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Dementia - or caring for a child. Is there any difference? - Carers UK Forum

Dementia - or caring for a child. Is there any difference?

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Sussex, that's an ideal scenario, dementia has affected two of my family creating dreadful problems. My wonderful grandmother, a bright, intelligent woman who thought nothing of walking 6 miles a day, well into her eighties, suffered from dementia in her last ten years. She lived alone 100 miles away, there was simply no one available to care for her, she went into residential care, moved again. Dreadful. Then my lovely mum in law, never a cross word between us in over 30 years, in some ways she was more of a mum to me than my own mum. FIL, in his eighties and very ill himself, did his best to care for MIL but never understood the illness properly, and how best to deal with her. Stubbornly refused the help which would have meant that she could have stayed home for longer, because he saw admission for help as admission of failure to keep his marriage vows. This all ended in total disaster and she too ended up in residential care as an emergency admission into a secure home 20 miles away, rather than the home 800 yards away from their home of 50 years. Dementia is a terrible problem.
I agree with what you say Sussex - to a point Image

No matter how far a dementia patient 'regresses' we must still remember that they are adults and still deserving of the respect and dignity that we would afford to any adult; no matter how 'childlike' their behaviour may become they are not children and should never be treated as such. Right up to the end my Mum's mantra was "Don't treat me like a child !". As much as she could remember her childhood and wanted to return to her Mum & Dad and her childhood home, she mostly remember being a young woman and the time when we were children - which was why she didn't recognise us as adults, still thinking of us as children due home from school any minute.

In the past I've often likened dementia to finding oneself lost in a strange alien country where you don't know the language and you don't have a map - how frightening would that be ?
100% agree with you sussex R and both you sue.

Sussex said
( "For someone with dementia, the world becomes a great big scary place. Just as it was when they were children. They need the care and reassurance they had then. We, as carers, relatives or friends, need to understand this and help them continue to live in the secure "little" world they need, and want.")

This is so true. I found with my mum , she needed me to listen , an arm around
the shoulder , everything will be alright Mum. that's basically all , we just need
to be there. saying its o.k. over and over again. they just need our love
and understanding .
Minnie
totally agree with you sussex although i dont have kids so its a whole new ball game,for me the worst thing so far was exepting mum had vascular dementia in the start i was lucky i was dating a carer at the time but it took me ages to exept it "not my mum shes fine".the other thing i find interesting is other peoples idea of dementia take for instant my brother he works in a care home with poeple who have dementia yet he has real problems exepting mums illness and we rarely see him ,i have given up quite a bit to look after her but i dont regret one second,she was there for me when i needed her now im repaying it not because i think i have to but because i want to,all we can give them is the love they deserve and be there for them
That's how I see my mum who as vascular dementia. She was hurt by OTs who came in to try out a new sling and this caused her to decline but she's gradually picking up a bit now.
I'm still seething about the way they manhandled her and the way her eyes were pleading with me to make them stop which in the end I did.

I have had to adjust to every change in her so that she remains contented and happy. I never had a child but at every stage it feels very much as it would if I was looking after a child.

At the moment we have a problem brought on by being distressed by the OTs, in that her day and night has been reversed. She didn't sleep that first night and I haven't been able to get her properly back on track since.
its not something in the 5 years i have had to encounter,proberley no more then a couple of situations in all that time,one sticks with me i was woken by a lot of moving about and drawers being open about 6ish one morning with my mum insisting she was going to get my sandwiches ready for work(she use to do it for me in my teens on my first job) so i just told her she was far to early go back to sleep do it later,think if the situation arrived i would handle it similar not making a big thing about it
Hmm ,I find it hard to agree.When my mum's carers were looking after her , they had an almost childlike mantra themselves - I don't know if they were trying to convince themselves or convince us.They said " she's probably thinking lovely memories of her childhood all over again.It's worse for the families than it is for them " .Well , my mum couldn't communicate what she was thinking , but she didn't have a happy childhood to remember.I never thought she was sat reminiscing.She always looked lost,as though she was trying to recall things that were just out of reach.
We always spoke to her as though she could hear and understand everything we said.She could only squeeze our hands - I don't think enough is known about what happens to sufferers and their thought processes, but it would be comforting if we did.
B.x
There have been many times with my son, who has autism, that I've wondered what was going on in his mind. Frustrating. But it must be worse when caring for someone with dementia because they lose so many skills that Mike has never really had.

I've come across some care workers and nurses who seem to think that once you're over 60 you've become a senile old dodderer, but hopefully I won't have any dealings with them if/when I hit health problems requiring some professional input.

Just a quick thought: when people dementia are carrying out actions/talking about things from the past, or referring to people long gone, the advice is to "live in their world". So, if someone is asking "When is Dad coming?", rather than telling them he died 30 years ago, tell them "He'll be here soon". It might help to reassure them but more importantly they won't go through the grief of loss again and again.
Yes I did the same.Whenever my mum mentioned something like when was her brother coming, instead of saying he was long dead ,we always just played along that he'd be here when he finished work.When she asked my daughter when she finished school ,she'd say half past three, though she left school 16 years ago ! Anything not to cause distress Image
Charles that made me laugh " if you're over 60 they treat you like you're a senile old dodderer " .Three years of normality left for me then, then out comes the purple hat and funny clothes. Image