Depression, infection and dehydration can show signs of dementia. A physical exam is the first thing to do to rule out these conditions. Then, if all is well medically, a neurological assessment in a memory clinic can follow. As far as diets go, one filled with fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, etc - the Mediterranean diet - has been associated with a delay in the onset of dementia symptoms. Exercise is the most highly related with delaying the onset of dementia. There are no known preventions but mental stimulation from learning new information is associated with keeping new brain cells active and increasing the volume of the brain. Having friends or belonging to groups also nourishes the brain.
Hope you can take care of yourself as well, JudyView Thread
Often people like your mother will respond when you say that you need help, and involve her in helping you. You will find my books full of practical suggestions to maintain a meaningful relationship with your mother along with having a case manager. Always agree with her - acknowledge her feelings. Imagine what it is like for someone to have to admit that their memory is going. What type of dementia does your mother have? It is important to get as accurate a diagnosis as possible, so find out from the neurologist. Go to www.alz.org or phone 800-272-3900 and get fabulous advice and suggestions from the Alzheimer's Assn.
It's great that you reached out - you are not alone in this journey, JudyView Thread
In fact, you all are primary caregivers - the person who is the advocate, arranger, go-to number regardless of whoever is handling the day-to day responsibilities. adele0283 - please get some help pronto. Local community organizations have volunteers to ease the burden by giving you some relief to go out on your own and do things that nourish you. Caregivers often succomb while the person with Alzheimer's continues the stress is so great for the caregiver. Contact the Alzheimer's Assn. - www.alz.org or 800-272-3900. People who go to support groups fare much better than those who don't. It's tha topportunity to listen and share and discover new tips from those in the trenches who know what it is like.
I'm finally starting that Caregiver's Support Group next month. We know that support eases the burden of caregiving. What a relief to find others who know what you're going through. Share what you have found that helps you as you navigate through this journey.
There are medications which involve a skin patch - the Exelon patch. That eases the burden of the pill problem. Also, has anyone evaluated him for depression or a vitamin B12 deficiency? Often the mood swings are related to this problem.Simple anti-depressants may help.
At this point, you must take care of yourself first and foremost. Use the telephone chat rooms okayed by the Alzheimer's Assn. Keep writing here. There are also geriatric care managers for low cost that may be sponsored by your local organization for aging or a senior center.
Happy New Year! Apologies for lagging behind in sending you greetings - I still have cartons to unpack! Hope you had a good holiday despite the burden of having a loved one with Alzheimer's or another dementia. Do feel free to write in - someone will respond - and I will, too.
Remember to take good care of yourself, too, JudyView Thread
It's always a challenge when someone you love refuses to get medical input. Brainstorm any way to get him to see his doctor, preferably with you so that you can describe the changes you see. The Alzheimer's Assn. has some good suggestions (800-272-3900). The important thing to remember is that you are the person who is in tact, and, sadly, the person who shows signs of memory related problems does not perceive that anything is amiss. Rational thinking needs to prevail, as hard as it is when you are in this position. It is an act of love to find out what is wrong with him, albeit, tough love.
What a situation you have from both sides. The Alzheimer's Assn. is definitely you best bet - 800-272-3900. Probably, you will need a firm diagnosis regarding both your mother and your mother-in-law. If it is definitely established that a dementing illness is causing their behavior, the earlier you step in, the better it will be. You may need to take legal steps to manage your mother's finances, and if your mother-in-law is in the early stages, involve her by stating that she will no longer have to worry about financial concerns when you help out with the bills if you step in.
As far as nursing homes, there are some very good memory care residences that know how to approach someone with these issues in a caring way. If you join a support group, even by phone or on line in the area where they live, you will get great suggestions about good places.
What an unexpected reaction from your husband in that he claims you are the one with the issues. I just moved into a 55 community myself, so I know how upsetting this is for you. I am trying to set up an Alzheimer's caregiver support group here because support groups are the antidote to what you are going through.
First of all, don't take it personally: he is becoming disinhibited and blurting out inappropriate comments. Whenever he says it's your issue, try a light approach with others he speaks to with something like, "That's what he believes," and smile to diffuse the situation. As far as the abusive comments he makes to you, immediately tell him that you are hurt by what he says in that moment. You need to give him the feedback whenever he is abusive, quietly saying that it is not OK for him to speak to you that way. You may have to say that you will not sit with him if he speaks that way. People with Alzheimer's and related dementia still have unconscious memory, and unless he is the type of person who always spoke to you in an abusive way, he eventually may ease up. Whether he persists or not, start arranging for caregivers to help you out and give you some relief - you deserve it. The Alzheimer's Assn. at 800-272-3900 has great suggestions.