i'm sure this has been answered somewhere, sorry if i am repeating a question.
my grandmother has pretty bad dementia, but grandpa is very protective and doesn't take her to the dr. often. she is at home, can't be alone, puts plastic in the oven, constantly repeats herself, very little short-term memory.
over the last few weeks she has stopped recognizing my grandfather, thinks he is her FIL, BIL, cousin-in-law etc. of course she keeps asking my grandfather who the other men are, and won't believe anyone who says it is only my grandfather there. should we keep correcting her?
i've tried with little post-its for her to keep track of who my grandpa is via writing down his shirt color that day, etc. now she says the other men don't want her to write anything down.
i guess i want to know if we should correct her or not? she is agitated when we correct her, and agitated if we don't (i.e., why are all these men in the house, what will the neighbors think, etc.)....
Grandpa is being uncooperative with her medicine, has randomly decided that the Exelon patch must be making things worse and is inconsistent about making sure she has one on. He thinks the doctors are useless and is totally giving up on them. In the meantime, we still have to deal with them! They lie to the visiting nurse and physical therapist about what's going on and so far seem to have refused the home health aide.
honestly i don't know how much more of this we can take.
i did watch some of the Teepa Snow videos, and it was very helpful in so much that i try very hard to make Grandma feel needed. I got her to do some baking with me by pretending that i don't know how to cook and she needs to teach me.
that being said, she now decided she can still cook chicken -- poured all the bread crumbs into a bowl, dipped the chicken, and put the rest of the bread crumbs BACK into the cabinet. (luckily mom caught this and "accidentally" spilled them into the sink). this kind of stuff is nonstop.
again, just venting. i know it will never get better but i just keep hoping to find a way to make it more bearable.
Also a great way to start is finding things to keep her busy! They key is through the hands and the mind. Find a simple game that she likes, a puzzle, or items of different texture, shape, size. Look in the kids toy section for simple puzzles, card games, board games. After you figure out what she likes and also doesn't frustrate her; then use it and stay consistent! Hope this was helpful, and don't forget to check out Teepa Snow on YouTube and visit seniorhelpers.com!!
we shall see!
kellys, grandma is like that too! asking the same questions over and over, but it does sometimes seem that if someone different answers, she finds satisfaction. this disease is maddening.
i am very curious about LBD. I do know she was on Depakote for some time supposedly for headaches; i'm wondering if that was actually for LBD now as my grandpa gets so secretive about this stuff. her current gp weaned her off the Depakote about a year ago, but he is also a new dr for her (old dr. retired). they don't do well with continued care as in, seeing the dr. for regular check-ups. they really only go when the pharm refuses to refill their meds.
jeanne, on days when neither of us can be there (i travel a lot for work, etc), they get very depressed and to be honest, who knows what goes on?
i am definitely going to talk to grandpa about not correcting her. i tried yesterday when she was telling a long story about visiting my uncle (didn't happen, he came there) and grandpa just kept getting more upset. "DEAR, we DIDN"T go anywhere." i said, grandpa, it's fine, just let her talk. i think he turned off his hearing aid then.
Mom also had that reaction to morphine and from a UTI. Twice in the hospital I told them she was going too much and she admitted she was experiencing burning. UTI in the elderly are a huge reason for confusion, delirium.
Even if Grandpa can't bring himself to go along with the multiple men delusions, I hope you can convince him that this isn't something Grandma can help, and that she cannot be argued out of it. It is as if something went wrong with her leg and she started limping. Telling her not to limp would not be helpful.
It sounds like they are getting by with daily help from you and Mom. They are lucky to have you. Maybe that will be enough forever. But this could go on a decade or more, and the dementia is very likely to get worse. I think it might be wise to start thinking of backup plans. Who will help out on days neither of you can? (Mom is on vacation and you've come down with a nasty -- and contageous -- bug)?
Sadly even proud and private folks can reach a point of needing outside help. Beginning gradually and gently to introduce that idea would be a kindness.
But to your original question, trying to correct her and talk her into "the truth" would be like telling someone with a defective leg not to limp.
he and grandma made a solemn pact to each other 30 plus years ago to never let the other one end up in a NH or AL. she has a lot of anxiety (apparently has her whole life, a bit of agoraphobia, social anxiety, etc) so adult daycare / home health care isn't taken seriously as an option by him. she really only leaves the house about once every 2 months.
and grandpa of course switches between denial ("she's not that bad") to utter despair ("i don't know what to do anymore"). there's just no consistency in how anyone responds to her, and my grandfather, 86, former steel worker, pretty much tough guy, can't really wrap his mind around what is happening. to ask him to go along with something like this just ends up getting him more depressed or frustrated himself! he's exhausted and feels guilty and refuses to get any outside help, just relies on my mom and me to come help him every day. they are very proud and private people.
i read on here a little bit about doing picture timelines, like jeannegibbs said, who knows what time period she is in? anyone had much luck with those?
also she loves music (lawrence welk every weekend, etc) and does sing along, wuvsicecream; then she gets sad. "how come i know all the words to the songs but not my own family?"
so frustrating and heartbreaking!
Comfort your poor Grandpa. It surely must hurt not to be recognized. But Grandma is living in another time period. If she herself as 35, for example, she surely can't have a husband as old as your Grandpa! It is not that she can't keep track of him ... it is that he doesn't fit that particular role in her current reality.
If Grandma is seeing all those other men, that is called an hallucination. If she doesn't actually see them but believes they are there, that is called a delusion. Either way, it will not help to correct her. Try to give her reassurance and comfort. Maybe you could say somethingl like, "A cab has been called and they will all be out of here within 20 minutes!" or "The men are here to help with a project in the back yard. The neighbors know all about it." Anything that gives her peace.