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#1961728 - 09/12/14 07:45 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
fun grandma Offline
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fun grandma
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 91
midwest
First I want to say that this room is awesome. My parents live about 3.5 hours from me. My mom's Alzheimer's is gradually getting worse. Luckily she doesn't wander yet and hasn't wanted to drive for a few years.
My brother was a truck driver but recently started a new job so he was able to move to the same town my parents live in.
One of the biggest issue's is that my dad has back issues that he can not stand or walk without being in pain. So my brother's move has helped immensely in being able to help my dad with chores he can no longer do, but to also help out with my mom. She can have some issues with falling and my dad cannot get her up himself. She just sits all day so has no strength and is also overweight.
I have been wondering lately how long she will be able to live at home or if my brother will move in with them as some point, so she can live at home longer.
I'm just glad he was willing to move so he could help out more. They have some awesome friends that help, but hard to rely on them all the time.
Like I said I appreciate this room to hear what others are going through and also to get ideas on how to handle different situations. My mom has always had a lot of health issues, but didn't think we were going to have to deal with Alzheimer's.

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#1961785 - 09/12/14 09:21 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Bankbb1, PITA Offline
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Posts: 38
The Sovereign State Of Oklahom...
Welcome in FG!
Even if they were able to hand out cards when you were born that said, your parent will have Alzhaiemers or Dimentia it would still be impossible to prepare for it.
Its a good group in here. We laugh with each other (a necessity BTW), cry with each other and sometimes prop each other up. Sometimes its just nice to have a place to talk about it in complete freedom. smile
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#1961829 - 09/12/14 10:53 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Truffle Royale Offline

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fun, go back and read the beginning of this thread where we talked a lot about resources and support that can be found in the area your parents are living. Your brother is going to need help and time off too. You can call from 3.5 hours away and find help to come in (meals on wheels; visiting nurses) and elderly day care. Just getting the information together for him to consider will be a huge help.

With your mom's falling issues and your dad's inability to get her up, you might look into a Life Alert button too. I've been considering whether or not it's time to get one for my mom because she's home alone for at least 6+ hours a day and goes up and down stairs. You could cover the cost of it to help out. It would take the onus off your brother and make you feel like you're doing something concrete instead of just fretting from afar.

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#1961858 - 09/13/14 07:16 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Truffle Royale Offline

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BB,
You know my daughter is medical director at an assisted living facility that has a dementia section. I've shared the story of your mother with her.

Yesterday when I told her about the piano in your mom's new home, my daughter got excited and said 'It sounds like Alive Inside!'

Apparently, the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award went to the movie Alive Inside which shows how music can stimulate the brain in ways drugs cannot reach.

The trailer is intriguing and moving. The movie is playing in Tulsa right now and coming to Madison in two weeks.

For all of us living with dementia in our family member, I urge you to bring this to the attention of the facility they're at. Or at the very least, buy an ipod for them! According to my daughter, the results of having them listen to their music can be astounding.

Of course, that led to a whole discussion of what music would be picked for who, a great reminder to always remember to laugh.

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#1961893 - 09/15/14 01:00 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
QCL Offline

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TR,
When my grandma could no longer speak, she could still sing. smile
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#1961896 - 09/15/14 01:08 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
JWills, CRCM Offline
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The Mitten State
Music is a language that everyone understands. It always brings a smile. smile
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#1961920 - 09/15/14 02:20 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Truffle Royale Offline

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But the miraculous thing is that this was more than just a smile, J. It actually unlocked the ability to speak and communicate. Somehow, hearing music familiar to them clicked on a 'sane' portion of the brain that the disease had locked down. It was like throwing a switch from incoherency to talking.

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#1961982 - 09/15/14 04:16 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
fun grandma Offline
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fun grandma
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 91
midwest
She does have Life Alert. It took me 2 yrs to convince her to get it and I was to get most of the information for them, so dad didn't have to worry about it. She does wear if faithfully, and she hasn't had to use it yet, but is comforting to everyone that she has it.
I have also talked to dad & my brother about respite care. Dad feels that for now, she is ok by herself when he leaves.
I also do try and call frequently to check on how they are doing. Also, dad can vent to me if he needs to.
I am also trying to go home more often.
Thanks again for the suggestions and support.

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#1961986 - 09/15/14 04:42 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Truffle Royale Offline

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Reassuring to know someone who's actually using Life Alert and feels comfort from it.

Sounds like you're doing everything you possibly could, fun.

Now try not to be too hard on yourself for not being able to do more.

((hugs)) to you.

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#1962017 - 09/15/14 06:17 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
fun grandma Offline
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fun grandma
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midwest
Thanks TR

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#1962054 - 09/15/14 07:45 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Snowgirl Offline
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Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 709
So just wondering if anyone has any suggestions. My mom & stepdad are both aging and mom has been having memory issues for a couple of years. She can't remember dates or numbers, kind of small things at this point. But her short term memory is getting pretty bad. She does fine day-to-day, cooking, cleaning, etc. But the problem is my stepdad is also losing his short-term memory and is getting super bossy, cranky, downright mean to mom about her memory, even though he can't remember the same things he is expecting her to remember. Things like "you should *@#!!$* know that number" or that date, or whatever it is she doesn't remember, even though he doesn't know it either. This then upsets mom whose emotions are all over the board anyway because she knows she can't remember and has memory problems. Any suggestions on how to deal with this situation? I'm afraid talking to him won't help because he probably doesn't realize he is doing it. And I'm not that close to him that I feel comfortable talking to him about it.

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#1962123 - 09/16/14 01:22 AM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Truffle Royale Offline

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Right off the top of my head, I'd suggest getting them a phone that you load all the numbers in and they just page down to the name and dial it. It made life so much easier for my mom.

Are you close enough to help?
Have they both been to a dr to see if there's anything that can be done to help them? There are drugs that help memory.

I find my mom does best when I write things down for her. Sticky notes; a wipe board; did you know you can use erase pens on mirrors too? I leave my husband notes on his mirror.

As far as comfort levels talking to people, I think all of us here will agree that sometimes with our parents you just have to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done.

Hang in there. I'm sure others will have suggestions too.

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#1962192 - 09/16/14 03:39 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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I've been doing more reading than posting lately, but sometimes getting parents to accept some of the help that's available is a challenge. Until it's been casually mentioned often enough that it's 'their' idea, that is smile Not looking forward to the day that I have to make decisions for Mom.

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#1962194 - 09/16/14 03:46 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Oklahoma
Me either hmdagal! My mother wants me to make all her decisions now - but only so she will have someone to blame if it goes wrong. She pointed out that she went from her father making all the decisions to her husband making all the decisions to my sister making them. I'm all that is left. Oh boy!

After listening to her go on and on about all the issues she house with her house I mentioned that maybe it's time she moved into something less burdensome and she yelled at me that "I'm not giving in and throwing the towel yet!". (sigh)

I don't think one 3/4 blood German woman should have to take care of another 100% full blooded German lady. There oughta be a law on that.
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#1962228 - 09/16/14 05:11 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Bankbb1, PITA Offline
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The Sovereign State Of Oklahom...
We have starteed playing music from the 40's for mom all during the day (40's music channel) and she seems to like that and it helps to make her a little mor interactive. She is still playing the piano and enjoys it as well!

Snow, I would love to give you some hint that just works magic, but I dont really have one. They may both just have age related memory loss and be ornery, or one or both could be showing signs of Dementia or Alzheimers. Things to look for include not only loosing things, but also having the same conversation over and over. Answering the same question multiple times in the same conversation. Extreme frustration with memory issues. And they become very impatient and rude to the primary care giver. Their "filter" for appropriateness of comments begins to fade. None of these are "proof" that they have dementia or Alzheimers, but an increase or suddenly noticing these things would indicate that you should pursue it further with a physician.
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#1962621 - 09/17/14 06:43 PM Re: Caring for our parents HRH Okie Banker
RobinS Offline
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Originally Posted By: HRH Okie Banker
My mother wants me to make all her decisions now - but only so she will have someone to blame if it goes wrong.


Sounds like we have the same mother! My mom is also in a house she can't afford and eventually will have to sell it (and should never have bought it!). I bite my lip and change the subject whenever she starts to complain about her financial or housing situation 'cause I know if I make any "suggestion" when she moves it will be all my fault.

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#1963513 - 09/22/14 01:36 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Soaring over Georgia
Mom's aggressive and self endagering behaviors continued to increase last week. On Friday, she went so far as to climb out the window of her bedroom since we had the doors locked. We wound up having her admitted to a geriatric psychiatric treatment center on Friday afternoon. The center is almost 2 hours driving time from us and has very limited visiting hours. Hopefully they'll get some answers, but I think we are looking at the need to get her into a skilled nursing facility long term. It was a very sad week and weekend for us. I'm struggling with whether I've done the right things for her, but I can't leave my wife in danger either and it was escalating in that direction.
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#1963515 - 09/22/14 01:49 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Skittles Offline
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TN
Jim - how awful for you and your family. I'm sure you are questioning your decisions, but it sounds like you made the right ones - as hard as they were.

Prayers being said for you, your wife and your mother.
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#1963533 - 09/22/14 02:21 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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A book I read recently had a discussion that stuck in my mind. One character was questioning a decision she had made, and the reply was basically: of course it was the right decision, because you made it.

Someone else might have made different decisions, but these were yours, and at the time they were made, were the best for you and your family.

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#1963548 - 09/22/14 02:58 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Truffle Royale Offline

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Amen^^^

Don't beat yourself up about this, Jim.

The move in with you was recent so maybe it acerbated some of her dementia resulting in the unhealthy behaviours. Hopefully the doctors will be able to find some meds that will help.

If not, a nursing home isn't the worst thing. In reality, it's usually the best thing, especially for dementia patients, because they get the 24/7 skilled care that you cannot possibly give her at home.

Prayers for strength for you and peace with the decisions you have to make.

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#1963549 - 09/22/14 02:58 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Bankbb1, PITA Offline
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The Sovereign State Of Oklahom...
Safety and well being of everyone involved has to be primary in the decission making process and sounds like that is exactly what you took into account. It makes it no easier and it is natural to question the decision. But I think that given the information that you posess any rational person would have to make the same decision. I am sorry that you have had to take this on.
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#1974560 - 11/05/14 10:00 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
*W*W* Offline
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Can anyone recommend a good cane? I've seen those canes on TV that stand up on freely and the ones that fold. I wonder if that joints would weaken eventually on the fold up kind. Dad has beginning stages of parkinsons and needs it for balance.
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#1974645 - 11/06/14 01:11 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
Skittles Offline
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TN
Sorry *W*W* - wish I could. My father uses his mother's (she died in 1982) four-pronged cane and it seems to work pretty well for him. Have you gone to a home health place to see what they have? Maybe contact your doctor for recommendations?
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#1974723 - 11/06/14 03:19 PM Re: Caring for our parents Truffle Royale
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Jim, I understand where you are coming from. Had to put my father in a nursing home about two years ago. It was a hard decision, but it was the best for everyone. He has 24/7 care and he is well taken care of. We tried everything and that was our last choice and I would do the same thing again.
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#1974743 - 11/06/14 03:42 PM Re: Caring for our parents *W*W*
Bankbb1, PITA Offline
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The Sovereign State Of Oklahom...
Originally Posted By: *W*W*
Can anyone recommend a good cane? I've seen those canes on TV that stand up on freely and the ones that fold. I wonder if that joints would weaken eventually on the fold up kind. Dad has beginning stages of parkinsons and needs it for balance.


This is one that I bought for my dad when he needed on after surgery. He liked it really well, its nice looking and very comfortable to use. Its also available in a "quad base" if more stability is needed.
http://www.fashionablecanes.com/3069.html
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