This Alzheimer's Community has been helpful to me during the past year or so. Thank you all for being so kind and available at any time.
My mom is beginning the 7th stage of Alzheimer's and has Parkinson's symptoms as well. She is now incontinent during the night and somewhat during the day but not totally. Because of her tremors and weakness, she needs help each night getting to the bathroom and back into bed. Accidents are nightly and sometimes as many as 4 times in the night. The disposables fit her well but tend to leak - thus, many bed changes and showers. Have you found any one particular brand to work better than another? I have also been trying to put disposable bed sheets over her cloth sheets in hope of keeping them dry, but Mom is unhappy with that. Tonight I put them under her fitted bottom sheet. At least I won't have to wash the mattress pad every day.
Mom is becoming very frail and needing much help walking, getting up or sitting down, etc. At night, she seems so confused as to how to get into bed. I'm doing more and more lifting. I think we may be needing to get a hospital bed soon. Can you recommend what features I should look for at a reasonable price. I have seen many on Craigslist. Also, is there anywhere to learn the right ways to lift so as not to hurt my back?
In the past you've helped me with her behavior problems and personal hygiene issues. I look forward to your wisdom as we go through this stage of Alzheimer's. Thank you so much for your help.View Thread
Thank you, Carol. We've been doing soups and fruits, but I will try the decaf coffee to see if it makes a difference. I talked to her doctor this last week. To my surprise, she told me that mom is now eligible for hospice care. I really felt surprised to hear that. I know she is losing strength quickly in the past 3-6 months, but I didn't think we were at that point. Mom is not bed-bound, but up every day. She eats well, but doesn't want to drink much. She takes very little medication and is in no pain. Those of you who are familiar with hospice, can you tell me how we would benefit from having them come at this point? I guess I didn't expect to have them come until mom was bedridden. Is it ok not to have them come, or am I being foolish or naive?View Thread
Thank you, Carol. Mom did well that day until later in the afternoon. Since then, she is back to being rather frail. The only thing I can think is that she slept so much better that night than she normally does. Because of her incontinence, she is up two or three times each night wet and barely able to get her legs in motion. We have not actually used the wheelchair this week, but plan to when we go out shopping, etc. Mom's lab work showed that she is borderline dehydrated. Most of her drinking is done before 4 p.m., but still she has accidents each night. I tried waking her up at 11 p.m. last night to go to the bathroom, but she was already wet and again by 1 a.m. and again at 5 a.m. The interrupted sleep is hard on her body. I do believe it makes her much weaker. I would welcome any suggestions. She doesn't have caffeinated drinks much - just 2 cups of coffee - one in the morning and one mid-afternoon. In between she drinks water, juice, milk or milkshake but not much of any of them. She doesn't have chocolate either. Well, I'll wait for more suggestions and just keep keeping on:) Thanks!View Thread
Mom's appointment was ... well, somewhat amazing. She slept for 13 hours the night before. For her morning appointment she rallied. She walked like I haven't seen her walk in a couple of months. The doctor thought she was doing quite well. I explained that this was a very unusual day. She has ordered a light-weight wheelchair for mom to use when we go out together. I didn't see your post in time about the hospital bed and getting hospice. I thought hospice can only help if she has about 6 months to live. I don't think mom is on death's doorstep. Mom has definitely all of the symptoms of stage 6, but is just beginning to enter 7, I think (but this is all new to me). The doctor is adjusting her meds again to see if they could be affecting her walking and balance. So far, so good. No change of behavior (which has been a problem in the past), but it isn't affecting her mobility either. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for your concern and encouragement.View Thread
Thank you, Carol and Kathy. Mom has an appointment on Monday, so I'll talk to the doctor at that time about what helps are available for me at this stage. The disposable pad under the fitted sheet minimizes how much laundry I'm doing. I'm considering waking her up before I go to bed, too. I really appreciate your help - thanks!View Thread
I'll check about the aspirin. Thank you. We have removed all area rugs, put up extra handrails all over the house, and added many safety items. The problem is that she is so angry. She only speaks of basically 2 topics: driving herself home and buying a parakeet. When she is not able to do those two things, she becomes angry, foul, and sometimes aggressive by hitting or shoving. To walk with her would only provoke her more. Changing the subject hasn't worked, nor music. She is refusing to eat anything we offer because she is so angry. My daughters have tried singing and gently playing on the guitar or piano. Mom has refused using a cane or walker. She is just so unhappy at this point. When I tell her how sad I am that she is unhappy, she becomes sarcastic and mocking. It's a hard situation. I'm waiting for a call from the doctor to see what she recommends. View Thread
I just wrote and lost my letter ... ughh! OK, I'll start again:)
My last 4 weeks have been very difficult with mom in the hospital 3 times - once for the mini-vascular event, once in the ER for x-rays for lower back discomfort, and once overnight for observation, x-rays, and MRI of her back and hips. Nothing broken, no hairline fractures. We don't know if she fell - she can't remember and we never heard anything, but her lower back still gives her occasional sharp pain. Maybe it is a nerve problem. Those three events have been so hard on Mom. I'm not sure if this change in her is permanent because of another 'step down' with the Alzheimer's or if this is temporary confusion. I feel like I am experiencing "Ground Hog Day" all the time. Mom starts between 9 or 10 in the morning trying to walk home to FL (we are in KS), realizes after walking to the end of the driveway (almost falling multiple times) that she can't do it, crying pitifully, walks to our rock garden, sits for about 30 minutes and then goes back inside. I am with her, keeping her from falling, etc. She has become very angry, agitated, and sometimes tries to hit and push when I try to rescue her from a fall. Five or ten minutes later we do it all over again ... all day long until about 7 p.m. when she finally tires out. My husband just put locks on the doors to keep her from being able to go outside at will, but that only means that she does the same kind of 'loop' inside the house. We have tried music, offering activities, others have visited her, hairdresser, etc., but she cannot break free from this loop. Today we were able to take her to church and then out to lunch. It was a wonderful time, but the moment we arrived at the house, her loop began again. The doctor has increased two of her meds to try to help. I'm going to try to approach her early tomorrow morning (like we did today) to take her out for a 'ladies day' (hairdresser). Any other words of advice? It's her crying that is most difficult - well, the angry responses and nasty words are no fun either. Thanks for your help. View Thread
Mom's condition has changed in the past week now to be semi-incontinent. Thus, showers are coming more frequently. She seems to understand the need at the moment of an accident and is not resistant to my help at that time. I guess 'my answer' has come in a way that I didn't expect. Now my challenge is getting her to wear what will keep her dry at those moments:) It's a growing experience for both of us.View Thread
Mom had a mini-vascular event sort of like a mini-stroke. It has affected her balance and coordination. We have a nurse coming once a week and a PT coming twice a week to help her get stronger. Her doctor has 'tweaked' her meds and today she seemed a little better than the last four days since coming home. She didn't remember the ambulance ride by the next morning. She knows she was in the hospital, but I don't think she really remembers it much.View Thread
Thank you, Carol. I will definitely try your suggestions. My mom ended up at the hospital this past weekend, so I wasn't able to read your response until now. She took a very big step down in her health and is more confused than ever. I'm hoping it's not a permanent change. Glad you're available to give some wisdom!View Thread