Dealing with Alzheimer's.....needing patience.

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by froggie71, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    My MIL is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. We have taken her to a neurologist and had lots of testing done. It is in her family as 2 of her 3 sisters died with it. She lives within walking distance of my house and thankfully she does not drive. My FIL passed away almost 2 years ago, so she lives alone with her dog and 4 cats. She had the problem of repeating herself for awhile now, but much more recently she mixes up pronouns, can't remember nouns and now even more recently it is showing up in her writing. She can't remember how to write the date and often mixes up words when she writes. She is aware she is having some difficulty, though as expected doesn't want to admit to it. She carries cheat sheets in her purse with family member names and other important facts. I know it won't be long before we have to figure out a better living situation for her.

    I guess I'm looking for any advice that people have in dealing with a family member with Alzheimer's.

    I'm also praying to have the patience that is needed to handle everything we will be facing.

  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    1 person likes this.
  3. herfrds

    herfrds Songster

    Jan 11, 2010
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My grandfather had it. He would walk away from home. GM was there, but he would sneak out. Now the neighborhood knew what was going on and if someone saw him out they would walk with him and get him home. he would go to the Coast to Coast store that was nearby and sit in a recleiner and go to sleep. Then a staff member would bring him home. They always called GM. What always scared us the most is he would cross a busy 6 lane street. I believe the drivers stopped for him.

    Near the end GM did end up putting him in a nursing home. He attacked her 2 different times.
    When you are putting them in a home check them out throughly. The staff would not listen to GM and GP was able to walk out of there several times.

    There are also support groups out there online.
    It is a very trying time for all of you. As a caregiver you will get fustrated and angry. Just walk away and calm down. It is a normal response to the stress. Look around for in home care to give yourselves a break.
  4. TwistedSerpent

    TwistedSerpent Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    The most important thing is to take care of yourself, you wont be of any help to her if you yourself arent right. It can be very tough taking care of people with it, not everyone is actually able to. Never let guilt take over sometimes its best for both of you to let a professional become her caregiver. In tough situations like this make sure your heart doesnt overpower your mind, you n eed to be able to think clearly.

    You just need to keep her safe as a first priority, then keep her happy and comfortable and be there to support her as shes going through this.
  5. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

    Jun 14, 2009

    I lost my mother to complications due to Alzhiemers Sept 19 2009. Her first indications of problems coming was in January 2002.

    The first stages of the illness is the most cruel. My mother knew she was quote "losing my mind". Everytime she forgot something it was crying, and she would be very upset. after the first couple years as she slipped further away, this eased. Then it was our turn to have the hard time, the mother, wife, that we knew gradually left us. My father took care of her until 2007 when outside help was hired.

    We were very fortunate if you can call it that. My mother never became abussive or profane, she was generally cheerfull and pretty much up for anything she was physically able to do. She went daily to Walmart, the lady that took care of mother, would get her breakfast, dress her, do her hair and makeup. Then they would ride over to Wally world where mother would walk around the store "shopping". Mostly she said hello to everyone, and was always ready to have a conversation, regardless of subject. She loved small children and they loved her, she was like a magnet to them.

    The latter years I would visit daily and she would stretch out her arms and tell me, "I don't know who you are, but I know I love you." The very last recognition she ever had of me was calling me by my father's name. From pictures we know that I look like my father when he was my age, so she did have some memory tucked in there somewhere.

    Sept 19, like every other morning mom got up ate breakfast, took a shower, hair and makeup done, they were on the carporch on the way to the car for the Walmart run. Mom closed her eyes, her heart quit beating. I feel certain that her brain just forgot to tell her heart to keep going.

    One piece of advice-- outside --- experienced help.

    Maybe I can PM you more later, I ain't a big talker with this.
  6. Am listening with open ears, my mother too is in early stages, we moved her in next door to us and it can be so trying, some days I don't know if I can keep doing it. Mostly want her to be safe and looked after, but she has been increasingly argumentative about any change, ie: I fill her pill box now because she was messing up her pills...sometimes she just won't let it go and argues for a couple days in a row. We have the toughest job there is, our parents are still here even though "they" are gone already.....God be with you throught this, I will be praying for you and all those facing this and watching for help and answers too!
  7. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    Thanks to everyone for their responses and for sharing your stories. Thanks too Wifezilla for that link. It is very interesting. I am going to go to the health food store tomorrow. This actually may appease my BIL as well. He is obsessed with vitamins at the moment and believes that they can "cure" anything. DH was out with his mom today and she told him she realized that she doesn't always get things right, though there are other times she is ok. She just wants to make sure her dog and cats are taken care of and she just wants to be around for Christmas. I did not know her older sister, but the younger one that passed with Alzheimer's progressed downhill really quickly. DH has been in tears on and off this afternoon. This is going to be a rough road.
  8. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    [​IMG] Oh Andrea I am so sorry. You, Hubby and all will be in my thoughts and Prayers. God Bless all of You.
  9. froggie71

    froggie71 Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Shamong, NJ
    Quote:Well we have gotten MIL the coconut oil and she says she has been taking it (I'm not there to check). Unfortunately we haven't seen that it has been doing a whole lot for her. After reading the article I was hopeful. Her conversations are just terrible. Most of the time I know what she is trying to say and I'm too impatient to let her fix what she is trying to get out and will finish for her. She uses her "cheat sheets" all the time and still gets names wrong. She is still pretty good with dates and appointments though. Her neighbors have noticed the changes and have mentioned them to DH. She still doesn't call the house, but instead walks over 3-5 times/day. She puts stuff in our mailbox, leaves things taped to our door, or just walks over to see if we are outside. She may not even let us know she was here, but I'll see her walking across the yard. I understand she is lonely, but she does not want to go to a adult care center during the daytime. She wants to be home with her cats and dog. Since it is getting to be difficult to have a conversation with her I think she will be having even less people talking to her.
    She told DH she talked to Charless Grady the other night. This would be her son Chuck in Ohio, and she was going by what the Caller ID said.

    I continue to pray for patience and will continue to look for suggestion and advice that anyone has to offer.


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