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And that question is...When are you taking me home to be with my mother, she will ask in 100 different ways but it all means the same. My mom, is 91 yrs old, her mother passed 53 yrs back. No matter how I explain she does'nt understand, I know since I'm the caregiver, I'm the one that's suppose to understand .How do I control my anxiety, level down, how do I not lose my patience. I have done everything, taken her out , play with her, keep her busy doing things, walks, you name it, I've tried it. Everyday seems worst than yesterday. I'm taking med. to calm my nerves down, and if I continue, I feel I'm going to be a drug addict. Yes, I have brothers, but there not here to help besides, they don't call or get involved. We live in, Puerto Rico, they live in the USA. HEPL!!!!

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Lucy you aren't alone and sometimes just knowing this helps tremendously. It has been a process of learning all about myself and life for sure taking care of my mother. I fully relate to your moving to care for her and I also relate to not getting any help from siblings. It seems that first you must develop a level of acceptance, then you will be able to tell your mother "tomorrow" or "soon". I find my mother is happy to get an answer that she wants to hear, found out the long and hard way to just forget about reasoning anything. I just try to be kind and loving and treat her the way I would wish to be treated under the same circumstances. My mother always responds well to a respectful tone. I am learning how to detach with love and work hard at being objective. Take a walk on those lovely beaches in Puerto Rico when you have a free hour, make sure you get a few hours of respite a day, call your local social services and or aging services for direction on where to get respite services.
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If the question your mother is asking is "when are you taking me home to see my mother" and your mother has AD, then the answer is "tomorrow, Mom". It's called therapeutic fibbing; your mother is living in another time and place and sometimes you just have to give her an answer that is "of" that time and place. I'm sorry you're going through so much stress and unhappiness. Meditation? Yoga? Tai Chi? THese are things that have worked for some. Hugs to you, all the best, Barbara
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I am in the same boat, I take 6 mg of xanax a day, your mom cannot help asking the same things, she does not remember, it is the disease, get some respite care even for a couple of hours a week so you can get away or take a nap, will make a big difference, will keep you in my prayers
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My 90-year-old mother's story is similar. My mother gravitated toward her very large family throughout her life. They were almost her entire social network, so their absence over time has hit Mom hard. Though dementia is a factor, Mom's mental and emotional state derives more from long-time depression and anxiety. I frequently had to explain to her why she cannot go back to her mother and her father's house, and why her eight brothers and sister never come to visit her. I found it very difficult to relay the information repeatedly, though as sensitively as I could, and I had to assure her that she was notified when they (and their spouses and some of their children) died and that we both attended the wakes, funeral services and burials. Finally, I wrote down a history with my mother as the hub of it -- when she was born, where she lived, where she lives now, when Dad died, who else is in the house, where her children and grandchildren are and what they are doing (college students, occupations, married to whom), a paragraph about each of her siblings and their families, and her mother and father. I updated that history many times and now it is 24 pages printed in large type. Mom reads this frequently and always tells me how much she appreciates the history. I really need to update it again and include photographs when time allows. Mom is much more settled with access to the history, and new anti-depressant medication. I do suffer the general bewildered numbness that I detect in caregivers who live a life so removed from day-to-day society. I also have a little physical damage from lifting someone who outweights me, and a big hit to my finances, but I haven't started taking any meds yet. I have good old-time friends and now, AgingCare confidants to converse with, as well as an outlet for singing at Church and I especially like rockin the spirituals -- the congregation seems to be full of something (Holy Spirit?) when they watch me, the quintessential WASP belt out "Sweet Holy Spirit." Write and present that history and get some humor in your life, fast.
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Welcome to the world of caregiving for a forgetful person. When she repeats everything this is known as "echolalia" as she is just repeating what you have said. Know that there are five steps in your brain from hearing a word to formulating the answer and speaking it. It is hard, I know from experience, to keep your anxiety down. It is time for your break. Get respite care for yourself which means you get to go do something while someone else takes care of your mom. No one said this disease is easy. It is definitely not. When I feel myself getting really upset with my husband's behaviors, I go take a walk by myself of with our dogs. Talk to your doctor about the way you feel and pills are not the answer. Best wishes to you and your situation!
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I am exhausted. I don't have an answer, but I understand. Every day, the bowl of oatmeal I serve to my mother with dementia is brand new and something she hasn't eaten since she was a kid.

I believe my mom is depressed too. She takes xanex which helps her keep her cool, but I have to believe the depression from a bad marriage of many years, is what I am experiencing with her now (in addition to her dementia). My sister is due to take her soon to give me a break. Mom will go kicking and screaming because she does not want to go, but I am going to hit the floor soon if I do not get a break.

A friend told me today (she lost her mother to dementia), that our mothers did not have to take care of their parents the way we are taking care of ours today because their parents died when they were supposed to...when their time was up...and not kept alive because of modern medicine.

My mom's heart is not good but the medication is keeping it pumping, her breathing is not good, but the oxygen machine and medication is keeping air in her lungs (so long as she just sits and does not move much), the blood thinners are preventing future strokes, and the anti-anxiety medication is keeping her cool.

Her mind is going though, but she does not know it. She did not take care of anyone at the level I am taking care of her (because of modern medicine) so she has no idea what this is doing to me (us...I am speaking for all of us) because her mind tells her she is my age, she isn't a bother, and I am keeping her here with me when SHE KNOWS she can go home, so it is my fault I have this burden because I won't let her go home. If she could just go home, everything would be ok. And then another day starts all over tomorrow.

My mom, in her right mind, would see that I weigh 20 pounds less than I did 8 months ago. She would see the pain, worry and anxiety on my face and she would be angry toward the person who is doing this to me. She does not see that it is her.

I got off topic. I did not mean to. It is hard to not pity yourself but I pity all of us who are trying to do the right thing. All of us who are telling fibs to our parents to keep them happy all the while we are disappearing. Those of us who are angry and guilty because we are angry, and sad, because we lost a lot of who we were and we wonder if the person we were will ever return.

Sure, we can put them in a nursing home or hire respite care, but the worry never goes away so long as they are alive in this sad sad situation compounded with our own worry of what will happen if this happens to us and how we would never, ever want to burden someone we love...but when the mind goes, there is nothing left...only medication that keeps us alive when the biggest part of us, our mind, is gone.
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All of the answers to your question were great. The idea of writing out a history Respite is needed for you. The important thing is to do something for you and only you during this time. Go for a walk, take a nap or what ever is your pleasure. The reason why I'm saing this is because often caregivers run errands for the one they are taking care of. You need to take care of you. If you don't, you won't be able to take care of your mom. Good luck. You and all caregivers are my heroes.
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There is no doubt this is difficult, overwhelming, heartbreaking and makes you wonder sometimes if your are the patient...or that you should be! When my husband asks me the same thing over and over, sometimes within a 5 minute period, I just want to scream! I take a deep breath and tell him again then try to change the subject...distract him someway so he gets out of the ask/answer, ask/answer, ask/answer mode. Doesn't always work, but I try. I am very new to all of this. and my husband's condition changed suddenly, dramatically, nearly overnight. Yes, he had some problems remembering, comprehending, but when it went from bad to worse and had the added dimension of being nasty (verbally), I really got scared. He started having hallucinations and paranoia...and all of it came on without warning or apparent cause. Consequently, I am in a constant learning mode as to what to do, say, feel and think. My health has already suffered, but I'm fighting back by taking a walk once a day, and venting here when necessary. We're all in this together, and together we are strong! Good luck and hugs to all!
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Lucy, as many have mentioned before here "you are not alone". My father passed many years ago, but we dealt with his Alzheimer for over 8 years. Please don't lose yourself in the small things. Alzheimer is a disease that will continue to make your Mother forgetful. The way we dealt with my Dad was to simple "go with the flow". There's simply nothing else you can do. There were times my Dad didn't recognize any of us and we had to simply sit and wait until he was able to on his own to recognize at least one of us. Do remember one thing, you will find yourself repeating things over and over again to her; just know it has nothing to do with you personally, it is this disease. You cannot teach her anything as she will forget within the next 10 seconds of you telling her. Be patient with her, and with yourself. And don't get addicted to anything. Look for a respite agency that may be able to give you some time off. This will help. Good luck, Lucy and my heart goes out to you.

AM
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I have the same problem with my mother and because she has Alz I find it is easy to fib to her. I tell her that her mom will be over tomorrow, or is out shopping or whatever I can do to get through the moment. At first I hated to do this but it is the only way I have found to help her deal with it. She also constantly repeats herself and I have learned to just answer the question over and over again while trying to refocus her. It doesn't always work and of course my patience runs out but I know it isn't her fault and I try to refocus myself when this happens. It's a tough job, bless all of you who are in the same shoes. Good thing we have each other!!!
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