Everyone says not to argue with her, as she has dementia. However, her "reality" is scaring her and she cries on the phone. She asks, " when can I go home? Why don't you come get me! I don't live here!" If I told her I'll be there soon, she certainly calls back and says "why didn't you come?" It's easy to let them live in their own world when they're happy. It's a whole different thing when she's scared and paranoid. Also--she was recently moved to Memory Care from Assisted Living and has been on Depacote for only about 5 days. Help!
I was animated but kept my excitement on a lower key for the sake of restoring calm and peace. I just stayed positive and rattled off all sorts of ideas, even interrupting him with yet another idea in order to bring his thoughts back to a level he could handle and begin to feel safe again. Its important to remind them over and over, calmly but firmly that they are safe. "Everything is alright. You are safe. I promise, you are safe." When he finally began to relax I gradually talked about other things to help him let go of the ideas that had overwhelmed him with fear.
I know your situation is more extreme and you have issues to deal with that are different than mine. Still, I think it's important and extremely helpful when their thoughts hit a sharp curve to creatively overpower their imagination, take the driver's seat and coast with them down Creative Lane.
Bless you both, hang in there.❤
Now mind you, this is coming from someone with years of experience in dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia! Suddenly I am thrown into the full-time caregiving situation with my mother! I'm just saying that even for someone like me with years of experience, it's not easy! Therefore, if I find myself getting frustrated and impatient and having to keep my emotions in check, I can only imagine just how frustrating it can be for someone that doesn't have that experience. What's so frustrating is this is my own mother, for Pete's sake! And all of a sudden here I am having to tell her how to wipe her own bottom! And I won't stop providing her with verbal cues to do that. She is probably about 50-75% incontinent at this point and is already wearing Depends 100% percent of the time. But to me it would be even more humiliating for her to have accidents all the time and be dependent on someone else to clean it up 100% of the time! Eventually it's going to get to that point, I know, but at least she gets to keep her dignity the other 25-50% of the time.
But once in a while you get a smile or a comment that makes your day!
Either way, it is so hard....
While I would never consider my MIL a fool, her dementia has certainly made her "foolish". It was a good message, and I keep it in a pocket to remind me!
My husband was diagnosed in 2003. He died in 2012. I have had a lot of time to work through the shock. I hope I didn't sound judgmental of your level of dementia-skill. We all start pretty ignorant and shocked. Hearing about the experiences of other caregivers can be very comforting and helpful -- and also scary.
I remember running around trying to convince my husband that he was home when he wanted to "go home" early in the disease. I'd say, "Remember this lamp we bought together at Dayton's?" "This is a wedding gift from your engineer buddy," etc. etc. and he'd agree with everything, and then want to go home! I could have handled that MUCH better if I understood more about dementia at that point. I got much more skillful at caregiving over the years, partly from learning from the experience of other caregivers as well as my own.
But we all start out mostly ignorant and in shock.
Now when my mother doesn't remember whether she has had breakfast or not five minutes after the server removes her plate I am not shocked or distressed at all. Sad, sure, but I take it in stride. That doesn't mean you should be able to this early in the journey.
Best wishes to you!
fantastic |fanˈtastik| adjective
imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality: novels are capable of mixing fantastic and realistic elements.
• of extraordinary size or degree: the prices were fantastic, far higher than elsewhere.
• (of a shape or design) bizarre or exotic; seeming more appropriate to a fairy tale than to reality or practical use: visions of a fantastic, mazelike building.
Sounds like she meant either/both the 1st and 3rd definitions.