesn't have AZ (Lewy Body Dementia, I think?) so I figured it wasn't really going to relate much to our situation.
where behavior is concerned there isnt any difference yaya.
where behavior is concerned there isnt any difference yaya.
BoniChak- I think it is worth a shot--what can it hurt? And I bet it was cathartic to write the issues out!
I think we all try different things and have hits and misses. and have hits that then later turn to misses --now if only we could have some misses turn to hits! OK- I am rambling now

Good luck with the letter ---let us know-in 2 weeks if it worked! :0)
it was a damn good class about how you dont take their tasks over, give them time to think, redirect the conversation instead of argueing / correcting, etc. ive learned most of this just with respect for the elder and common sense. lot of reading, but id recommend the class to anyone. clear their closet, reduce confusing choices, if they favor certain clothes, buy duplicates of the outfit, common sense stuff..
sit and eat with them so they can mirror your actions, common sense folks, aint taught in schools.

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