My Mom (92) has confusion/memory issues. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom (92) has confusion/memory issues. Any advice?

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Mom's 92 and showing signs of confusion/memory issues. It's progressing slowly but consistently. 2 questions:
1) Should I correct her when she says something incorrectly? For example: she's recently started saying she's 94 - I usually don't correct that unless it's someone who needs to know her actual age (doctor). Other times she'll say something and instead of just giving her the answer I try to get her to figure it out on her own.
2) Most of the time Mom enjoys going places, but doesn't remember where she was immediately afterwards. Is it worth taking her when she doesn't even remember? For example: we went to the Bahamas and as we were coming through the Bahama airport to come home, she told the security person I was taking her to the Bahamas.

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Yes it is worth taking mom when she doesn't even remember. I believe people with dementia have feelings of happiness and sadness. the only difference between them and us, they can not remember. dementia person when they have happy moments/events you will see their spirit goes up and reflects on their faces even next day, if something bad happens to them you see sadness and depression reflects on their faces but they can not remember what is bothering them. Also make mom happy will build up good memory for you
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I agree with the other writers above about not correcting things that our elders are saying unless it was a medical issue. I know I had to coach my Dad and sig other not to do that with Mom who's memory is now in a corn maze.

Some times some of the things Mom says can be comical after the fact. Oh gosh, I remember driving my parents to and from the doctors, I would go into the exam room with them to hear what the doctor had to say... and after the appointment I would hear my parents chatting in the back seat about the appointment saying things that I know the doctor never said, etc..... it was like weren't we all the same room together???
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Thank you all! Just needed some reassurance that I'm handling things properly. Although I know she enjoys outings at the time, I just wasn't sure if I should be "wasting" her money on them when she doesn't really remember.
Love the point of living in the now. Something we all need to do - who knows what tomorrow will bring.
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Jeanne, that's a great idea for nursing home residents! Even if they didn't remember after the event, I'm sure that it gave them so much pleasure at the time that it really was a mental boost for them....and better than any medicine!

I totally agree with the points made in your last 2 paragraphs. Although I have no scientific proof on which to base it, I fully believe that providing "nice outings", pleasurable activities, etc. stimulate the brain to produce endorphins and make the individual feel better. And when you're old and have some dementia, how can that be bad?
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Jeanne, excellent point about Living In The Now. My Mom will cycle Dads large print Readers Digest books back in rotation. He rarely catches on but reads them again. He doesn't remember an hour later but enjoys them a page at a time.
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At my mom's nursing home on Saturday evening the community had been notified that they would hand out candy in the lobby during certain hours. The kids came in costume and went from couch to wheelchair to chair "trick-or-treating" and the residents had baskets of candy to hand out. It was adorable. My sister was with Mom and said she loved it. I visited Mom on Monday and asked if she liked the Halloween with children. She did not remember it at all. I told her about it and she was very tickled the NH would arrange something like that.

Probably the majority of residents didn't remember the delightful Saturday event by Monday. Does that mean the NH shouldn't have bothered? Persons with dementia often live in the Now. It is all they have. Making the Now as pleasant as it can be is very worthwhile, in my opinion.

People who don't visit because "she won't remember it anyway" and who pass up chances for nice outings for the same reason are missing the point, I think. We are building memories for ourselves, and proving nice moments for our loved ones.
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Reassure her, support her, but don't correct her.
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I meant to add, I often see family members who have been around a parent with dementia for a long time but don't have a clue how to handle it. It's painful to watch them give mom the 20 question quiz, oh you remember uncle Henry, no I dont, sure you do, don't you remember mom, I just told you yesterday.......

No....She doesn't remember and is not going to remember. Now poor Mom is confused, sad, and agitated. She would be better off with no visit from this person.
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I have a Dad with dementia and I do some hospice volunteering and have patients with various states of dementia. I've learned to comfort people. Don't correct, argue, say DONT YOU REMEMBER? Redirect, tell folks what they need to hear to calm them.

As for travel, I don't know. It's certainly good to get elders out and about but a trip to the Bahamas that she won't remember, what's the point.....
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I would correct the infor if it's for the doctor, but you can do that discretely, by sitting behind her and mouthing the corrections. When it's not important, I wouldn't bother. She wouldn't remember, so there isn't any point.

As far as the trips, I would continue if she doesn't have any difficulty with them. Many dementia patients get overwhelmed in public, loud or strange places. They may wander or become confused, but if she enjoys it, then I would do what makes her happy in the moment. That's all we really have. Take photos and hang them up so she can see how much fun she is having, if she still recognizes herself.
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