Mom stares at one newspaper page for 7 to 8 hours a day! Has anyone experienced this before? - AgingCare.com

Mom stares at one newspaper page for 7 to 8 hours a day! Has anyone experienced this before?

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I have asked quiet a few questions dealing with my Mom's dementia in the last little while. She was being up and average of 2 to 3 hrs. a day for at least 2 months. Now for the past month she gets up earlier and stays up later, just out of the wild blue! She picks up the daily newspaper on the couch when she sets down in her chair, and never puts it down all day. She reads the same page and the same story continuous. Yesterday, she had the county paper with a couple pics of convicts and she stared at them all day! Today, it is a coffin draped with the American flag where a law officer is being buried! Is she using this as a cover up to "peep" out from behind it, to see every move I make (I am not allowed out of her sight)? But sometimes I notice she isn't even paying attention, just staring at the paper. Has anyone experienced anything like this before? I think I am going to go stark raving crazy before any of the conditions around our home ever changes for the better. HELP! Any advice?

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I had a book made for my Gma last Christmas (through Shutterfly). It's sort of a story of her life. I put in photos of her as a child, her family, put the names of all her brothers and sisters, parents. Then her wedding photos/info, her children, their wedding and grandchildren and our birth announcements. Then gave it to her for Christmas. She loves it. She loves to look through it, talk about the photos and the memories. She shares it with respite workers and it gives them an insight into her family too. She is also obsessed with word searches. She does them for hours! we buy about 10 books at a time (thank goodness for the dollar store! LOL)

As for the meds. A good idea might be to write down all the meds and the reason she takes them. Also, if possible, crush them up and mix them into foods. Applesauce, ice cream, pudding, yogurt. I did that for awhile when my Gma didn't want to take her meds.
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I meant to ask a new question. Sorry got interrupted.
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How do I help my husband cope with his mother's dementia? She is a strong willed otherwise fairly healthy 88 year old. She provokes "arguing" behavior with him. He spends one night a week at her home since we live almost 200 miles away. If I am with him she is less likely to "argue." She lives alone and insists that she will never leave her house. She will nag him for hours with "I don't want you comiing all this way. I don't need you to come. I am not hurting anyone." If I am there I tell her she is hurting him by saying these things to a loving, caring wonderful son and let's talk about something else. That is usually enough to make her settle down, but if not, she just keeps hearing the exact same thing from me. He tries to reason with her, point out why she needs assistance. She fights back and this can last for hours. He comes home mentally, emotiionally and physically (he takes care of her yard and maintenance as well as all financials) exhausted. Any suggestions on how he might deal with this?
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My Mom does the same thing too. Not all day. When we go to a restaurant I let her stare at the menu for about 15 mins, then I remind her what dish she likes from there!
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My husband looks at the junk mail and his health insurance mail. He thinks the insurance company owes him the amount covered. I explain it to him that its the amount they covered for his medical care. He gets upset then tells me that he will get the money and keep all of it, and not let me have any of it. lol He stares at the same papers all day long and sometimes all night long. I feel like I have to sleep with one eye open. He stays upset alot of the times. God help me to get some rest for work in the morning.
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It's been awhile back since I asked this question and I thank everyone for their helpful and caring answers and to know I am not alone in this situation helps a lot. Now the newspaper is keeping her from going to bed. All day she has "peeped" from behind her newspaper at me. Or, I should say glared. I need to run to the Dollar Store to get my cat's food. You can't explain that to 4 sets of hungry eyes. My husband changed shifts and is working evening shift and with his long drive, he won't be home til around 3 a.m. At 5 p.m. she told me she was going to bed, she brushed her teeth, not once, but twice and came back in and started reading and peeping from behind the newspaper. It is now after 8 o'clock and this is when I do my chores to keep from being watched constantly, and she is still "reading" this crazy paper. She cannot tell you one thing that is in that paper. I have already quizzed her many time and she has not a clue what it says. I am just about ready to get up, say good night and go to bed, or let her set in her rocker and peep from around her paper as I go to the Dollar Store. It is only a mile down the road. I am just tired! My life revolves around everyone elses and I am just about at wit's end right now. Please, does anyone have any suggestions to make this situation better. If I do away with the papers, then she glares at me all day long. I am so frustrated. If this were a new situation, it might be different, but it's been going on for 2 years and 10 months. Thank you in advance!
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My mom does this sort of thing all the time, for hours at a time. It just breaks my heart because she used to love to read and now she just can't. She kept nearly every card and letter anyone in the family ever gave her(we're talking hundreds of cards) and every now I then i give her a stack of cards to look at and she'll happily sit and sort through them for hours. That seems to make her happier than the newspaper, which just frustrates her.
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The question and comments proved helpful to me. What ever pleases my wife is okay with me as long as she does not hurt herself or others. I try to go with the flow.
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My mom "reads" the newspapers, but really seems to read the headlines over and over. She'll repeat them out loud over and over, but there doesn't seem to be much comprehension. She saves days and days of newspapers, saying she is going to read them later. I know she isn't reading them. I let a certain amt of them build up and then throw them away. Sometimes she tells me to "take them to Daddy, he wants to read them". She's referring to my father, who died almost a year ago and she can't remember that he died. So I tell her that he'll enjoy them and I'll take them to him. That seems to satisfy her. She can't follow the TV news either. She can be watching TV and think that what's she's watching is happening right outside her apt. She can't tell the difference between a TV show and the news. I think reading the newspaper is a familiar behavior that makes them think that they're looking normal. I just go along with it and keep paying for her to have the newspaper delivered to her at her memory care unit. My very best to you!
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What she has is dementia. Staring at a newspaper is her brain's way of trying to make sense of the writing, but it cannot. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU! She's not watching you, she probably doesn't know who you are and wonders what this stranger is doing in her house. Check some books out from the library (free) and read about her symptoms. Not everyone presents with the same identical symptoms, so you will just have to accept what she does. Calm down. It will be over sooner than you think and you will have missed this time with her. She will exhibit "sundowners" where she will be up all night. With doctor's permission a little dose of melatonin would help with sleep. It is over the counter and costs about $3. Try to learn as much as you can. Good luck!
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