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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board


Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index


My mom has dementia symptoms for about five years now, and it seems to be getting worse.

She lives alone, her older sister, my aunt (82 going on 60), lives next door so that's a help. I try to stop by several times a week to keep the house tidy, make sure she has all her meds, etc. Thank goodness I'm not working right now, I don't know how anyone does and still take care of an elderly parent. I have my own family to care for also, so I can't be with mom 24/7.

Anyway, her blood pressure spiked last week at the doctors so he wants her to take 4 Cardizem/day instead of 3. That whole regiman has thrown her for a loop. I had typed up a daily med sheet she's been using for the past two years to check off throughout the day as she took them. She just cannot understand it. She takes a few other meds as well, and there's really nothing different than just taking this one extra pill. Now she doesn't remember if she's taking 4. I told her to write it down when she takes one. She forgot to do that today and doesn't remember if she took her noon pill.

I've discussed Assisted Living with her and she gets very upset and teary eyed. Sad thing is that she says she even knows there is something not right with her and she can't understand herself why her brain doesn't work. I've been as gentle as I can with her about it. Her doctor really has no idea to the extent of how confused she gets. Monday is another appointment with him and I'm going to call and leave a message so he's aware of just how much she's having trouble with meds and cognitive thinking.

Aricept just made my mom nauseaus so she stopped that; and frankly, I really don't want to see her on another pill.

It's just so tough trying to talk to her about going into a facility, but as it is, I'm getting burned out. All I do is housework and laundry when I'm over and rarely have the mother-daughter chats anymore like we used to.

Mom gets confused over the slightest thing that she has to think about...like turning up the volume on the TV...can't understand how it works after showing her at least 30 times how to do it. Doesn't understand if a light switch on the up position means it's on or off. Same with deadbolts...I could go on. She does wear a lifeline alert bracelet, and I think she knows enough to use it if she had to. She will not use the stove...it's new and she doesn't understand how it worked, so that's a good thing. Get Meals on Wheels everyday too.

Some days she seems sharp, but for the most, she's declining. And her personal care has been neglected...like brushing teeth, washing hair; etc. Where did my pretty mom go?:(

She most likely needs to be in an Assisted Living facility, but it is just so hard to tell her that it's time...at least I've brought it up to her so she's aware that it is getting to be too much for me to take care of her. I don't think she'd like anyone to come in, and even then, they probably only stay for several hours whereas she takes these pills at different times throughout the day.

I'm just rambling here, but I guess I need to know I'm not jumping the gun if I really do convince her to go. How do you all cope with this. Worst part of her leaving her house is the fact that my dad built it by himself, it's a very treasured part of her life. Unfortunately, he died almost 30 years ago at a young age.

So any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
Hello and welcome:

It sounds like your Mom is fairly advanced in her symptoms. When they start to forget to take medications, can't remember to write things down to help them, forget how to use the remote, and are not taking personal care of themselves - it is definitely time to intervene.

It is so hard to put them into care but it must be done. Don't do what we did and wait too long, until something happens that spins their life completely out of control. In the meantime, you could try blister packs for her medications - the pharmacy will do this. In order for this to work she needs to still know or be able to figure out what day of the week it is and take the meds on the right days and the right time of the day. We tried this but at that point my parents could not even follow that and there is no way to teach them as they cannot learn new things no matter how simple it seems to us.

Those good days make you hopeful they can cope a little longer but don't be fooled, as Angel Bear says - it only gets worse. Plan now to move her to a care home. I feel very bad whenever I read others going through this. It is a feeling of despair that no one understands unless they have been through it. Thinking of you. Good luck. Shirley





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