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mom has changed depressed and dementia progressed i feel since my dad died yr ago.I am nurse,& understand importance of diet/exercise i offer food all day long & prepare well balanced meals. she picks at it or doesnt feel like eating. I have tried everything. of course she would eat more chocolate and things sugary if it was here but then i end up w/her hyper. lately almost daily she is hypoglycemic by 5PM (50'S SUGAR) I cant find balance I cant force her to eat/drink its driving me nuts I live w/her and gave up job to care forboth of them feel like im failing?new dr appt coming up in 2week but would like advise anyone has We or I may need counseling. I am working on acceptance & grieving for dad also . I see her thrive deminishing..Her forgetfulness and confusion& anxiety attacks are more frequent but most time .she is aware I do not want to even ask for POA to step in( my brother.) not sure what he can he do.more but show up.& be a son. Hasnt seen her in several months really not committed but thats another story. Mom is unaware of my feeling and i dont want to upset her I am giving too much OJ and sugar tablets!! I worry she will fall again from this lack of stability in sugars. Old md no help

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Thanks Jeanne, when i offer any type snack she refuses "no appetite" she also refuses to walk.we have seen dietician but food choices" dont sound good" only milk is chocolate,which she drinks glucerna she was making 200+ft & back to mailbox but now either some complaint or she actually does get a little SOB. I cant tell if the depression or dementia or combo doing this she seems to not want to do anything and its scarey to watch and frustrating thanks again yes i say serenity prayer often...
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Nursecarebear, you certainly have your hands full with managing all the medical concerns of your mother. I'll bet you are familiar with the serenity prayer. It goes like this: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." I'm not a praying person, but I try to keep the principle expressed in this one in mind. As caregivers we often want to fix everything. Some things can't be fixed.

Mom's foregetfulness and confusion and anxiety are going to increase. That is the nature of dementia. The best you can do is keep notes on these symptoms and explain them to her doctor. The doctor may want to try a medication to reduce the anxiety. Do your best, and above all remember that dementia is Not Your Fault, and that you cannot control it.

Does she really get hyper from chocolate and sweets? Look up "hyperactivity sugar myth" to see research that debunks the old theory that sugar makes children hyper. Of course, go by your own experience, but be sure you observe not only what she's been eating but also the activity going on around her when she's eating it. If she is always hypoglycemic by 5, why not give her a couple of oatmeal cookies and some milk at 4? Does she like grapes, or apple wedges with peanut butter or a banana? I HATE being hypoglycemic and I'd sure eat a snack to avoid it. Does she understand the cause-and-effect of her low blood sugar spells? I think having her eat a small chocolate bar would be better than letting her blood sugar dip to 50!

Medicare covers consultations with a Certified Diabetes Educator. I think it might be very helpful for you and Mother to see one together. Perhaps you could have a phone conversation or send a note to the CDE explaining your mother's dementia and how hard it is to stike a balance with her eating. This professional could give you some tips on what is most critical and what you can relax on a bit.

Exercise would be helpful with both the depression and the diabetes. Is your mother ambulatory? Going for walks with her would be very beneficial (for both of you!) In bad weather you could walk in a mall.

You are not failing! Far from it. Try to sort out the things you have some control over. Of all the things you could do, which will have the greatest impact on Mother's quality of life? You cannot do everything. No one can. So pick your battles. Work your high priorities, and try to relax about everything else!

Good luck with the new doctor!

And condolenses on the death of your father.

Jeanne
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