I've got to Scream........

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Sorry, I've just got to. "Aaaarrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh"..."AAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH"
Hm, that's a bit better.
Mother!
She's driving me round de twist!
Every morning she sits at her kitchen table, asking when they (the Day Centre) are picking her up to go. "Wonder if they'll turn up for me today?"
My brain is telling me to keep calm; she can't help it. She has memory loss. LOTS of memory loss.
So, my brain tells me to say "Well Mum, they don't come today - only on a Monday and Friday and today is ****day"
The problem is, when it's about the fifth time in about five minutes that this same conversation has gone on, my mouth is screaming out "Don't you remember- you only go twice a week! - I told you yesterday and the day before!"
My brain is saying "Stop it! stop it! She can't help it"
So she replies, "Oh, so what is today?"
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Here starts another circle of words.
"It's Thursday today" Image
"Am I going to Day Centre today?"
The mouth says "AAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Picture is of my Mother at Ferry Meadows, with Luke in the background
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Been there, done that, got the T shirt. Then started to do serious research into nursing homes Image
I figure that sometimes we are better carers and much saner human beings if we hand it all over to a decent professional provider before we go completely mad, and just go in to visit three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
Hi dear sometimes mom is the same and I feel like screaming but what helps me is talking to other carers and thinking if mom died tomorrow and I gave up caring for her how would I feel?
I could not put her in a home I know sometimes that is the only way. BUT NOT FOR ME I hear of stories of carers abusing elderly and I know not all carers do that but still it worries me and then I think of the way she made sacrifices for me bringing me up.
I Know its hard work so taxing on the brain but do find encouragement from other carers as you also are doing now and if you wont to talk PM me for my number try to keep calm try this I once went to a carer meeting where they were discussing relaxation so when I feel tense I sit down close my eyes take a deep breath then breath out / then as I keep doing this with my eyes closed I think of somewhere nice like walking barefoot on a beach etc then after a min or two open my eyes and breath out. and it only takes 3- 5 mins to do
I feel relaxed ready to go I do this several times a week try it works coffeex
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This reminds me so much of when my Autistic children were younger and kept asking the same thing over and over. It drives you mad doesn't it.

There is no way that I would have considered placing them in homes to be cared for by others though. They are my children and I didn't have them to hand them over to others when they didn't turn out to be perfect. Image

What we found helped was we put stickers on items and a day notice to show what day it was with a picture to show what activity was going to happen on any given day.

Maybe it won't work for older people with memory problems but maybe worth a try even for the distraction value.
You mean like a visual timeline Pixie?
What a very good idea, I'll try that for my oh Image
Ummm... I have never had to cope with a dementia sufferer, so this might be rubbish for your situation - ignore it if it is!

My 83 year-old Dad has poor short-term memory, so I would not be surprised if he went down the dementia road, so I have taken an interest in TV programmes and newspaper reports about caring for dementia sufferers. I also have been accustomed to living in my own place on my own, so adapting to live with another person of any variety has not been easy. What often seems to come up when caring for any elderly people, though more especially those with dementia, is to try to avoid correcting or contradicting them. Hard to do, but when my own brain is working properly and I remember to, diverting the conversation results in a more peaceful atmosphere.

In your case, Pamela, I would guess that your Mum either especially enjoys the stimulation of the Day Centre, or there is something bothering her about it. So, when she asks, perhaps an answer along the lines of 'What lovely people you meet at the Day Centre' (took me a while to think of that, trying to avoid a question) or 'Today we/you are going to ... instead'. Make the conversation a wiggly line instead of a circle, if you like.
You mean like a visual timeline Pixie?
What a very good idea, I'll try that for my oh Image
Yes something like that. It worked for us anyway but it's difficult now to remember all the things we did.

Maybe lookup things around this with Autistic people who think in pictures instead of relying on words as that's why it works for them.
You're bl**dy wonderful, you are. If it's not one of you guys going round there to her, it's the other. Just have to keep saying to yourself, that it's not her fault and moreover, you KNOW it's not her fault. Can't you pop out into that fabulous garden or start a conversation with that gorgeous Bryn of yours? OR try and change the subject, when she asks you AGAIN about something and get her to go off on a tangent about that. OR try ignoring the repetetive questions and change the subject instead of answering her constantly. OR reply with a one word answer instead of trying to explain. She probably can't understand the explanation, but will only concentrate and digest the ONE IMPORTANT WORD ie. Monday, Tuesday, tea, dinner, Luke, town. Sounds harsh, eh? It's so difficult, I do know.
Grandma and grandad both had this whilst I was trying to be a teenager, so I didn't. That's probably why I act like one now, well, without the grunts and tantrums, but you know, slightly loopy like and playing loud stuff, girl-racer (at 50?), love young people and all that stuff.
Honestly, try changing the subject, it worked for my mum looking after those two at home, they just forgot the question and started off on something else altogether.
Image has luke got his fingers up? lol


How r u at the moment pamela?
I dont know how u actually cope, its bad enough when matt does it to me when his banged his head but i know that lasts for a few days- but all the time?!?!

The visual time line thing sounds like a good idea
Hehehehe - trust you to notice what Luke's doing, Rin. Image
Thankyou all for your replies...
Rob - We've asked Mother about going into her Day Centre full time; as in moving in but she's adamant that she's not going to LIVE there! She is still a very strong personality and won't do what she doesn't want to do!!!! Image
Coffee - thankyou for the hug - much needed Image I understand your fear of you Mum being abused at the hands of Carers in Nursing Homes. I feel much the same. Although she drives me mad and at times I don't like her very much at all, I would kill anyone who tried to hurt her! I do try relaxation techniques, and yes, they do work.
Pixie - thankyou too, for your reply and suggestions. I have tried to do a calendar that tells her when she goes to Day Centre, which is a Monday and Friday, but she still insists she goes every day! The problem with my mother is that she just won't try anything different, like using pictures. She doesn't even admit to having any memory loss! Image
Mrytle, I hope that the visual timeline works for your OH x
Cotula - I have also watched some programmes about dementia and the idea of not contradicting them or asking questions, but as I have said, my brain understands it, but my mouth runs away with me! I do believe that Mother enjoys the Day Centre, as it gives her someone to talk with. ....and I understand what you mean about a wiggly line conversation. I will try harder - starting from tomorrow, but not promising myself anything! lol.
Fran - Thanks for your reply also Image I would and do use my garden, but I do believe that the weather is making us all feel much worse than we would be. Mother says 'it's not got light all day today', and she's quite right. It must be boring for her to not be able to go out when she wants to. Sometimes I take Bryn over there to visit her and the old dog, Jess. She moans at him, as he's so lively lol. I think that if you knew my Mother properly, you'd understand that nothing is ever right for her! Image Image
Thankyou again for your replies - hugs to you all xxx