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!