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ZoomToo: I know how much of a challenge you are facing. The first thing to do is to talk to her doctor. If she doesn't have one, get a geriatric one that is familiar with Alzheimer's. Have her tested for a UTI (urinary tract infection). One of the most common reasons for 'odd behavior' is a UTI. If she has a UTI have a culture done. There are ways to keep UTI's at bay without the use of antibiotics, D-Mannose for one, Proper hygiene will help and proper 'emptying of the bladder too,

Althought MEDS are used all the time for beligerent behavior, or 'the 'wanting to go home' it is better to try to help her naturally first.

After all, if we were removed from our homes, sent to live with someone else (perhaps someone that we don't really recognize anymore) we would be confused, lost and "want to go home too"! Alzheimer's makes it really a lot worse.

I don't know the circumstances that prompted your Mom to come and live with you, but I remember all too well that when my mother, with whom I always had a close relationship came to live with me, the relationship was MUCH different. I was the big bad wolf, and she was the lost little lamb. It was VERY difficult for me to accept until I learned more about Alzheimer's and stop taking ANYTHING personally.

I would be happy to shorten anyone's learning curve when it comes to Alzheimer's. It would be so much easier if there was a CHAT FUNCTION on this website, so those of us that have the experience could share it REAL TIME. Your post is three days old, and I am just now seeing it.

BUT.... hopefully the suggestions I make below will get you started.

There are several books that I can recommend that really helped me, and of course the resources on this site and the www.alz.org website have volumes of articles that are helpful.

Book: Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste and Robert Butler

Book: The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss in Later Life, 4th Edition by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins (

BOOK: A Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier by Patricia R. Callone

BOOK: The complete Guide to Alzheimer's proofing your Home. Mark L. Warner

With regards to her wanting to go home.. AGREE with her... tell her a therapeutic lie that may appease her for a while. Let her know that we can 'go back home' after they fix the street, or remove the tree from the road, or when the weather clears, or TOMORROW... or that when we get the 'letter from her ......" or "when..... well you get the message.

Now about keeping her busy. What did she like to do in her 'past? Find something SAFE that she can keep busy with, even counting and wrapping Coins helped here. Mom was VERY frugal, and would save pennies for a rainy day. Also... laundry...folding towels, helping with dinner, recipe searches in books, watching the cooking channel for ideas for dinner. Writing letters to ANYONE .... reading old magazine, and searching for recipes in them. Shopping lists, cleaning out a closet, folding old clothes for charity.

I have hundreds of ideas, and there are books devoted to this very subject too.
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