My Mom's dementia is getting hard to live with. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom's dementia is getting hard to live with. Any advice?

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She forgets important conversations and is furious and changes her mind every other day.

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furious = agitation -- stems from loss of control. i suggest letting her make her own decisions as long as it doesnt hurt anyone.
ie;
would you like some help with that?
would you like to go get a sandwich?
is it getting too hot in here for you?
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I understand how you feel, nursebecky. My mother also goes back and forth on things. Two weeks ago she decided it was time to finally paint the house, so I line up a company to give an estimate. She decides she can't handle them being in the house and frets for a couple of days. So I ask her if she wants me to cancel. She said yes, so I did. Then she changed her mind and said that we really need to have it done -- that she would like to have it done before my brother got here in 3 weeks. I have a hard time deciding what is best, but try to rely on my best judgment. I think this judgment is getting faultier as the years wear on. I know how crazy making the back and forth can be.

Elders with dementia can be predictably changeable. They like a food one day and don't like it the next. They say they won't company, then get angry and stressed if anyone comes. We usually know the person we're dealing with, however, so know what is going to happen and how to handle it. I think at the end of each day we should give ourselves a pat on the back and say, "Good job." We need to hear that, if only from ourselves. Most of us do a very good job. We might have some failings and feelings here and there, but we manage to keep things working.
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I agree with pstegman that medical evaluation would be good at this point. It will help you understand what to expect.

There are treatments for various symptoms of dementia, and that can be a big help with quality of life for patient and for caregiver. But there is no cure for dementia, and the one thing you can count on is that it will progress.

Not everyone is temperamentally suited to caring for someone with dementia. Even those who are very productive and satisfied in the role often reach a point where the dementia is beyond them.

I suggest two things to you, in addition to getting more medical advice. 1) Learn about the disease your mother has. Learn approaches and techniques that have proven useful in dealing with it. Join a local caregivers support group. Educate yourself about the family caregiver role. 2) Consider the best setting for Mother's care. Has she become "too hard to live with" at this point? If not yet, recognize that she may. Start the process of finding either additional in-home care for her or exploring care center options.

Good luck to you. Please keep us informed of how this is working out. We care!
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She needs to see the MD, but the first thing for you to check is her medication. If she is skipping/forgetting and then doubling up, she'll be on a bad roller coaster ride. Better that you take her in now and don't let those with bad intentions beat you to it. A complete neuro-psych exam should include bloodwork, brain imaging and cognitive testing.
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