Missing my Best Friend- My MOM.....

by Missing MOM
(Raining in California)

I help care for my Mom who has more advanced Alzheimer's and probably the hardest thing for me to deal or cope with is how different it has made my Mom.

My Mom was the kindest, gentlest, giving Mom on Earth. This disease has made her into a demanding, sometimes cruel, sometimes frightened little girl. It scares the hell out of me when she does this huffing thing like she's going to hyperventilate or something. I know she doesn't mean to do these things but its the progression of her illness but it is really scary sometimes.

My older sister spends the most time with her since she lives the closest to her and I come on the weekends to help out. We both now see that she really doesn't know who we are most of the time and that a lot of times she even thinks we are just another caregiver.

She doesn't have any etiquette filter on anymore and sometimes says some pretty mean things to you. She comments and says things that are inappropriate but that is not my MOM talking.

That's Alzheimer's talking. All I know is I wish anyone out there that still has a WELL MOM or DAD just shows them how much they LOVE them NOW, not later when its too late. I will be there with my Mom till the end and so will my Sis but this is a tough road to navigate without some inspirational help along the way.

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by: Anonymous

You guys made me cry. I miss my dad. But I'm at peace because I was there (he's gone now). God bless you all.

I Feel for Both of You
by: Nadia from South Africa

I would just like to say I feel for both of you, my circumstances is the same . In my case, my mom lives with me so it is a 24 hour job being on call at any time. I agree that the person you are looking after now is not the same as the person you knew and loved.

It must be one of the hardest things to experience a loved one deteriorating like this and very scary. Yes there are goodish days but most days are very hard emotionally. All I can say is our strength to cope with this must come from God because we would not have been able to this on our own.

What I do to cope is to try and remember the good old days and draw my strength from that and I have made peace with the fact that she now is another person an not the person I loved and knew. All we can do is to make there lives as easy as possible and help where we can.

I found I needed to become strict with her as she became very obstinate and the only times she listens to what I have to say is when I insist.

Routine is the best for the times she can remember but most of the time you need to remind her what to do step by step. I guess at this time (mom is 88 years old) my biggest fear is the end and how I am going to handle that even with all the worries and troubles I would rather have a little bit of her than not at all.

So my message really is grab each moment you can get and treasure it, she deserves it. Lots of love and strength for both of you during this trying times.

My Heart goes Out to You.
by: Leasa

I've worked with Alzheimer's people for a decade years ago. It is a heart breaking disease for the family. As you probably know, the two most dangerous things for your mom right now is wandering and anything to do with fire like the cooking stove. It's tough for the family to deal with because now your mom will need 24 hour care to keep her safe.

Quite often their personality does a complete flip. If they were loving and caring before, they can be very mean and even physically aggressive as this disease progresses. Some of these patients are very happy actually. They go back to their care-free days as a child.

The end stages I must warn you are not nice with this disease because eventually they forget how to swallow and their cough reflex makes breathing difficult at times. Fluids are important as Alzheimer's patients can dehydrate quickly.

There are methods to have a calming effect on these patients that work. Have bright colours around them. Things like fresh flowers are a distraction. Label important things. Often their aggression is caused by confusion and disorientation.

Label the bathroom door in big letters: BATHROOM. The cupboard where her coffee cups are: COFFEE CUPS and so on... Easy to read children's books are another good idea for distraction. If you find she is especially irritated, put on soothing music and make sure it's loud enough for her to hear it.

Have one room in her house 'her bedroom probably' where there is no clutter, a soft atmosphere where you can put on soothing music. Music is a great way to change the mood of an Alzheimer's patient.

I hope I've helped. Hang in there and above all, don't forget to take care of the care taker...that's you and your sister. You need time out as well because you are in for a long difficult road.

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