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Old 01-22-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
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Default coping with alzheimer'*

My husband'* grandma, who we lived right next door to for a year, has Alzheimer'*, which is getting rapidly worse. I have to introduce myself to her every time I'm there, and trying to understand her is like trying to comprehend really bad poetry. We're having a bit of trouble with it. Does anyone who'* had a family member go through this have any advice?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:24 AM   #2
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Chris you aren't alone.

You need to change your thinking to a ground hog day type of process. Expect the same questions each time. Patience can be a tough thing to hold onto, however YOUR sanity depends on it.

Expect details etc to be confused and mixed in every manner possible. Frequently the best way to deal with that is let it roll. Don't correct the current perception unless it'* going to harm her.

At this point, the best you can do is allow most of the things go. A simple memory lapse of who you are or calling your white cat purple..isn't really a big deal. In the end, you can get a giggle or two from some of it and give the best care possible.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:30 AM   #3
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My Grandmother had this disease. My mother was her caretaker for a good number of years and she found comfort in going to a support group, as well as finding seminars that dealt with Alzheimer'*.

My grandmother used to ask my mother when she was going home. Mind you, she was living with my mother for years. My mothers response was "Your home mom. This is your home." Trying to convince her, but failing everytime.

Well after my Mother broke down, she found a support group and seminars to go to that showed her what the mind is thinking and how exactly Alzheimer'* effects the brain.

When my grandmother used to ask "When am I going home?" my mother would answer "Tomorrow" My grandmother accepted it and did her thing. Same thing the next day and the day after that.


Its a very hard thing to go through, but find the patience and the support groups, because it helped my mother tremendously!!!!
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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My Aunt Emma and constant companion, has Alzheimers. It has been 7 years now since the diagnosis. Bill Boosts advice is very good. Patience is the best medicine and let them live in their own world comfortable. It is an inherent quality for most of us to try to get people such as this to correct thinking but that more often tends to further erratic thinking, confusion, and frustration to You. Dementia in most forms creates causes people to misassociate alot and it'* best to just go with the flow. Some things that seem to help my Aunt most are getting Her to remember old memories, keeping Her active, talking, and out and about ; LOTS of fluid intake_ dehydration severly copounds the condition and they forget to drink or be thirsty; and a Vitamin with mineral supplements that are hard to absorb when older, specifically copper, zinc, magnesium, chromium, and selenium. Most geriatric formulas contain these. As Bill mentions Emma can be alot of fun and says some of the damdest things that has left me and my friends in stitches.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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My son'* grandmother has it bad (my ex'* mom) and we were told that when you go to see her ask her what the date is. By doing that you can determine where her mind is time-wise and discuss things from then. It make it tough if you don't know much about that time in her life but the best thing is just don't push her. They make great medications that can help alot. My ex mother in laws situation is worse now and she can't even walk or feed herself. Her daughter won't put her into a nursing home and is taking care of her.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:07 PM   #6
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My aunt had it really bad. As a kid, I spent almost everyday with her, and by the time I was 11 I didn't see her as much and she could barely remember me. Then I went to go see her 2 months later and she had no clue who I was. I guess the best advice is like someone else said. It'* kind of like groundhog day, expect to re-do everything every time you see her. It'* hard, but there isn't an easy way.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:15 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about your grandmother. May God be with you guys as you go through this.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:43 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your advice and support. I'll be printing out all of this for my husband, too, and for my own memory purposes (I'm forgetful, too!).

It'* reassuring that she still (albeit vaguely) remembers our wedding. My husband is a diesel mechanic, and it takes a LOT to get his hands clean...though it somehow happened when we got married. She was fascinated by his clean hands! Every time she sees him now, she says something like "your hands aren't clean anymore!"

Thank you all so much! Your help means a ton.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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Another piece of advice that I heard, and found quite appropriate was that rather than trying to get her to join you in your world, you join her in her world instead.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:54 PM   #10
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Well, I will offer this to you. The advice here is excellent advice. My grandmother on my mom'* side was diagnosed when I was around 7 or 8 years old, so I experienced it when I was too young to fully comprehend it. As I got older, I understood it more. my mother, being the woman she is, started researching the disease and looking at places where she could have my grandmother placed when my grandfather could no longer take care of her. She found one of the local Nursing homes had just started what they called the STAR unit, which was specifically for Alzheimers patients.

Being older now, my father'* mother was diagnosed with it 3 years ago and I was much more able to understand the situation. For us, we have found that being in their world is probably the easiest, and can be fun at the same time. Each time i visit my grandmother now I get to learn a little bit more about my father'* childhood and get to hear stories of the things he did. Yes, sometimes my patience gets tried when I have heard the same story 4 or 5 times in a row, but you just have to remember their situation and work with them.

Now for my offer. If you want, send me your name and email and I'll pass it along to my mother. She will most likely be more than willing to help answer any questions she can, and also give you advice. She'* already contemplated writing on the topic, and this might help get her motivated
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