After the many hours taking care of your dementia ridden elders, do you feel like you're literally going crazy?

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To those of you who are racking up the hours taking care of your dementia ridden elders (54 hours per week for me), do you feel like you.. are literally going crazy? Through the wonderful members on this board, I have learned that it's okay to not continue with mom living with me, even though it's what she wants, but I HONESTLY feel like I am getting dementia also.

Because of the level of stress, my brain is literally not working like it used to. I keep forgetting things. I can't "follow" a plot any longer on tv (I keep thinking about other things and zoning out, catching myself and then repeating it again!). I am having problems with word recall. Also, I find myself saying something, like a word in a sentence, realizing it's wrong, and then not knowing for a few seconds or even minutes, what the correct word was.

I just got home from taking mom to her weekly hair appointment. The drive home is about seven minutes, if that. She asked me where my one daughter was and twice. Then she asked if I had spoken with my other daughter. I said "this morning." Then I said that we were going to see her next week. She was surprised as she is EVERY BLOODY TIME I TELL HER! Has to be at least 20 something times over the course of the past few weeks. Two minutes later: Have you spoken with Sally lately? Yes mom, this morning. And we're going to see her next week. Three and a half minutes later (or about there!): So have you spoken to Sally today? Yes mom, and we'll be seeing her next week.

I almost (almost) laughed about it. Are you kidding me? The same two questions three times over back to back to back? Yes, I know it's dementia and she can't help it, but that doesn't affect how I feel, right?

I read that primary caregivers (taking care of dementia loved ones) are SIX times more likely to get dementia themselves. This wouldn't surprise me if you account for genetics. Dementia runs in our family, so this is just hastening the process. But this was true even for spouses (presumably no genetic correlation there). I couldn't believe it.

Has anyone else experienced spot on dementia like symptoms while being overburdened and overstressed taking care of their loved ones. Curious if I'm alone on this or not!

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Oh I totally relate! My mom repeats everything, all day long...and so it goes. I have a lot of the symptoms you speak of and I do worry about it. I have found myself eating more too. I never did that before so I believe it is stress...... I am getting a handle on that before it is out of control.

My sister and I have been caring for mom on some level for a decade now. We have increased her care as needed. She took a major turn in September after many years of just really the same, no real changes. She is progressing quite quickly now, each month there are more and more changes.

I feel what you are going through.
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I also wonder if I'm showing signs of dementia. But, I think it's more of a stress thing and too many things on my mind. I'm taking care of Mom and a disabled brother. So, I'm always reminding myself to do this, that or the other thing and still have eyes in the back of my head. I end up often doing something absent-mindedly and not remember doing it. Plus, I think tiredness can make a person aphasic.
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may be one of the hardest chapters of your life. it may take some time to heal the damage but looking back over my own life nothing has been easy. its been one smackdown after another. it aint much consolation but be glad your not one of the thousands of other animal species. one misstep and youre literally eaten alive..
this answer and a buck ten will get you a cup of coffee. yup, i aint dear abbyin worth a s**t today, sorry..
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Yes! and it is spooky. Many days I have free-floating anxiety and attention deficit. I am someone who once could concentrate for hours on getting statistics done. I can't read well anymore. I keep having to read the same thing before it will sink in. And I keep forgetting to do little things that should be like habit. Or forgetting if I had done them already.

Researchers say stress increases cortisol, which acts on the hippocampus and other parts of the brain. This can be one of the things affecting thinking. They also wonder if too much cortisol over time may harm the cells of the hippocampus in some way. I think it is something that researchers are looking at in Alzheimer's research now. I wouldn't be surprised if they find a link in some people, but it will be hard to show cause/effect.

Still, to be on the safe side, we should try to de-stress in whatever way works for us. For me, it is a hot strong cup of coffee -- a rich reward that won't make me fat... ter.
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