My very good friend's mother has early signs of dementia, how can I help her deal with it?

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Her mother has started to forget and repeat things, and getting aggravated at things...and she doesn’t really know what to do and how to help her mother. Would it hurt to play home movies for her mother if she has started forgetting who some of them are..? Please help a concerned friend! Thanks

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If you can read all you can to not be overcome when that put of the desease raises it's ugly head it helps. Alzheimer's Reading room, understanding the Dementia Experience, Teepa...all on internet. Sharing w other dementia caregivers is great as they understand. Be there good friend.
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No time to read through all the responses, but the way I took your question is that you are looking as to how you can help your friend...not your friend's mother deal with this...regardless, I would see what the local Alzheimer's Assn. has to offer...beyond support groups which are not good for everyone, there are other staff that can guide people through the process. Literature, books...so much is out there you will find it is overwhelming. My mother went through a phase when these issues were more prevalent and she was more aggravated more often, or displacing her anger. It was a challenge. She continues to believe there is nothing wrong with her and is agitated about MD appts. One of the best things is to be aware of what resources are out there in case you need them, and if legal paperwork has not been tended to, it is not ever too soon, especially for long-term care planning. I learned the hard way how important it is to find a good attorney that specializes in elder law and will help with all this.
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MsAnnie,

thank you for posting that video, it's a great inspiration.
I think you really gave the best tips.
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Hello Collette. I'm giving you the address to a video on Youtube. It's twin sisters whose mom has dementia. The video is of "Kelly" and her mom having some "Pillow Talk". Please share this with your friend.
1. Try not to force your loved ones to remember
2. Be gentle
3. Give love and then give some more love
4. Enjoy your loved one
5. Do not lie or tell them things that will only confuse them more
6. Keep conversations simple, as though your speaking to fast will confuse them. No big words.
7. Be there for your friends, not necessarily to do anything, just be there in the room with them. That means a lot
Best of luck youtu.be/-cjHVHVvQzM
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Music--particularly slower and old smooth stuff.
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You should be there for your friend, but you shouldn't give medical advice to her about her mother. You should be an emotional support system only.
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Find a good support group.
She may have to "try on" a few before she finds one that fits her.
One thing that I always found that made things "easier" for me was...after every support group I was able to leave saying..."at least I have it easier than XXXX" And my hope was that when I shared what was going on in my life at the time a "new-be" could leave and say.."at least I have it easier than Grandma1954"
We all travel the same way, the end of the journey is the same but we all take different roads to get there. Some travel an easier road, some much more difficult, some the trip is fast and others take the slow road.
Do tell her that she needs to discuss now, if it is still possible, what her mom expects, and what your friend can do. Often there is a vast disparity between the two. Can she care for her Mom or will her Mom be in Memory Care?
If she has other health problems what will you do? Treat and extend life (such as it will be) or treat pain and symptoms as they come?
Lots of discussions and if it is just your friend it might be easier, if your friend has siblings things get a bit more difficult.
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Tell your friend to educate herself - a good start would be TEEPA'S GEMS & that will get her into other videos to help - there are a lot of them but most are in 4 to 8 minute range - they are quite good for example there is 1 on best way to walk up to someone with dementia & even which side of them to stand on
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I think that no matter how much info you offer, people deal with processing their own family member's dementia in their own way. It's like you really have to experience it to get it.

Old home movies are usually good though. They may bring a smile and fond thoughts. Even if the lady doesn't remember who the people are, they usually can sense that it's a good time, loving thoughts, fun, laughter, etc. and bring them comfort. But, I don't see how it will help her remember people. With the dementia, it's not really an option to keep memories, that I am aware of. There are some medications that help, but, that's another topic.

One thing that I did do that REALLY helped a friend of mine. She thanked me profusely and really said it helped and that was recommending the book The 36 Hour Day. It's a care guide book on dementia.
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You can offer suggestions of what might help in certain situations because they have worked for you but only if your friend asks.
Listen, listen, listen! Be there to offer a shoulder to cry on or an ear for venting as anyone caring for an individual w Alzheimer’s or dementia knows how challenging it can be.
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