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I don't know how to answer my Mom when she asks me several questions: She asks what is happening to me (losing her memory), she tells me how depressed she is because she lost her independence (she used to drive and never have to depend on anyone), she tells me I am controlling her (because I have to hide her medication and give the proper dose to her each day or she won't take it or she will take too much), she tells me she wants to die, etc. I do tell her that her arteries in her brain are smaller which is why her memory is failing her. I don't know if that's the right words to say? I think it's really sad to watch my Mom who used to be so independent with a sharp mind turn into a child (part of me feels it not fair). I understand why she is depressed but I don't know how to help her. She did see her new doctor and he suggested counseling for her which I am going to set up, hey I think I need therapy too...

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JennaRose, you asked about Memory Care.... my Dad [who just turned 95] lives in Assisted Living, but he's in the Memory Care section. This section gears to those who have Alzheimer's/Dementia. The Staff is all trained and/or have experience, plus a ton of patience, to cater to the residents. My Dad really likes it there as it looks and feels more like a hotel than an Assisted Living facility.
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JennaRose, I'd say you are learning fast and well!

It sounds like your mother could still benefit from counseling, if the counselor is experienced with cognitive impairment. I do know of people who had counseling in the early stage of dementia. This would definitely not be appropriate for all dementia patients, but from what you say it may be good for your mother. I don't see much risk in trying it.
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Thanks everyone! Yes, my Mom saw an ophthalmologist and he did give her one option which was surgery which would correct her muscles from crossing but at 90 years old, I'm not too sure she should have surgery. She doesn't have the double vision every day or if she does she doesn't tell me. She is able to watch tennis so I wonder how bad it is. Sometimes I wish my Mom would tell me more.

Today she started to cry (she doesn't cry that often) and told me how tired she is and that she is ready to go. I didn't get upset and gave her a hug and told her I understand. She thanked me for being understanding and not getting upset.

We talked about her life and all that she accomplished which was a lot not to mention bringing up 4 children (my baby brother passed away from cancer).

I am understanding how important repetition is and most of the time I have the patience to repeat to her what she wants to know.

When she tells me a story I do just go along with it and let her tell it. But when she asks me if she is repeating herself I say "Mom, that's such a good story I would enjoy hearing it again"...

I also finally realized that when I cook for her which is almost every day not to give her large amount as that overwhelms her. Tiny portions then she helps herself. Also grinding up certain foods helps her. So I'm learning..
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It must be terribly disorienting to have double vision, not to mention it will increase her risk of falls. So the muscles aren't working properly, they don't have any suggestions? Prisms in her lenses? Patching one eye? Medications?
Has she been to an ophthalmologist?
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All this is new to me and my Mom does take medication for anxiety. I'm not a doctor but I think she needs an antidepressant. I live in a very rural area so doctors are limited and many are not taking new patients but I will keep trying. My Mom is still adjusting to living in my home as well as in a different state. She is used to stores being closer and where I live the stores are about 10 miles away which is fine with me.

Anyway, yes, it is tough to see my Mom change like this. I wish my Mom had a hobby (she used to be an avid knitter), but she sees double vision (eye doctor explained why as her muscles in her eyes are weakening causing her eyes to cross giving that double vision effect. I may try giving her some yarn and an easy pattern such as a scarf to knit using large needles. She does enjoy watching tennis and old movies that I record for her as well as game shows.

I also tell her that I don't remember things and that's it part of getting older but she doesn't respond to that. I do hug her and let her know I am there for her.

I think the reason this doctor wants her to see a counselor is to get more information so he can prescribe the right medication for her. I was surprised he spent over an hour with my Mom.

What is Memory Care? I know I need to talk to a therapist to handle this new stress as I am starting to feel emotions I have not felt before.

Thanks! Jenna
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I agree with Babalou, counseling??? Never heard of someone doing that for a person with dementia. But it is recommended for us caregivers. I am seeing a therapist who is close to my age and who has been there done that with her own elderly parent.... oh my gosh she really does understand :)

It is tough to see our parent go through this, my Dad just started with "sundowning" and I am still trying to wrap my head around it... I am doing better now that he is in Memory Care. I found that if I reassure him everything is ok he feels better. Now my Dad's hobby is weather, so I can always redirect the conversation to how is the storm on the east coast, and he will talk about that.

Or if Dad complains he can't remember this or that, I will say "I have the same thing, it is all part of getting older, so don't worry about it." That makes him feel better, too.
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Oh Lord, counseling? Please, get her to a geriatric psychiatrist who can get her on meds for anxirty and depression.
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You tell her you're sorry this is happening to her, that getting older sucks, but you will be there for her and you will try to figure it out together. Then you give her a hug if you are the hugging kind.
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