I am Mom's only caregiver, have 4 siblings that do not help. She thinks I am someone else, she thinks I am lying to her all the time. She has dementia, but the last 2 months has gone down fast. I am referred to by her as THEY. She wanders where I am when I am sitting next to her, I have cared for her for 3 years 7 days a week. She hit me hard last nite when I was putting her gown on her. She tells me to go find that daughter that takes care of her. I am at my wits end, I need answers. The doctor put her on the Exelon patch thursday but she is worsening every minute. One of my sisters called her this AM and she whispered to her to call the police to get me out of there. She has completely lost it. I need advice.
My situation is practically exact other than my mum now 90 is nursed in bed due to leg trauma.
Please could you let me know
I am very sorry for your losses, georgi. You have lost the mother who was proud of you earning your Master's Degree; the mother who knew how hard you worked; the mother who was very clear about who you are. These losses are all very sad. And they are not officially acknowledged. There is no little notice in the paper. Old friends do not call you up and offer condolences. No one brings casseroles or flowers. You are in mourning, but no one has died. It is indeed heartbreaking.
Other caregivers of persons with dementia understand your continuous unofficial losses. Come here and share with us.
My mother was placed on the Excelon patch twice and went CRAZY both times. The doc said "Take it off." Will never use it again. My mother sometimes doesn't remember who I am. It goes away soon after. She thought she was waiting for her hairdresser tonight, OMG, it was me. She calls me my sister's name quite often and I just think that all that I've been through, I've got older looking in the past three years, so I probably do look like her a bit. She also says mean things to me like I've never worked a day in my life and meanwhile I have a Master's degree and have been working continuously since I was 16. WOW. She doesn't remember these things. I've had a horrible weekend. I try not to take things personally, since I know it's "THE DISEASE" speaking, but I can't help but do take it personally and it hurts :-( My mother uses her nails as a weapon and digs them into my hands. She, if I can remember had done this when I was a child. She also, as I mentioned uses her walker as a weapon. She was recently placed on Respirdone 2.5mg twice a day. I know it has a lot of bad side effects with some people, but the violence and verbal abuse thank god has stopped. I sometimes have to give it 3 times a day when the HHA is here. But the Excelon patch does have some bad side effects that eventually go away if you live long enough. It doesn't calm the person down, it is used to slow the disease process. I truly don't believe it does, as Namanda made my mom worse and I was told to stop it immediately. Resperdone, small dose does help.. Please stay safe. I lock my knives in the diswasher, which she does not know how to open. I leave the apartment when she flips out and come back in about 10 minutes and there she is sitting with a smile saying "Where have you been hunny?" Sweet as ever. Oh it is so heartbreaking and I am not strong enough for it. I need my own life ASAP.BTW, "They" are always around and seem to buy the food, soap, and everything else. I ask her who they are and she tells me "the ones that own the apartment." YIKES. Mom is going downhill pretty fast and I think it's from lack of exercise,and doing things, this is why her life needs to change for the better and it's not a nursing home I pray. I pray they accept her in the ASL in Florida. I have my plans made. I can live with her and my two dogs free for a while and maybe try to get a job and apartment down there. I want her to make friends?? and enjoy the rest of her short life. SOB SOB. SHe's not the mom I remember and then sometimes she is. But I'm not the same person I was three years ago, smiling having fun. I am miserable as can be. I am so happy to find this wonderful group of people. Stay safe everyone. Mom and dad really don't mean to be bad people, their minds are so messed up and they don't even remember from one moment to the next. Georgi
My husband was a very successful mechanical engineer, specializing in manufacturing design. Believe me, these professionals have extremely good spatial concepts. If I'd ask him to estimate how wide a ribbon was he'd say 5/32" -- and he'd be right! I always let him put leftovers away -- I never could guess the right size container. If I were shown a list of possible symptoms of the disease he developed (Lewy Body Dementia) and told that not every person with the disease experienced every symptom, the symptom I would least expect him to show would be visuospatial problems. Imagine my shock the first time I realized he could not figure out how to get into bed so that his body fit between the headboard and footboard!
That your mother, a kind, intelligent, caring woman cannot now recognize one of her daughters is equally shocking and perhaps more devastating. There doesn't seem to be a correlation between what kind of people they were and what symptoms they have. You can see glimpses of your real mother when she tries to do the proper thing and acknowledge you are her daughter, even though that does not seem reality to her.
Your mother's particular symptoms are NOT YOUR FAULT. And they are not her fault. This is a disease, and concepts of blame or guilt or fairness just don't apply.
I am so sorry for your loss, and the other losses you will experience in the days ahead, before the final loss. (I'm sorry for mine, too.) Cherish each moment of joy you can experience with your mother, whether she fully knows who you are or not.
(And even if Don's theory is right, she is NOT "choosing" to not know you. She has no choice in the matter.
Have you tried talking to her on the phone lately? In Jolene Bracey's book she explains that often dementia patients can continue to recognize voices long after faces cease to make sense to them. It would be worth a try. Perhaps in person you'll have to be the hired help, but on the phone you could be her daughter.
I hate dementia too!
I take big deep slow breaths alot. these days.
Nancy and rsanford, I'd like to point out that the first several posts in this thread are from last year, but there is a newer one by notmydaughter, whose situation is a little different. Just thought you might like to respond to the newer one, too.
Does your mother have Alzheimer's or some other kind of dementia? The pattern of memory loss is different from one kind to another. Your mother has not forgotten you because your life had little significance to her. Really! Although it feels extremely personal, this is not about you. It is about tangles or plaques or abnormalities in your mother's brain. You are right that she can't help it, but wrong to think that means she has loved you less or that you were less important to her.
I wonder if it would work better to just go along with her. Don't try to convince her that you are her daughter. Call her by her first name. Tell her you know about the family because you know one of her daughters well. Perhaps tell her that you have lost your own mother and you are glad to have her in your life. If she wonders where "that daughter that takes care of me" is, tell her she couldn't come today but you'll help her.
I think the loss of the ability to recognize loved ones is one of the very saddest aspects of dementia. You go ahead and mourn!
A book with many, many tips for caregivers whose loved one does not recognize them is "Creating Moments of Joy" by Jolene Brackey. It may provide some comfort to you to know that you are not alone and to have some ways to share moments of joy with your mother, whether she knows you or not.
Hugs to you, loving daughter.
It sounds like you are stuggling with the stress - I can also identify with that! That said, only you can say when the time comes that you can no longer handle it. Remember that what you have done for your mom to this point in her life is wonderful! Life is too short however for you to put your own life at risk because you still have many years to enjoy.
I agree that the violence is the concern. If it is just combative but not hurtful that is one thing but if it escalates and injury will be a concern, then it might be best for you to move her into an Alheimer's Unit.
My husband and I have had these discussions and as Mom continues to slowly decline, we continue to talk about it so that we stay on the same page. If you have a husband, a sibling or a friend that you can talk it out with, try to do so and don't feel guilty! Again, remember that what you have done so far is wonderful!
If you have not been in contact with them yet, you might also reach out to the Alheimer's folks at www.alz.org.
I wish you well in this journey!