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I have always been focused and goal driven. As my partner’s Parkinson’s symptoms worsen he has become prone to talking to me from across the house, but disease has caused him to speak softly and slurred. I hear just enough to know he’s speaking to me, but not what he’s saying. Sometimes I just have to go on like I didn’t hear him, but that’s difficult when you care about someone. So I stop what I am working on to see what he wanted, and by the time I’m finished I have completely forgotten what I was doing. So, I later discover unfinished tasks. I get flustered because that’s just not like me...and it seems like I’m getting that way with everything. I’ll commonly be up until 1 or 2 in the morning doing work and sending emails - clients praise the dedication, but if they only knew. Anyone else having same problem and have found some tricks that help?

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For me, the timer on my microwave is a help. If I am interrupted in a task, I put on the timer (guessing how long the interruption will take). I also keep a post-it pad and pen near the microwave. If I need to, I will jot myself a note and stick it to the microwave. When the timer goes off, I have the note there to pick up where I left off.

Saying that, it took me 45 minutes to empty the trash last week. Seems like I found another task in each room as I emptied the trash (switch the laundry in that room, clean the soap scum off the counter in the bathroom, etc). And, yes, I did leave the trash bag in a couple of rooms and wander off to a new task.

Definitely scatterbrained!!

As I tell my husband, when I hit menopause, I found 20 pounds and lost my mind :)
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KatKat124 Sep 6, 2019
I use the Timer on the oven to help me for things.
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Oh, boy, do I ever know what you are talking about, and I am not even directly hands on caring for someone. I am only trying to do accounts and accounting and bills, and handling other stuff. Don't ask about the towed truck!
There are, for me, two things going. One is age. I am 77. I was not thinking as I did when I was 30s before all this happened. So I was in the stages of--you know--leaving the room to get something,getting to the other room and forgetting what I was there to get, going BACK to the room and then remembering.............you know the drill.
However, add in this whole other thing, someone you love kind of crumping on you, and all the anxiety mixed in? It is other worldly. If I am at all anxious, if the control slips, my OCD hits like a hurricane and I am in the eye of it, paralyzed, unable to think, unable to move. I have entered the realm where it is true diagnosable dementia. You know, the butter in the cabinet and the cereal in the fridge. And it is the anxiety that does it. I am incapable of multitasking.
When I get myself in a good place, the zen of gardening or putting murphy's oil on the floors, I again come to a person who can function. But let a letter come in the mail "We lost the papers on the truck and are putting a lien on it"? Ha! Blown away again.
It is, in the beginning, such scary stuff. I AM getting older. Not as old as the bro I am trying to help, but OLDER and we have all our lives teased one another that he is only 7 years ahead of what is coming for me. We are like twins born 7 years apart.
You're OK. You are OK. Try to find what you can to relax. Give yourself at least some moments of peace. For me it is garden, a little painting, sewing kimonos for friends, listening to some true crime podcasts. I can restore my soul and my mind a bit as well.
Don't worry. You're OK. (almost certainly, hee hee. But where are those car keys)
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pamzimmrrt Sep 1, 2019
You sew Kimonos?? You rock!
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Yes! I was speaking to a social worker the other day and just sort of drifted off without finishing my thought. The nurse had to finish for me. I got distracted by something and completely lost my train of thought. I have so much on my mind these days. Haven't learned any tricks to help yet though.
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Stress will do this.
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Oh yes,, I get distracted sometimes going to another room to get something,, see something else.. on it goes. The I find my self back where I started.. without what I went for! But I probably watered some plants, grabbed the trash, tidied up a room.., so I guess its all good. But frustrating! I sometimes repeat what I am going after, sounds silly but it works for me!
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Yes, in my caregiving duties where I had to move out of state to care for my late mother, I was getting ready for bed and had my night time meds ready to take. My hearing aide needed a new battery and I got it ready to be inserted, putting it next to the pills. Well, I swallowed a LIVE battery. I thought I was goner. My mother had just been buried! But I called the hearing aide battery company and they assured me that I would be okay because it was a #13 battery (small) and would pass. They had a protocol to call me 5 days out, then 10 days out, then 30 days out, then 3 months out, then 6 months out and lastly, a year out to check on me. THEY WERE GREAT! I SURVIVED! PHEW!
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BlackHole Sep 5, 2019
Oh Llama! 🤯
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With leaving your tasks only partially completed, it is no wonder you forget about them. Your brain gets busy thinking about something new and poof!, what you were doing is gone.

You could have a little bit of burnout? Tired? All make forgetting quite understandable.
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Katie,

You hit the nail on the head. It is stress. Especially if you had to go from mom to MIL in caregiving. We can only do so much. I am at the end of my rope too.

I have been sick with a cold since Sunday and my mom is purposely nagging me. I have no idea what her problem is. She won’t go see a doctor about anxiety and trust me she is riddled with the anxiety of a million people! I honestly think she is bored to death. I know I am! She will not go to a senior center to meet people and generally be involved in society. She would rather be a hermit and complain and drag me down with her.

She had anxiety before because she’s a perfectionist but she was distracted because she stayed busy. Being idle is horrible. Being too busy is bad, so a balance should be achieved but she doesn’t look for balance.

Her only activity or distraction is ‘The Young and the Restless’ soap opera! I don’t watch it but aren’t those things filled with ridiculous drama? What good is that? Gosh, I watch shows on nature to relax or even the old tv shows that make me laugh, not a show that will add stress!

It’s horrible to see a once active person behaving like this and worse for me to be sucked into it as well.

As soon as I get all of the paperwork for aid and attendance from veterans, something has to change, and soon! I am truly at my threshold of pain. I’m worried about my own mental stability living with her. She keeps interrupting me so I have decided to walk outside to my backyard. She will open the door if I am on my patio. She’s so crazy lately she may call my brothers and tell them I abandoned her or call 911. So I am going to try to work on things during her soap opera! Her damn laundry can wait! She has more clothes than me!

I fought like hell to banish this anxiety when I left home and managed to do so. For what? Too fall right back into it? No! I simply can’t deal with this anymore.

Thanks, Katie for pointing out how extreme stress is damaging to our wellbeing. I can be relaxed and accomplishing tasks and she starts her foolishness and it all goes out the window! Why? Because it’s been too long. When we know there is an end in sight that is relatively near we can get through it. It’s when we can’t see the end and it builds up from happening over and over and over, that we go batty.
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Tiger55 Sep 5, 2019
NHWM: Girl, one of you has to move out, (like right now).
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Seems you are trying to multi-task ALL THE TIME. Nobody really multi-tasks, they just shift focus from one task to another and back again - quickly. So, it's no wonder that you feel scatterbrained when your concentration keeps getting derailed. It also seems that your rest is also getting derailed in an effort to find some uninterrupted time to focus and complete tasks.

Try to establish a routine with your LO that allows time together and blocks of time for uninterrupted focus on something other than LO. You may find it easier to have a friend, a hired sitter, or family "visit" - take turns being with LO while you need concentration. If LO takes naps, that would be a good time to complete other "alone tasks".

Maybe a spare room, or part of one, can be converted into office/work/craft space for your "alone times." Will LO use a bell to notify you of "needs"?

As for rest, establish routines for bedtime. Make sure anybody who helps LO follows the routines. If LO is restless or wanders at night, talk to the doctor about sleep meds or hire a sitter for your sleep time. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night yourself.
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GETTING scatterbrained?  Hahaha.  My kids once told me they would never know if I started to have dementia.  I had trouble multi-tasking.  I could never get a turkey dinner to be ready all at the same time.  Now it is hopeless to even try.   Sleeping more than usual, and expecting less from myself and husband.  We are blissfully getting old!
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