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Before being diagnosed, she did a lot of genealogy research and communicating via the internet. It was her hobby after retiring to help people who were searching for their ancestors. We moved her computer to our house when she came to live here, but now each time she gets online, she gets confused and frustrated to the point she ends up upset and has a major melt down. How do I approach her, and help her see that something she once enjoyed doing, now causes her to be upset?

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Thank you ferris!
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PamelaSue-I just learned another way to spell correctly. Go to the start button, click on internet options and where you set up things you want your computer to do there is a check for auto spelling...hope this helps with misspells, however, will not help the mind of a person with dementia...maybe some day.
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Is there a spell check program? I use mozilla/firefox browser so that I can correct my spelling, it works fairly well but not perfectly. Unless you think the spell check options might further confuse her.

Maybe you already do have a spell check program. Does she realize that she is misspelling, or does a red line appearing under words alert her to it and thus upset her? If this is the issue, that can be turned off.

I think her friends need a class in sensitivity and a wake up, YES, their friend really does have Alzheimers and they need to write more simplistically. Short words. Short sentences. No commas. Separate thoughts in separate sentences. No two part directions.

They need to understand that she won't be able to do this for very long and it would be kind if they could work with her while it is possible.

As to blaming the computer for problems, umm... I thought everyone did this. I do sometimes. My oldest son does it in spades, ROFLMAO! So does my youngest son come to think of it. Almost everyone I know blames it on the computer.

Hang in the bones, I think it is very kind of you to provide her with the computer and try as you have been doing. I'm certain to fight for mine.
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Mom is in the moderate stage. She knows she has things on file in her computer, she has what she calls email buddies. She struggles with spelling, and interpreting what is in emails that friends send. She gets upset or defensive when I try to help. When she gets upset, she blames the problem on the computer.
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Meaning we don't know how far gone her mother is. Her mom obviously remember using the computer and remembers what she used it for, and the daughter DID bring the computer there for her use. So we need more detail to understand the situation before we can offer her anything. tellaboomer and ruralwannabe touched on some things that may be true if her mother is still in early stages? I hope she will come back in.
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unless the OP comes back in and explain EXACTLY the problem in detail, none of us can help her at all.
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My mother with dementia can follow storylines and loves' skying, everyone and everything is different. I use what works for me.
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The problem with Skyping (such a word?) is she will not be able to identify people which is another source of confusion. People with dementia cannot follow storylines much less a t.v. or running video. Just do what mom would like to do that does not involve higher intellectual connections. Take her on a picnic or for a ride. But, be careful not to get her into large crowds as this is also scary. Like I said before, an AWFUL disease.
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With her can you skype some ancestory lecture sites, or podcasts, webinars on her interest of genealogy?
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I think I know where you are coming from. Preferably you'd like her to be able to use it right? I think the short term memory thing is the thing. It's easy enough to cope outside reality if you remind yourself to stay in the moment. But when you can't remember from moment to moment, you can't perform a series of movements like a computer requires. I do not have a solution. I've seen it in action. A simple program that doesn'trequire a series of actions might help. My dad can't do email, but he can use Times reader, where you just have one action -either turn the page or turn the section. He gets a lot of enjoyment out of that. Loves to read. But a sequence like, URL, Compose, To, Subject, Send, is too hard to follow.
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Try removing the computer and telling her it is being fixed. Pretty soon she will forget it was there (replace with pretty photos or vase). You can also give her books on ancestry and ask her to find someone. Her mind is very confused and things she used to do she will be unable to do, but that is the nature of this awful disease. Just be calm and distract her. Computers are meant for highly organized thinking...
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As part of your assessment you might want to delve a little deeper into what particular things are making her frustrated when using the computer itself. Patience is key! Is it becoming more challenging to use the mouse, is she struggling to see the letters & numbers on the keyboard? screen colors/brightness/contrast issues (particularly if she might be developing macular degeneration), perhaps short term memory loss is giving here trouble navigating around the internet thus loosing her frame of reference (launching an installed program vs. a browser to surf the internet ... or jumping between the two.) Perhaps its an older computer that is becoming clunky and buggy (we all get frustrated with this sort of thing). If you might be interested in a very senior-friendly replacement computer I would highly recommend taking a look at the Telikin. They have built their computer from the ground up to be simple-to-use and very intuitive with a touchscreen interface. Their customer support team is world class and they are well versed and accustomed to helping out seniors with patience, dignity and respect.
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Or you could disable the computer to the point of the dreaded "blue screen of death". Tell her that she doesn't have enough money to get it fixed.
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I guess the only thing I can think of is to work with her on the computer.
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