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She is confused a lot and I want her to be active during the day to keep her mind staying sharp?

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Ptg123. I dont know who you are but thankyou. I have been "guessing" my way through alot of situations and have come to realize there is no rhyme or reason where alzheimer's is concerned. Little fibs are better than rationale-and quickly get rid of those guilt feelings. I dont really know what stage were at with mum. Still getting tests to confirm but when you label someones food and they say theyve eaten it but its sitting in front of them-somethings wrong. I want to change mums name to "dory" as she doesnt remember much past 10 mins-but then seems to have some great moments. No driving and fixated on dates,times,calendars and writing notes about what day it is. Again,this forum is so helpful. From the sounds of things that ive read here, I'm at the beginning of a very long road
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I agree with you. In my situation I am the one that has to get her up, dressed, breakfasted, medicated..., then drive her to the place for her day care and then pick her up, dinner, medication, bed. The two trips are about 45-60 minutes round trip just from mom's house. I can only do that 2-3 times a week. Any alternatives to transportation and I could do 5 days a week. Any ideas? Thank you for your help. It is good to know others face this.
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In my opinion, the best thing you can do for mom is get her into an adult daycare that has planned activities for as many days a week as she can afford. Isolation is her enemy. Socializing, lively chatter, smiling faces, gossip, interesting scenery, etc., all stimulate a confused mind.

Here in suburban Chicago, we found a great place that mom loved . . . It ran, if I recall, about $60 a day. 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
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Drugs Do help-- Aricept, Namenda, and Citalopram. The latter is an antidepressant given to dementia patients as they know something is not right...There is a new mix drug of Aricept {donezepil} and Namenda-- both of these drugs have to start with low doses and go up. Find a good Neurologist that will support you.
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I am sure you are overwhelmed. First, you know your mom. You are now her voice. Telling is hard to do when moms have been telling us what to do. Ask her what she wants- usually I do not know or I am not hungry are the standard answers. Before an answer can be made insert what you are planning for dinner-- like what do you want for dinner? I am having blank or I have a taste for blank or Let's have blank or let's go blank. j
You have a huge range of options. Do not let anyone tell YOU what is right for YOUR mom. I have my mom in day care two times a week. That has brought unique challenges as I then have to take her and pick her up. Everything has pros and cons. Try what you think will work and if it does not, lesson and new idea learned. Plan something for yourself during the day to recharge your battery.
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Google Coursera, not clusters, darn spell checker. All their classes are free, and on a wide variety of topics.
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I just completed an online class in caring for those with alzheimers. It is open ended meaning the class materials are still available online for downloading. The class was completely free, taught by Johns Hopkins, through Coursera. Just google Clusters the search for Alzheimer's and it should come up. wi ave been caring for my mom for more than two years, and learned so much in the class and made friends with other caregivers throughout the world. It was a great experience!
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Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative, and don't mess with Mr. In-Between.
Bless you cyn64u2c. Depending upon the type of dementia, you have a long road to travel with your mom. Resources such as support groups, magazines and picture books, games and tv shows such as HGTV should lighten her up.
If she already has dementia, there's not a way of " staying sharp". Is she on Aricept?
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Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for the chuckle.
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Glad my 'typo' got a grin PinkLA......it was to have either a dash (-) or forward slash (/). And actually it would be twelve point five seven five (12.575) years; not count those pesky leap ones, in which case it may be like .58?

We ALL need a little humor to help balance the situation we find ourselves in, from time to time. Wouldn't we agree?
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Support groups, support groups, support groups! Being a caregiver can isolate you and a group of your peers will help. These are people who know not to tell you to just reason with the person who had a problem doing something because of a cognitive deficit.

Also, I find that if I can talk to other caregivers about the stress of caregiving, I am not so needy and boring about the topics when I am with my non-dementia friends. Makes it easier to keep those friends.
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Wonderful post by ptq123.
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Want to know where to go to *find* your local Area Agency on Aging? Check out: www.eldercare.gov. It's a searchable database- just enter in city & state or ZIP code, and it will find local agencies, such as your local Aging & Disability Resources or Senior Information & Assistance office (this is what I do for my job- and I use this website regularly if people call me looking for help for relatives that live all over the country, so they can find resources local to them).
When you call, you may want to see if there is a local Family Caregiver Support Program, or other types of daytime respite, such as adult day services or in-home respite care (someone comes into her home & sits with her so you can have a break).
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all great answers. Definitely check with you local agency for the ageing to see what they offer. I got my MIL into a senior day care they offer and it was the best thing we could've done for her and for me. Once she had been here a few months I realized just how naïve and unprepared I was for just how much care she required and how much it was effecting me and my sanity. Now she goes to the center 4 days a week and its been a godsend. For her she gets socialization as well as much needed exercise for the body and mind with all the activities and games they do developed just for that as well as a well rounded lunch and snacks. They also have a nurse on site that keeps me updated to any changes or issues that might need attention. She's also great about giving me hints and tricks to best deal with her and her condition that have helped immensely.

There has been a definite difference in her mental abilities since she has attended. Prior to attending she would just sit and stare at the tv all day unless I spent all day keeping her active and even then she showed very little interest. Now even on her days off she's much more communicative and shows more interest in things. Another plus is I find that she'll do things when they tell her that she wouldn't do when I did. For example, we had some issues with her falling because she would stand up and start walking in one motion and we would tell her you've got to take your time, make sure your steady on your feet before moving, tell her to count, etc. nope, no luck. Well the nurse noticed right away and told her when she stands up she needs to stop and count to 5 before she takes a step and she simply goes oh ok and now every time she stands up she stops and says out loud "count to 5 Joan". The first time I saw her do it I asked about it and she said well nurse Gina says I have to, lol.
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Sorry, LifeRyder, just realized it's about 10 years. Too darn early in the morning, but it did give me a laugh.
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I recently started taking care of my mother also. It's been a few months now. I have found that reading books on the subject of Alzheimers is a great resource. People with dementia do not all act the same and reading various sources is a good idea.
As savtoosh said the book The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace is an excellent read. I like the first section where they describe what a dementia patient is thinking. I've read many and they have been helpful.
The Center on Aging in my area was very helpful. We even signed up for a fund to get reimbursed for some respite care.
We do not have adult day cares here in our area but if you can find one, I suggest you look into one for the times when you need a break.
IF you are eventually going to put your mother into an assisted living facility or memory care facility, start investigating them now so that you are aware of the costs of the facilities and the types available to you in your area. For me it was comforting to know that there were some in my area that fulfilled our needs.

Here in our household we take it one day at a time. Taking care of someone 24/7 is a daunting task but if you have a support system (I attend support groups in our area) and visit this site for information, there are very helpful people here.

@LifeRyder, you crack me up, that's like 100 years LOL
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All good posts - stay tuned to this website for great information, as there are many experienced folks who read this. Go to your local library, look for books on dementia, ALZ. - you will find a number of good ones. "Your Name Hughes Hannibal Shanks" written by his wife and himself is one of the best I've read. She was way ahead of her time-this book was written before there were many out there. It is all about their journey from the very beginning with Alz. Wonderful and heart wrenching, but honest and genuine. Your journey is just beginning, but most of all, take care of yourself first - that is the best advice I can give. There will be days when you are exhausted, angry, and feeling alone. No matter what, remember this is not the person you once knew and she will never be that person again. I wish I could come give you some respite. I hope there are people who can give that to you. Blessings and hugs.
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First of all let me say I do understand I am my Mother's caregiver and she has dementia.... I would encourage you to find a support group, also check to see if the Area Agency on Aging can offer some respite care for you. This would enable you to go shopping or out to lunch or get your hair done. Respite is VERY helpful, it can be done a few ways someone comes to stay with Mom or you take Mom to a respite center. I know that everyone tells you you cannot do this alone. Support is very important and someone to talk to is helpful. take care and trust me YOU can do this...
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There are also a lot of books you can read up on the subject, @cyn64u2c, if that's more up your alley. I found The Forgetting by David Shenk quite helpful. The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace is also another informative book on the topic.


Gianna
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Call the Dept. for the Aging in your area. It seems that though there are many out there, you need to make some contact(s). Medicare can pick-up some, or most of the cost for 'in-home' care, BUT only for a limited time -if I remember about 4590 days. You may also contact your House of Worship, Senior Protective Service, Primary Care Physician, Senior Day Care and as you have done here...web search (for your location).

ptq123 had given good information that is relevant, however I don't feel it gave an answer to ... "Just started taking care of my mom with dementia. Any resources for help during the day?"

Please understand that I am not in anyway knocking 'ptq123' just trying to help.
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All of the above are true. Seek out you local Office of the Aging to find adult day care to maintain her interests and attention.
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As a caregiver, you need to know some basic points such as :
1. Being Reasonable, Rational and Logical Will Just Get You into Trouble. When someone is acting in ways that don’t make sense, we tend to carefully explain the situation, calling on his or her sense of appropriateness to get compliance. However, the person with dementia doesn’t have a “boss” in his brain any longer, so he does not respond to our arguments, no matter how logical. Straightforward, simple sentences about what is going to happen are usually the best.
2. People With Dementia Do Not Need to Be Grounded in Reality. When someone has memory loss, he often forgets important things, e.g., that his mother is deceased. When we remind him of this loss, we remind him about the pain of that loss also. When someone wants to go home, reassuring him that he is at home often leads to an argument.  Redirecting and asking someone to tell you about the person he has asked about or about his home is a better way to calm a person with dementia.
3. You Cannot Be a Perfect Caregiver. Just as there is no such thing as a perfect parent, there is no such thing as a perfect caregiver. You have the right to the full range of human emotions, and sometimes you are going to be impatient or frustrated. Learning to forgive your loved one as well as yourself is essential in the caregiving journey.
4. Therapeutic Lying Reduces Stress. We tend to be meticulously honest with people. However, when someone has dementia, honesty can lead to distress both for us and the one we are caring for. Does it really matter that your loved one thinks she is the volunteer at the day care center? Is it okay to tell your loved one that the two of you are going out to lunch and then “coincidentally” stop by the doctor’s office on the way home to pick something up as a way to get her to the doctor?
5. Making Agreements Doesn’t Work. If you ask your loved one to not do something ever again, or to remember to do something, it will soon be forgotten. For people in early stage dementia, leaving notes as reminders can sometimes help, but as the disease progresses, this will not work. Taking action, rearranging the environment, rather than talking and discussing, is usually a more successful approach. For example, getting a teakettle with an automatic “off” switch is better than warning someone of the dangers of leaving the stove on.
6. Doctors Often Need to Be Educated By You. Telling the doctor what you see at home is important. The doctor can’t tell during an examination that your loved one has been up all night pacing. Sometimes doctors, too, need to deal with therapeutic lying; e.g., telling the patient that an antidepressant is for memory rather than depression.
7. You Can’t Do It All.  It’s OK to Accept Help Before You Get Desperate. When people offer to help, the answer should always be “YES.” Have a list of things people can do to help you, whether it is bringing a meal, picking up a prescription, helping trim the roses or staying with your loved one while you run an errand. This will reinforce offers of help. It is harder to ask for help than to accept it when it is offered, so don’t wait until you “really need it” to get support.
8. It Is Easy to Both Overestimate and Underestimate What Your Loved One Can Do. It is often easier to do something for our loved ones than to let them do it for themselves. However, if we do it for them, they will lose the ability to be independent in that skill. On the other hand, if we insist individuals do something for themselves and they get frustrated, we just make our loved one’s agitated and probably haven’t increased their abilities to perform tasks. Not only is it a constant juggle to find the balance, but be aware that the balance may shift from day to day.
9. Tell, Don’t Ask. Asking “What would you like for dinner?” may have been a perfectly normal question at another time. But now we are asking our loved one to come up with an answer when he or she might not have the words for what they want, might not be hungry, and even if they answer, might not want the food when it is served after all. Saying “We are going to eat now” encourages the person to eat and doesn’t put them in the dilemma of having failed to respond.
10. It Is Perfectly Normal to Question the Diagnosis When Someone Has Moments of Lucidity. One of the hardest things to do is to remember that we are responding to a disease, not the person who once was.  Everyone with dementia has times when they make perfect sense and can respond appropriately. We often feel like that person has been faking it or that we have been exaggerating the problem when these moments occur. We are not imagining things—they are just having one of those moments, to be treasured when they occur.
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