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I was wondering if there might be a particular technique/way to help someone with dementia to remember something important. Mom is obsessed and tormented with so many worries, and it seems no matter how many times we assure her of something, fifteen minutes later she is at it again and we go through the same drill, dozens of times a day, day after day, and it still goes right out of her head. I've tried writing simple explanations and assurances on the whiteboard, on paper, etc, but she doesn't seem to look at it, or throws it away, or puts it in a drawer. Has anyone found anything that works? If we asked her to repeat what we said, over and over, would it stick in her brain better? I feel so sorry for her to be anxious and fearful all the time over the same unnecessary worries, but I don't know how to help her. She cannot put her obsessions in the past because for her, they have not yet been resolved as she constantly re-lives them. Are there drugs or mind exercises that will help her remember?

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Amy, thinking good thoughts about your mom and you!
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Yes, the doctor did say to wait two weeks and if we didn't see a change, he would up the dose.
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I hope the Zoloft works for your mom and if it doesn't remember that it may need to be adjusted by the Dr.
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The doctor put her on 25mg of Zoloft. Fingers crossed this makes her world easier to live in. She is certainly living in a private h3ll full of fears right now. I know that usually takes a few weeks. I hope her body will tolerate it.
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There are some very helpful articles on this site for dealing with dementia. One good one I just read was about validation. You try to understand your elders world , don't correct or scold, just go with the flow. Look around this site.
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Thank you Susan for sharing your experience. I will try diversion. Its an awful thing to watch and maybe it is a blessing that they are not that much aware of how bad their memory is, how confused they are. Mom got me so mad the other day (after ten times telling her the same thing in a five minute period, and her still arguing) so I walked out and came back about two minutes later. She absolutely did not remember I was angry or the conversation. Horribly sad, horribly difficult on the family. What amazes us is that she is a different person with outsiders - she is sweet with them and acts pretty normal. She turns into something else with my sister and me. I guess that is part of it too.
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This is part of the horrible disease. They can't rationalize anymore because that part of their brain is not working. Your Mon won't remember WHAT you say, but will remember HOW you make her feel. So just be sweet, tactile and very sympathetic with what is driving her frustration or concerns. If it gets too much for you, redirect her thoughts (like asking if your purse is behind her) or just walk away. She won't remember that you didn't explain it to her. I dealt with these issues until I was exhausted until I realized my Mom didn't live in reality, so I jumped into her world and tried to give her some peace or comfort, but it didn't last. Diversion with food or brushing her hair, changing her blouse, or go out for a car ride. You will be frustrated, because this disease takes a toll on both of you, but this is the price of loving, grieving and enduring. God bless all caregivers as we do our best in the worst of circumstances!
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It really worked? Wow - that is so encouraging! My sister is taking her to the doctor tomorrow morning. I'm crossing my fingers. If he doesn't prescribe meds that sound similar to what your mom is getting, I'm finding another doctor. I found one geriatric psychiatrist but he is 40 miles away - meaning at least a 120 mile round trip each time. I'm hoping I don't have to do that. My sister wouldn't help (she refuses to drive on the highway, will only go back roads) and the drive would be rough on my mother. I don't want to attempt a long drive with alone. Even a five mile trip is not a fun experience with her. I'm praying! I'll keep looking for psychiatrists who might be closer. She is farther in the country now so we have limited doctor choices.
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For my mom, zoloft, remeron and a low dose of klonopin did the trick. No amount of reassurance worked. Mom could no longer follow the steps that would assure her that she was safe, that her money was safe, that the place she was in was safe. She obsessed about rain, floods, dead bodies, the cost of Assisted living, Black staff members. It's why most of us have recommended a psychiatrist see your mom. When is her appointment?
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