Saturday, April 20, 2013

Updating in April

Derick dressed for work. He's sharp. :-)

Frank working out with the walker. He's doing well, the next appointment with his surgeon is in May.

Thoughts, prayers, good vibes go out to the people of Boston, Mass. and West, Tx. Both tragic events. Kudos to the police and to the brave first responders and volunteers at the Boston Marathon and to the agencies that caught the culprits so quickly. Also heartfelt thanks to the volunteer firemen who lost their lives in West and the young officer at MIT who lost his life responding to a call.  To all who raced in to help, thank you.

The following information contains excerpts from care giving sites. There are many of them out there, some too commercial, some just places for venting, and some that provide great information and also helpful tips and comfort from other care givers. I've adjusted the talking points with facts that fit my situation. The quoted sections are answers I've found. The info I did not find pertinent I left out.

1: I find myself correcting information my Mom gets wrong even though I know she gets facts confused because of her Alzheimer's. Arguing is counterproductive and  oft times just becomes upsetting to her and to me.  Experts say I should agree with her statements no matter how outlandish they seem. This is difficult but I've been trying to do this and misdirect her instead of correcting her.

"Admittedly it's hard to listen to people you once admired for their wisdom make bizarre statements, so your reflex reaction is to correct them. Also, you may feel that "lying" to your parent or spouse is wrong. You may even feel that agreeing with them when they are wrong is condescending.
It's important for you to change your thought process. Accept the wisdom of those who've studied the disease. They will tell you that when you validate your loved one, you are showing compassion. Conversely, arguing only increases the person's agitation and decreases their self-esteem. Your loved one with Alzheimer's disease is living in a reality that is different than yours, but just as real to him or her. You are the well person, so it's up to you to try to share your loved one's reality. When you adapt to this way of thinking, life will be easier for both of you. (Read: 10 Tips for Talking to Someone With Alzheimer's)"

2: Sometimes I'm angry with family members and the few friends she has  because they won't make any attempt to see Mom. It's true that she often doesn't recognize them and forgets they have even been here, but I feel they should try to visit anyway. I don't understand how people almost always make time to attend a funeral for their friends and 'loved ones' but don't find the time to visit or call them. Flowers and words of comfort and love are for the living since the dead can no longer hear or benefit from them.

"As unfair as it seems, there are many reasons why they don't visit. Try to understand why they don't  feel their visits are meaningful. To visit someone who doesn't remember who they are and will forget their visit as soon as they walk out the door seems like a waste of time.
Then suggest that they visit whenever they can for their own sake. Let them know that you understand that it's hard for them and it may seem like a lost cause. Offer them the perspective that they will  probably feel better emotionally after she is gone because they know that they did make an effort to visit and comfort her while it was still possible." 

3: I've so happy when Mom is content that I feel hope she will recover even though  her doctor and the visiting workers say this is not possible.  Alzheimer's (and pretty much other types of dementia)is a progressive disease.

"You deserve to take time to enjoy the fact that your mom has moments of  'normalcy'.However, care giving needs can change quickly. It would be wise to give yourself a deadline to begin researching the next step in her care. I'd suggest that you go online to your state website and type "aging" in the search box. By doing so, you'll be led to many resources that your state provides. This process will help you develop a plan for your mom's future care."

4: I keep putting off making an appointment for my physical and my mammogram because Mom has so many medical appointments. This is time consuming, and I get tired of sitting in hospitals and doctor's offices,

"This is your time to take care of yourself. Your mom has professionals looking after her most of the time. Yes, you take her to medical appointments, but you still need to make time for your own. As I mentioned above, care needs can change quickly. Use this time to get caught up on your own care – physical and mental. If you do this, you'll feel more prepared for changes in your mom's care needs.
Now, it's time to write out your own lists. Delete the suggestions above that don't apply to you and then add your own take on things. Maybe you'll only have one or two negative areas that could use improvement. Maybe you won't have any. It's still a good exercise to think about your routine from time to time in case you can upgrade your own quality of life and maybe even that of your care receiver. What better time to do this than spring?"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sometimes not sleeping

Sitting here at 1:22 AM listening to my mom talk nonsense in her bedroom. Was awakened by her about an hour ago. She was walking up and down the hallway talking gibberish and I got her back in in bed and she quietened down for a while. Now she's talking again. Don't know why some nights she doesn't sleep and meds have almost no effect on her. A pill that would knock me out for a few hours rolls of her like water off a ducks back. I don't know what phase of her disease she is in. She saw the doctor a week ago and her blood work was fine except for low vitamin D. She is losing more cognitive skills though. He prescribed an patch for her to wear but she pulls them off and we find them stuck to various things around the house. No help there. This disease is brutal and sometimes I find myself praying that God will take her and then crying because I don't want to lose my mother. What a sad mess. I wonder how many other care givers around the globe are feeling the same way tonight and every night.