Is this Alzheimer's disease progression or manipulation or fear?

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My mom now can't stand to be alone for even 2 minutes. It's impossible for anyone to sit by her constantly. Also, she's insisting that me, my daughter or her aide sleep with her. When we refuse she begins to yell for us saying she needs us. Of course on arrival she either "forgotten" or it's something small like smoothing out the blanket. We try to take her into the kitchen or living room when we need to be in there, but often she's resistant to that as well. In healthier days she was a bit of a manipulator, and her behavior often looks that way; but my daughter thinks it's fear on her part. Is this disease progression or manipulation or fear? It's driving me crazy because I am not able to get the dishes or anything else done.

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dlevy,

I've found that if I listen to my body's reaction, my gut feeling lets me know a person is trying to manipulate me before my mind figures it out usually in hindsight.

It might be very helpful to talk with your own therapist.
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Thank you so much for this very useful information. We will see her doctor soon and will bring up this issue. I truly appreciate the support.
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Me and my sister took care of my mother with alzheimer's for more than 10 years. Taking care of her is really very hard so your love and patient is very necessary. Because they can not tell you what they want it is your instinct as daughter will help/know it. If you live in Canada you can call the community care center in your area and they will assess her and provide you free help. CCA will provide some hours to take care of your mother by personal support worker depending on her needs and how much time you can take care of her.
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In my experience as a Geriatric Care Manager and having worked with victims of dementia and their families for almost 20 years, you are describing anxiety. Your mother may be experiencing anxiety because there is a sense that something is wrong but she, of course, cannot identify what that is. There are lots of things you can try to distract or redirect her when this happens. First would be giving her a stuffed animal or doll that she can comfort/can give her comfort. This may be especially helpful at sleep time. Another, which you have probably tried, is to rule out any needs (hunger,thirst, bathroom, hot/cold). Also try playing soothing music, at a low volume. What is soothing to her may not be the same for you or your daughter, but often classical is helpful. If she is familiar and enjoys big band music, try that. Depending on how advanced her cognitive impairment is, she may just need some type of activity to engage in. I'm thinking something that requires little supervision like folding washcloths or linen napkins, coloring or painting, or giving her a doll or other item with textures or tasks (buttons, zippers, shoelaces). There are a number of websites that offer products and activites for people with dementia. If all of these are tried unsuccessfully, you may need to have your mother assessed by her doctor and perhaps anti-anxiety medication can be considered. As always, that is a "last resort" and should be based on keeping her comfortable and content (not you the caregivers). You can also look into volunteer companions in your area, or hiring a one on one aide or companion. This would free you up to tend to yourself and your home. Good luck. And hang in there.
Regards,
Karen
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I guess that I wasn't very clear. We do have a routine, but my mother and I have a history of her manipulating me and everyone. While I've worked through most of our history in therapy, I do love her a lot, done a lot of forgiveness, but I am trying to determine what part of her behavior is the disease, if any. I work full time, have my own health problems, and only have my daughter and 1 aide to help. I guess I am just an emotional mess right now, but I will speak with her psychiatrist about this. Thanks for your responses.
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There are days when Ruth will not allow me out of her sight, or as soon as I go tend to something she is up and getting into things. She always wants me to sleep with her. We have her in a hospital bed, rails up at night. I agree with the routine. Ruth is on a routine that does not veer much from day to day. On my day off when others are taking care of her they do not stick to the routine and she is very anxious and nervous when i get back. And sometimes you just have to let them fuss. It is not being cruel or noncaring, if nothing you are doing is working, then maybe they just have alot of stress to get rid of. Is she on any meds? If not, possibly taking her to the Dr.a nd explaining pattern will help. If she is on meds maybe they are not working. As in Ruth's case she can not take Seroquel, it sends her into a tailspin. Other have great success with this med. It is alot of just doing what you feel is right. One thing, take care of yourself. Please let us know how things are going for you
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My mother had alzheimer and everything that we have to do for her should be routine. She have to be confortable in a certain place or part of the house. I see to it that I follwed the same schedule every day even with the time. Your mother needs love and compassion because she have feelings and emotions every though she can not express it anymore.
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