Mom (93, NH, blind, dementia) is 90% of the time very easygoing and happy, singing, very pleasant, positive, loving. No short term memory and lots of huge gaps in long term. She occasionally asks some questions about her past and I answer them truthfully, but we basically live in the present moment. Yesterday morning she was fine, but after a short nap she was a nonstop litany of questions. Do I still have any friends. Where is my husband. What was his name. Where did I work. Who was my boss. What do I do now. Did I have a car. What kind. How do I get around. Why am I here. Where is my brother. Where is he buried. On and on for over an hour. I tried to explain things kindly, (over and over) until she finally asked if she was a “Boob McNut”. We both laughed so hard! Anyway when I got home and described the day, DH said she had a “Good day”. But I was an emotional mess. It was so exhausting. She was really struggling trying to fill in the blanks of her memory...it was heartbreaking. Sometimes I would rather see her just living in the moment and not trying so hard. I guess I’m just venting, but how does anyone address these type of questions.
"Lets talk about that later, why don't we go for a walk now" then take her for a walk. OR..."why don't we go get a snack" and go get some tea, water, juice...
How long are your visits? if you were with her and she took a nap, woke and you were still there...it sounds like you were there for a while.
Maybe cut your visits shorter, if she falls a sleep quietly leave. It is possible that if she took a nap she may be confusing time and might think it was another day. (If you do not know long you were asleep you could easily think you slept 8 or 10 hours)
Shorter visits might also help your emotional and mental stress.
I've been told I'm being naive. I would like to hear your thoughts on this?
Isn't the brain a strange animal? You go along with your elderly parent and things seem predictable, and then wham! there's a burst of activity, or a huge decrease in activity. You never know. Cognitive decline is a bummer.
What I like is that your mom still has her sense of humor. So, humor her, answer the questions. All you can count on is that it will be different next time.
When my LO was able to talk in the earlier times, before she began medication, she would ask lots of questions about problems that worried her and be VERY worried about things that didn't even exist. She thought that people had an issue with something, something bad had happened or other things that she often could not verbalize. She would look for certain people too and it exhausted her. So, I'd often tell her that I had already taken care of it. That everything was resolved, that there was nothing left to do, but, celebrate the happy outcome. (I said this regardless, because it made her feel better.) She would thank me profusely and be so happy for the rest of the visit. I'd bring treats and sometimes balloons or flowers to help celebrate. Once she got her Cymbalta adjusted, she got much better and didn't cry and worry so much.
All those questions are a conversation starter. It makes me sad that they exhaust you rather than provide you with rich topics for conversations.
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