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My mother does not even care to talk with the staff. She had no interest in walks, music, manicures or going outside. She was getting to where she did not want to go anywhere months before she went into the home. She only watches the same movie over and over. But now it's worse. I tried everything I know. It is making me more guilty and more frustrated every time I try to get her to do anything, The carnival at the home was a washout.
I try to be grateful she watches her movie and is not in pain. But still.

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Depression could be the issue, so I agree that a consultation with the doctor would be a good idea.

Aside from that, try to remember that you, and likely the facility, are doing all that you can. Your mother may choose to be a loner and there may be nothing that you can do about it.

My mother got much the same way except that she was good with the staff. Before the nursing home, she was worse in general. But she never would take part in all of the socializing the nursing home provided. She liked her room, her TV and the treats I brought on my daily visits, but she became more and more averse to interacting with other people.

Work with the doctor, but understand that antidepressants are tricky and can have side effects. They work well for some people but can make others worse.

What I'm saying is don't expect miracles. Sometimes they happen, but more often we have to accept the fact that people with dementia and pain issues have a right to how they want to live their lives. Keeping her pain free (if possible), safe and relatively content - even if she just watches one DVD - is better than a lot of anxiety (in my opinion).

I hope that the doctor can help.
Take care,
Carol
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I understand how hard this is for you....but you need to take the pressure off yourself! I have worked in an Aged Care Facility for 16 years as a Carer and The Diversional Therapist. It's not unusual for oldies with Dementia to withdraw from socializing... it's SO hard for them to function and many are embarassed by their inability to interact. It is so difficult to feel normal and be a part of a society when you have no memory of your life. By all means mention your concerns to the Staff, so they are aware of how you are feeling but try to relax with the process of dementia if you can. It is such a thief!!!!! Peace and a feeling of safety are SO important for your Mum (and all dementia sufferers).... let her find her own peace and allow her the grace to cope in her own way. She is trying to cope with feelings of loss and grief and letting go of life on her own terms, bless her. She is doing her best. Keep Smiling and just love her...that's all she needs from her beautiful daughter! Big hug for you!
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"Nobody does nothin' 'round here, nobody talks, everyone sleeeeeeps!" is a phrase my care-receiver in an ALF speaks all too often. Dementia definitely causes one's timeline to be thrown off. It is true that when the care-receiver is not doing something for the moment...they are doing nothing. Some things that have helped me help my care-receiver interact and socialize with others are as follows...hopefully one might work for you.
1) When I visit her at the ALF, I keep it active because I know most of her time is spent sitting and doing...well nothing. We walk around the facility (we meet and talk to the other residents...yes I have to do the introductions. "Hello my name is X, I am Y's grandson, what's your name?"), getting her to play the piano (she can play songs from memory...and its great when the other residents slowly gather around), I read the newspaper and magazines to her (and I try to find a table with others (yep, they might be sleeping or otherwise resting...so I usually find ones that make eye contact with me...they are usually interested.) Now it has become a routine, so other residents see me with the paper and walk or roll on over for my reading of the paper).
2) I talk with the social/activities coordinator to let her know that when I am visiting, I can help out with getting a card game going, taking residents who are wheelchair bound for a roll around the facility. This fosters the introduction between my care-receiver and others...as well as lets the coordinator know I give my blessing for her to involve my care-receiver in as many activities as possible. (When there is an activity such as cards or crafts, get her over there. Use prodding, and just tell her its part of her job if there is any resistance. Take her to every religious church service, no matter the denomination.)
3) My care receiver really just wants to be home (her childhood home...not the one where she lived with her husband for 50 years), and is all too happy to mention it many times during my visits with her and always asks why she can't be home. I found that if you can do some research to find out how your care-receiver did chores, what they did for work, daily activities when they were at home, who they socialized with and what they did...and try your best to replicate those types of things at the ALF, all the better. My care-receiver was a busy body, so the staff knows to seek her out to fold the laundry/towels, help others by playing cards with them, play 5 songs on the piano twice a day, talk with one new person everyday (due to dementia, there is always someone there who she claims is "new"...even if they have been there for years.) If I relate any activity to a meaningful task for her...she usually is ready to go!
4) Our care-receivers are talking to us with their actions or lack there of...we just have to listen...and that is so tough for me at times. I am getting better at it. I echo what another mentioned about our care-receiver's now not as comfortable socializing due to knowing something isn't quite the same with them...they just don't know why. Once they see us interacting, creating the introduction, fumbling through the interaction, their confidence and comfort level might rise. My care-receiver is always wondering how I know "all these people." The good days are when she wants to introduce me to one or more of her "new friend's". All the best!
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My mother has been in a facility for approx 4 years now and has always refused to socialize with the staff or most of the other patients. However, after about 2 years she did "choose" one woman to be her good friend. They just sit by a window and talk for hours now. However with everyone else she is very argumentative and can even be nasty. She, too, was also this way before I had to place her here as she was not eating, washing or taking care of herself. I just tell myself she is getting the best care possible, she is getting 3 meals a day, her meds every day and she is safe from the elements. My son and I visit her several times a week and usually wind up in an argument with her about some silly thing but she knows we are there! So I look at it this way: She did not lose her freedom from living on her own - she gained safety and security while she and my son and I deal with this disease in the best way we can!
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What does staff say happens when you are not around? Patients acted very different around me than when their family was present. So get the facts first, then find out what the doctor is doing about her symptoms. Being a recluse is not a disease. Maybe your mom does not like the people at the home and this is her way of telling you she doesn't. Listen to her. Ask her. You are not responsible for a person who does not want to interact, so lighten up on yourself. You cannot solve her issues. Just love her for where she is now.
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A skilled staff and doctor should be able to assess the dementia and help her. Have you sought their input? The doctor at my mother's assisted living is a gerontologist, and I'm pretty sure she would recommend a psychiatric evaluation. Good luck! I understand your frustration.
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How long has your Mom been at the facility? She may be experiencing a bit of depression due to the move, and perhaps she should be evaluated by the psychiatrist.
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My mother has been in Assisted Living for almost a month. She tells me that she sees nobody going to bingo etc. She loves the staff and the food. She has her meals with the same ladies at meal times.She is able to take her showers when she wants to. When she was living with us I had to help her because we have a shower stall and not easy for her to take her shower.
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My mom has been in AL 6 months. She was not very social before getting dementia and she certainly shows no interest now. I believe it's OK as long as they do not seem depressed or sad. I do not feel any blame about her behavior. I look at her calender and say do you want to do this or this if she says no I sit there and let her watch her old TV shows.
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Considering that the RDA regarding vitamins and nutrients put out by the FDA is the minimum recommended to avoid critical deficiency (per them even), it's likely that she's deficient in many things.

Like a dam with many slot canyons in it, remedying the situation for one nutrient without resolving it for other doesn't increase the water level behind the dam because it will simply continue to flow out from the other slots.

I would look into a chelated broad multi spectrum multi nutritional supplement like Q96 as I've personally and in others I love and heard and seen amazing results cognitively, mentally, and emotionally within even a week or two on it.
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