My mother is mentally disabled and has slight dementia. How do I talk to her so that she understands me and remembers what I say?

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also where can i go to get more information on mental disabilty and dementia?

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
It helps to be humorous with someone in her state of mind. And when you talk to her, bring up things from the past, they always remember the past, ask her to tell you what happened when she did this or when that happened, she will probably go into a long drawn out story, and when my Mom does that, I sit engaged listening to her. I keep asking questions while we are on any given subject. I enjoy the time I have with her when she is talking about the past, it also keeps her from thinking about what life has handed her in the current situation.
you dont, sweetie, please dont try. now and again, bring up happy times, but you cant get upset that shes understanding less and less.
my dad had that same problem with my mom,it would frustrate him to no end that she would zone out after a sentance, she talks about the guy that did the thing when he did them and ,etc...she lived in a care center and outside they put up a cell tower that looked like a tree, ok...she would go on and on about how that tree wont grow in cement and my dad would explain to her its a cell tower. shed say 'oh'..then a few minutes later, the tree wont grow in cement... i told him to just to say, 'yeah, thats kind of dumb, isnt it?' or something along those lines. and you cant get upset if she repeats things, they do that..
for years she would 'expect' the president over for sunday dinner.so im thinking as long as she doesnt get mad when he doesnt show up and start to write a threatning letter, then were ok..lol..
alzheimers is like a big, chandaleir light, with the bulbs going out one by one.. its sad, its hard to watch.
if you think about it, there really isnt anything she NEEDS to understand at this point, make sense? just anticipate her needs, and if she rambles on, you ramble on as if you understand. basicly, humor her, dont let her frustrate you.. hang in there, your not alone.. there are a lot of us caring for our folks now, my mom died a few months ago, and i moved in with my dad whos 84....hes still pretty 'on the ball' for 84, i count my blessings with that.
From what I have leared--the is a book called "learning to talk Alzheimers" which may be very helpful-as well as do's and dont's online on communicating with a person who has alzheimer's...
I am sure they will bring some light on this subject-and perhaps help in your understanding of thid disease. I know 1st hand how difficult and frustrating it can be-thus these articles are a great tool to use.
Good luck!
Hap
my grandpa had alzheimers, and unfortunately its frustrating for them too!! they do all kinds of ritualistic stuff, but dont u get frustrated too, I know its easier said than done, but it will just make her more frustrated, agree with her and carry on a conversation, change the subject if the stuff doesnt make sense, I did that with grandpa and that helped! and give him things to do that may make her feel useful!!! talk about the past alot, sometimes they remember certain things, that happened years and years ago, but cant tell u thier names, its all an individual basis type desease, and I know its hard for you to feel comfortable, its not easy, but it could be alot worse!!! Alzheimers is at least manageable in most cases and there are meds out there that can help too!! maybe even a commnunity center that caters to Alzheimers patients, they get a kick out of being around others in the same boat sometimes as well, Good luck hun, and dont forget to pray!
As you can see from the various answers, no two situations are alike when it comes to dementia. You go with the flow and just see what works and what doesn't. An example: My 85 yr old father was my mother's primary caregiver. She had Alzheimer's that I watched go through all the stages. In the middle stage one thing that irritated my father to no end was when he would put something on the gas stove to cook and then he would go off to do other chores in the house or garden only to come back and see the gas turned off. My mom sat in a big chair in the kitchen most of the time. When she got to the middle stages of Alzheimer's she began to turn off the gas anytime she noticed it was on. My father would rant and rave about this. Once he even called her "stupid" . I took him aside and told him to count his blessings. She always turned the gas off--never ON. In her mind she feared that she had gone off and left the gas burning which could cause a fire. There are many Alz stories about that side of that coin. My father resolved this by having her move to the location he was at when he was using the stove. ON her better days he would also engage her in a cleaning or gardening activity--even though she might not do it correctly it made it easier to keep an eye on her and the homemade chicken soup would be finished cooking by the time they came back to the kitchen to eat. So approach caregiving with humor and creativity . You won't go wrong.
hi... ah76117
How do I talk to her so that she understands me and remembers what I say?

If you try to do this each time you visit you will leave down and frustrated.

If you ask if she understands you, she will most likely nod and say yes. And she may very well understand you at that moment and forget the conversation in 5 minutes.

If it is that critical that she understands and remembers what you say, you may want to type it out in large type for her to keep and read (put it on pretty color paper so it stands out).

Recently, I was helping at a care center and was talking with a resident, whom I had spoke with many times. After the conversation she left the room in her wheelchair... about 15 minutes later, she came back in and was passing me. I called her by name and said, "oh, your back". She stopped looked at me and asked "Should I know you?"

I replied, "not really, I'm a new friend"... oh, okay and wheeled on.

She isn't a relative, but I love her dearly and she shares stories of her past when she was a child.

I think we have to become their friend and take each moment as it comes and let go of the rest.
yeah, anytime im trying to get something done, like when im renovating a room, i try to give my dad a 'project' to keep him from 'helping' me..he doesnt help when he helps..lol.but hes onto that one, he gets right up under foot or smack in the way when im trying to do stuff.it really takes a lot of patients to not get mad, but mad makes things way worse, its better to walk away and mellow out when frustration hits.
one time he asked me to help with his computer after he screwd it up. also, we were going to change desks that it sat on. so im unplugging it, moving it to another room, and just as i lift this super heavey monitor, THATS when he decides to look for something in the bottm drawer, right in my tiny path. i almsot didnt see him bent over in front of me, and me, monitor and all would have crashed to the floor, but luckly i saw him. asked him to move,while im still holding this heavey thing, he says in a minute, OHHH!! i was upset! he takes me off my project to help him out, then gets in my way to where i almost fell over him, then is mad at me!
but if i show anykind of being upset, he turns into super grouch and will follow me around, 'why you mad? you have an attitude, your mad.' i tell him im not mad, why would he say that, he gets the 'YOU HAVE A CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER!!' i wasnt mad in the first place, a bit peeved, but it passes quickly. what does get me mad is when he follows me around telling me i have a chip on my shoulder for the rest of the afternoon.can win for losing sometimes.
he will forget to put in his hearing aids and ask me stuff, after answering him 3-4 times, he doesnt hear me, i look straight at him, talk very clearly and slowley, then he tells me im mad.. im not mad, if he cant hear me, i have to talk louder and slower, right?
My mom is in the early stages of demenitia and has cognitive disability, any suggestions on how to talk to her, with the hope of her understanding that we are there help her.
When speaking to your mother, try to get her attention and then talk clearly and slowing.

Don't ask her if she remembers something... she probably doesn't. Many times, she may not remember you.

Just go with the flow, interact with her.

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