Mom has Alzheimer's. She is so distressed, cries a lot of the time and says she "can't live like this" (forgetting things). What can I do? - AgingCare.com

Mom has Alzheimer's. She is so distressed, cries a lot of the time and says she "can't live like this" (forgetting things). What can I do?

Follow
Share

She is under the care of a neurologist, but all they tell me is "there will be good days and bad days". It's hard to see her cry so often and it's so stressful for me as well. She calls 5-8 times a day, crying and saying she "can't get it together" or she "never wanted to live like this" or "I need to find another doctor!". Any advice would be a God-send. Thank you.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
6

Answers

Show:
Leighbird - I will tell you my experience, but the only thing I know is how little I have real answers. It is a difficult balance to meet your mother's needs and safety, and I too have struggled with this. I went through this my mother for several years, getting worse, and worse with Alzheimers. Eventually last summer, she couldn't tell the downstairs bathroom door from the front door and started going out on the porch in the middle of the night. That was the final straw. When her confusion got to the point that it was really jeopardizing her safety and effectively wandering, she and I decided that she couldn't live alone anymore. It was and remains VERY VERY TOUGH. She continues to be very upset with her mental decline. And having her live with me is very tough. But she is safe and has moments of happiness. Now I expect next people are telling me that she really belongs in a memory care unit, and no doubt that is true for her as a patient. But at least she is as safe as I can get her. That is what I have to accept as the best I can do today. Tomorrow will inevitably get even worse. So having her safe today is an accomplishment.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It must be very stressful for your mom and is certainly stressful for you. I finally bit the bullet with my mom and insisted she get people in to give her her medications 2X a day. If your mom's not taking her medicines correctly, that can affect how she functions. I'd use that approach to get her some help in that area.

Is your mom functioning enough to be able to write down that she had a conversation? Would she do it? My mom is past that point. Her notes to herself are totally undecipherable at this point. She can't remember that my brother called her the next day, or even an hour later. Luckily she's not called upon to have to remember. She called my brother to thank him for some flowers. And called again five minutes later. That happens frequently. We just act like each call is the first one.

It sounds like your siblings need to step up to share some of the burden. And you need to be able to accept that you can't fix this and your mom won't be happy until she gets to the point of acceptance. Luckily for me, my mom is there. So take care of yourself - this is a marathon and not a sprint. And maybe limit the time you spend talking to/visiting with your mom. It sounds like she has a good support system in place - so let them share more of the burden. Hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Leighbird you're not a downer! We're all here for the same reasons!!

Maybe you should tell her doctor the pills aren't working. I know with my Mom we had to try several for a couple weeks each to find one that worked for her daily panic attacks!! Be happy you weren't on AC then having to listen to me complain..LOL
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you for your reply, Lorey9. I appreciate your suggestions. I have actually tried a lot of those things as well as others, and nothing seems to help. I made up a chart of her medications and put one of each pill into individual baggies and stapled them to the chart. She didn't want to take meds out of a pill box without being able to see what each one was and what it was for, so that was my solution. Even so, she never looks at it and when I suggest she check it, she just says "Well, nobody told me to look there!" Her biggest frustration is that she has entire conversations then can't remember them. This morning, she called my Aunt, had a 5-6 minute conversation, then had no idea she had done so. Upon hearing she had called her and what she had told her, she had a melt-down and sobbed about not being able to live knowing she can't remember things. She's very easily upset and VERY dramatic, often ending with "I know nobody wants to be around me anymore", even though we all visit her and call her every day. She's on antidepressants which helped a lot at first, but seem to "wear off" after several weeks. I would love to hear her say, just one day, that she'd been happy and/or had a good day. All I ever hear now is how unhappy she is, how lonely (even though she's in a very luxurious senior community with friends and neighbors) she is, how bad I am, how I don't talk to her correctly or nicely enough, how I "conspire behind her back", etc. etc. She doesn't seem to treat my brother or sister that way (they are far less involved with her care), just seems to take it out on me. I've been having some health issues myself (high blood pressure and others), and I feel like the stress of caring for her is going to kill me. Ugh...sorry to be such a downer. I work full-time and have a family and this is just so overwhelming :(
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have a dry erase board for mom on her fridge. She doesn't have Alzheimers, but has no short-term memory. I have told her over and over that it's not her fault. I blame her medicines (whether that's true or not) and tell her she can't help it, her brain is just not working quite right. I think that helps her accept it.

I got her a little notebook and put "Mom's Notes" on it. I wanted her to put all of her notes and things to remember in there. Unfortunately I gave it to her too late in her memory loss for her to remember it's there. But now I will write notes and pin them on her couch, which is right next to where she sits. So she can look over and see that her medication helpers come in between 7:30-8 AM and 7-7:30 PM. She's funny, when I ask her if they've come in yet, she'll read me the note. So she definitely remembers that is there.

So with poor memory, if you can keep your reminders in front of them (however that would work for your mom) that helps a great deal. But it's a moving target with my mom. She knows her memory is awful, but she'll still say, "Oh I can remember that" (when I tell her about a TV show that is coming up that I know she'll like). But I'll call her anyway when it's starting to turn it on. So I take as much of the necessity for a good memory away from her as I can. She'll still get frustrated from time to time, but I just tell her she can't help it and we'll do the best we can.

Tell us more about what your mom is forgetting and you may get good ideas about how to help her. Routine is everything to my mom. So that's also important.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Does she live alone? Does she have a routine? Writing schedules down can help - maybe get a dry-erase board.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions