Need Advice from Anyone Who Has Dealt with Alzheimer's

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by rockyjs, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    My 83-year-old mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's based on her MRI and her symptoms. Her PCP won't tell her (I think he's afraid she'll quit coming to him to monitor her diabetes and he's the only good doctor in her town) and I don't want to be the one to tell her, so she's been referred on to a Memory Disorders Clinic for a confirming diagnosis and counseling.

    During the day my mom still functions pretty well although she can't ever find anything and her house is a mess. But when she goes out she dresses nicely and can carry on conversations that make sense.

    However at night she is convinced that neighbors are coming into her house and taking things. The police have been out numerous times and there is no evidence that anyone has ever been in, but she has lost so many sets of keys that she thinks any of her neighbors could have found them and that they just walk in while she's sleeping.

    She's become angry with anyone who tries to tell her she's imagining all this. I think she is basically sleep-walking and because of her high level of anxiety and suspicion she tries to hide things and then forgets where she put it. It all seems so real to her in the morning when she can't find certain items.

    Nothing valuable has disappeared...she says they've taken things like a bag of rubber bands or scarves from her closet, but she still has her TV and other items that are targets of thieves. Yesterday she said she wanted to go down to the neighbor's house that she thinks is breaking in and threaten them. Yikes! I try to get her to be reasonable but she's pretty much past that and her lifetime stubborn and independent nature is at an all-time high. She calls the police almost every night. It's a small town and they're very sweet to her, but I know it's getting to be a nuisance.

    I'm so sad to see her last years take this turn. I live over 1000 miles away and can't travel and she won't let us move her here. She lives alone and really needs to be in an assisted living center but won't even consider it.

    Any suggestions how to make this transition in her care not so painful for both of us? Her doctor wants us to go to court and get guardianship based on incompetency and force her to make the changes, but that would make her feel betrayed and the hostility would just increase.

    Have any of you had similar experiences with aging parents? I posted before she was officially diagnosed and appreciate the responses...just looking for any additional advice.

    Jan
  2. bubblegum

    bubblegum New Member

    My heart goes out to you. My mother-in-law is 91 yrs old and has Alzheimers. She was in an assisted living facility before she was diagnosed but after she began showing symptoms we had to move her out because they couldn't keep her. We moved her in with us about 2 yrs ago and its been rough for all of us. The kids and I rented a house down the street because my mother in law would get really aggitated by the kids. My husband didn't and still doesn't have the heart to put her in a covelescent hospital. She is healthy as a horse but her mind is so confused. The disease progressed rather quickly. We were fortunate that all the legal papers were in order for my husband to take over.
    Do you have any family that lives closer to her? If not, I would suggest you take some time to stay with her for a couple of weeks. It might help her to understand that she can't live alone anymore. Consistency is crucial to an alzheimers patient. Having you there for an extended period of time talking to her and pointing out some of the things she is doing might help her to accept the inevitable. It is not going to be easy on either one of you but she can't live alone. If you have any questions please ask me. Take care
    Sandy
  3. najerry

    najerry New Member

    I know exactly what you are going through. My Mom lived with me for 4 years and she had alzheimers. She was level for a long period then suddenlt she got unconterollable. She had to go to a specialized Nursing home. It was a very difficult time. There is an alzheimers support groupin Prhealth, also a chat room. The people there are very understanding and have been thru it all. My thoughts are with you, it is a very difficult time.. Also contact the alzheimers association. They can give you alot of info, especially in the area where your Mom lives. She eventually will need full time care. So do as much info homework now so you'll have it when you need it. If I can help in any way lookup my bio and e-mail me. Good luck
  4. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    Thanks for your replies. I had forgotten there was a board for Alzheimer's. I also contacted our local Alzheimer's Association and they are a great resource, as you said. I'll start attending some of the classes after the first of the year.

    I can hardly get myself through the day and know I could never care for her in our home. Evem so it's going to be a challenge just to visit her once we get her moved, but I think of all the years she cared for me and made sacrifices and I will just do it somehow.

    Jan