Follow
Share

Mom can do a few things but she can no longer cook or clean properly. She hasn't washed her hair in months. I am the daughter and just moved in to help her and my step dad. She is angry about so much. I understand to a point but at what point do I just sit her down and say "Mom you may not remember this but you have Alzheimers. I am here to help. You need my help." If I hadn't come on the scene the next step would be a home. It was too much for my step dad to handle and Im not really sure how he managed this long. I would have been here sooner but was stuck in Panama. She is thousands of miles from her family (her choice). I try to involve her in cooking. I know she can't but I am now in her domaine (the kitchen) and want her to feel like its team work. She is having no part of it and she doesn't want me to either. I am full time with her now and her next assessment is in a few weeks. I am looking for any advice.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
yeah I think it was 2010 that she was diagnosed. I wasn't in the country at the time so I don't know what they told her. It was a definite diagnosis though. She is in the early stage 5 part of the disease. She has been relatively calm as long as I don't move around too much in her house. We are skyping her sisters today so I am hoping for a little positivity.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I had never heard of the Learning to speak Alzheimer's book, I will check that out. Picasso, you said she has an appointment with her Neurologist. Has the Dr. ever come out and told her, face to face, she has dementia or Alzheimer's or the beginning stages? If not it is time. Mom would never take the word of family or friends but she would of a professional. It may also be something she is afraid to hear so maybe a Dr. can put some fears to rest in a calming way and what to expect. Once the reassurance is introduced and the caretakers are aware of the symptoms and signs of what to look for, the transition could go smoother. Of course, if she is as stubborn as my mother, well, good luck. Expect a child's mind in an adults body with all the bad habits and ticks that come with it, but no learning capability or recall availability. There will always be long time excerpts of adult memory there, seeing themselves as an elder adult, but the social skills and common sense skills are gone or going. After 9 yrs, we see a little more go each day. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Never, dont tell her. Would you want to know? Did you ever get scared because you lost or forgot something, thats how they feel. I told my Mom not to worry because I forget too. She said "oh you always make me feel so good." and we left it at that, that was 7 years ago, still with me and happy as a clam if shes not sleeping. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The book "Learning to speak alzheimers" was very helpful in teaching me how to communicate with hubby. Very good insights into situations and helping me get the results I need.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Typo - we're supposed to remember is what I meant to say.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Dancing is good, pointing out the fact she "may" have Alzheimer's (which can only be really diagnosed post-mortem) is really unnecessary. As it is with my husband, I do not think anyone wants to really know they have dementia or a name for it. She knows it. She knows she forgets and that is so frustrating to her and any of us who forgets things were are supposed to remember. Thank you for coming and living with your parents to help them out. Take each day as it comes, do not think you can be really organized, and go from where your mother is at any given point in time. Each day she will be slipping away, so cherish each moment you have remaining...Best wishes!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

yeah well I am definitely getting the brunt of the anger. I got it again today. I simply defused and she kept it up. She kept saying how angry I am and how dare I be that way etc, I just kept saying Im so sorry you feel that way but I promise I will do better tomorrow. It was a loop of words and then I excused myself after about 15 minutes. I was gone most of the day from the house and as soon as I got in she started on me. Give me strength.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Maybe part of the problem is that your Mom is aware (at least intermittently) that she has memory problems. A lot of folks get terribly angry and depressed when they are aware of what's happening to them. Often family members take the brunt of their anger and frustration. Imagine how frustrating and depressing it is for a person to no longer be able to remember even the simplest things and being unable to do even the simplest tasks that they've done all their adult lives. It must be terrible, no wonder so many become angry and depressed.
If your Mom is not being treated for depression, I would encourage you to talk to her doctor about it. Reminding her that she has ALZ DZ is probably not going to help the situation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks for the help. I will see what can find. Today was another day of anger til after dinner. One moment at a time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Now can I suggest a way to get vaseline onto her hands that she may take up. vaseline is great for shining shoes sooooo get her to help you shine shoes by rubbing the vaseline into them. OK so you dont need to shine your shoes ....you do now!!!! grins try it it might work. If sundowning is a problem and I know it well then you could structure something in like a relaxing head massage (while she is pliable) then build on that slowly and gradually. A head massage is soothing and may assist her to sleep too once she gets used to it ...fingers crossed she will let you but I do know how violent people can become so dont push it if she is resistant just keep on suggesting it every day every night - then it comes down to who wears who down. If she says no change the subject and suggest something entirely different
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jude thats a good idea to try things at the end of the day, however when I am reading on Sundowning, they say to keep everything as peaceful as possible nothing out of the ordinary etc. I can try for sure though. Vaseline works wonders on dry cracked skin, you are right about that but she when I reach for her hand even in a hug or squeeze she pulls away. So the glove idea is good but she doesn't want anything to touch her. Go figure.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Picasso I was just reading over your first post when you said t the end of the day she is weepy and sorry. Is she more amenable at this point? If so go for everything you can get like let me wash your hair now right now this minute!. It's no accident that I say pick your battles but pick the time for them too....when my mum goes into that mode that is when I strive for everything I need her to do and I dont care if I am shatter and it is midnight ...if thats when she will let me do it let's blinking do it and cross it off the to do list.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Cracked hands : As long as she is prepared to help herself a little you could smear the inside of some surgical gloves with vaseline (petroleum jelly in US? Sorry not sure) and get her to wear them in bed they will soften quite soon if she does that but getting her to help herself could be a problem. When I have done this for myself I have put the gloves on smeared the outside of the gloves then turned them inside out as I take the gloves off and then put them back on with the gloves next to my skin - I hope that made sense...it did when I typed it
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Ive only just been here a little over a week and have figured out its freaking her out that I am moving around in her house too much. Its a change and change is hard for alzheimers patients. I had to get the kitchen some what functional so I wouldn't cut myself going into a drawer. Her husband says she showers so I am not in there with her. I read about the dry shampoos and will try those later when she will let me touch her head that much. Her hands have been cracked from the dry Northeast air, so I would put lotion on my hands and massage her hands. She figured out what I was doing and won't let me touch her hands. She has always been a fighter and always will be till she makes the turn. After that I am hoping for her to feel peace in her heart.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh the other bits soz I forgot them - My mother has memory problems Dementias (yes 3 of them) to you and I but I know she is terrified of the D word so it is never mentioned. Absolutely no point in you telling her as she wont remember. I let my mum clean if she wants to then I clean after her and do it properly. She did try to make a meal but luckily she hates cooking so she leaves that to me and is quite happy to. She irons all her clothes with a cold iron (dear lord I couldnt risk a hot one) we have a tumble drier so they dont need to be ironed but it keeps her happy well happier than plain miserably vile. I only let her wash up if I have used plastic plates which we dont normally use but I know she likes to feel she is helping and broken plates are a nightmare OMG those shards get everywhere. Mum is amazed now that the plates dont break when she drops them - hmm shocker that!!!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It actually wont hurt your mum not to wash her hair some people never do and the hair oils itself after a long time however if she lets you brush her hair she may let you massage her head when dry of courtse and you could massage in some dry shampoo...its not the best but may make you feel better. Iget in the shower with my mum (I stay fully clothed) and she doesnt have a chocie I apologise everytime I 'accidentaaly' get her hair wet but then say well now its wet I might as well wash it!!!! So far so good. I end up drenched but h*ll she is clean!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Some people take comfort in knowing they have a disease, knowing it is not their fault, and that others are committed to helping them through the disease. Others -- I would guess most -- do not. Your mother seems to fall into the "not" category. There is no point in trying to convince her and then remind her about her dementia.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks everyone great advice. I was finally lucky enough to get some counseling on this today. Yes I did leave a business in Panama but I was ready to leave and had been trying to get back to her for more than 3 yrs to help out. I actually want to get into the field of elder care and hospice work. Mom has her yearly assessment with the neurologist on april 10th and I am going to start that journal this week. I have tried the spa day idea that got me a scrunched up face and "nobody is touching my hair". Inside I laughed because I knew that was coming. My stepdad and I are it for her relatives. It has been a fight most of the day but like every day now its that way until after dinner she gets kind melancholy or weepy at times. I learned about Sundowning today and will pay more attention to that. She can't seem to remember when I came onto the scene in her life. I am so glad this forum is here. Its a great support system and I look forward to learning as much as I can to help get through this. Thanks again.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with above, you can't convince her, even if you told her it may upset her and she would forget it 2 minutes later. You can change the way you approach her; instead of 'help me with dinner' , ask her what she is cooking today and that you will help her, this way you can assist and supervise. This may not work but it's worth a shot. As for hair washing, tell her it's 'ladies' spa day, if you can do it once a week that's great, make her feel pampered. I know it's not easy but you do what you can, involve family when possible. Maybe it is time to look at a care facility. Speak with her doctor first, he/she may have some suggestions that can help. call your local chapter of the Alzheimer's association, they can give you tips on managing behaviors. Check out all your options now before she becomes worse. When/if the time comes to move her, it will be more difficult for you than for her. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Little made some good points. To what extent is husband willing or able to help? Would he be open to the idea of your mom going to a care facility? This is going to get worse as time goes on. You should begin checking out care options now.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You have a long and honest talk with her doctor. Keep a journal as to what is going on daily. It will help her doctor and even help you see what is actually happending. It could well be that no matter what you and her husband want, it just may be more than can be handled at home unless you have additional help. There are many threads on here and books that explain exactly what you are and will go through. You can search using the box in upper right hand of page.

Hopefully you did not give up a career and family to move back home. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

So what do you do when they won't eat or drink and they won't clean or wash their hair. She just 5 minutes ago had a blow up and stormed off. She is angry in the morning about everything and then by the end of the day she is weepy and sorry. I don't want her to feel as if I am taking over or her husband is taking over. What do you say. Do I let her throw things at us or do I try to defuse? It all new to me so sorry for so many questions.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You cannot convince someone with dementia that they have dementia. Don't waste your time and create an argument you will never win. Check elsewhere on this site for lots of good advice on alz and dementia.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.