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Old 05-26-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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Unlove I feel sick to my stomach....

Today I had to call my mother and tell her that it is likely that she has Alzheimers. This has been a fear of hers forever....and now it appears that it is a reality. I hated telling her, but if it were me, I would want to know the truth.

I told her I would always be honest with her. And when her health deteriorates I will always be there to make sure she is not hurting and well taken care of.

I tried to stay strong and optimistic, and she was very brave.

She asked me how long she has. I could not tell her. She is in the very early stages, and she still drives and manages her life. But her short term memory is shot. In fact, maybe she forgot this conversation we had...I don't know.

My parents live far away from me, and I need to get them to move in with me (we have a guest house for them) before she is too far gone. They are not cooperating. I just see a long difficult road ahead.

Thanks for listening.....
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
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I am sorry....
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #3
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im so sorry
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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So sorry Alison. What a rough moment for you as a daughter. I cannot imagine. If there is anything I can do to be a support to you would you let me know? Even if it's just to listen and be someone you can talk to who Is not emotionally involved? My private email address is maryeverett1@Mac.com...I'm serious. Anything I can do to help. For now sending hugs and prayers your way! Your parents are lucky to have such an amazing daughter...
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:17 PM   #5
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I am sorry to hear about your Mom. My Dad had dementia/alzheimers. His geriatric psychiatrist but him on Aricept and Zoloft and honestly, the 6 years he was on it we saw very little deterioration in his mental capacity. He recently passed away from cancer at the age of 90 and was very aware of everything. My parents finally had to move closer to me 4 years ago and it was very hard for them but they knew they had to. Hopefully, your Mom will have many good years and will realize the need to be closer to you. I will keep you all in my prayers.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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Alison I am so sorry. Alzheimers is a horrible illness. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
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I'm so sorry. Alzheimer's is an awful disease.. it rips away souls. My family took care of my grandma until the end. I moved with my parents at 19 yrs old across the county (essentially) to help. It was the most difficult 7 yrs I have ever had and I hope to never have again - but I would not trade one single second of the time I had with her for anything in the world.

My advice for you is this:

Don't rush them as far as the moving in goes. This is typically a very slow disease, and it could be some time before that is necessary. She is going to want to retain as much of her independence as she can for as long as she can. It's important for her own well being to be allowed to do whatever she wishes as long as it's safe to do so. We stepped in once my grandma started forgetting to turn off the stove, etc.

LAUGH! Some of the things my grandma would say would just be downright hilarious. She stayed with us and one night as we were going to bed she says "Help yourself to anything you want in the fridge". I said "Thanks grandma, I planned on it - this is my house"! lol. I laugh about that all the time even now. Savor the funny stuff, even though the reason she's saying them is not at all funny.

Talk about it. As a caregiver, you're going to feel like there is no one out there who understands. It's so painful to watch that it's easy for caregivers to get depressed. I felt like Alzheimer's was like a slow moving cancer (ironically, cancer was what took her from us in the end). YOU'RE going to need support.

Be patient. You're going to have to dig down deep and find a LOT of patience. You're going to be repeating yourself a lot. There's good days and bad days... we had a lot of bad days.. but we tried as hard as we could to always answer her questions as if it was the first time she had asked. We're human and got frustrated sometimes... all you can do is do your best.

DO NOT let doctors tell you that any odd symptoms are part of the Alzheimer's. We thought for a year that her Alzheimer's was progressing (very fast) as that's what the doctor's kept telling us.. it's the disease. It was not, it was cancer that had run rampant because no one would do the necessary tests, they all just chalked it up to the Alzheimer's and moved on. This is typical of Canada's health care system, not sure where you live - but I still felt it was worth mentioning. Had we pushed for more tests instead of trusting her doctor's, she might still be with us today.

Feel free to PM me your email address if you ever need to talk. I've done a ton of research and know a lot about the disease... I also know what it feels like to watch it progress. I'd be happy to lend an ear when you need one.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenn1381 View Post
I'm so sorry. Alzheimer's is an awful disease.. it rips away souls. My family took care of my grandma until the end. I moved with my parents at 19 yrs old across the county (essentially) to help. It was the most difficult 7 yrs I have ever had and I hope to never have again - but I would not trade one single second of the time I had with her for anything in the world.

My advice for you is this:

Don't rush them as far as the moving in goes. This is typically a very slow disease, and it could be some time before that is necessary. She is going to want to retain as much of her independence as she can for as long as she can. It's important for her own well being to be allowed to do whatever she wishes as long as it's safe to do so. We stepped in once my grandma started forgetting to turn off the stove, etc.

LAUGH! Some of the things my grandma would say would just be downright hilarious. She stayed with us and one night as we were going to bed she says "Help yourself to anything you want in the fridge". I said "Thanks grandma, I planned on it - this is my house"! lol. I laugh about that all the time even now. Savor the funny stuff, even though the reason she's saying them is not at all funny.

Talk about it. As a caregiver, you're going to feel like there is no one out there who understands. It's so painful to watch that it's easy for caregivers to get depressed. I felt like Alzheimer's was like a slow moving cancer (ironically, cancer was what took her from us in the end). YOU'RE going to need support.

Be patient. You're going to have to dig down deep and find a LOT of patience. You're going to be repeating yourself a lot. There's good days and bad days... we had a lot of bad days.. but we tried as hard as we could to always answer her questions as if it was the first time she had asked. We're human and got frustrated sometimes... all you can do is do your best.

DO NOT let doctors tell you that any odd symptoms are part of the Alzheimer's. We thought for a year that her Alzheimer's was progressing (very fast) as that's what the doctor's kept telling us.. it's the disease. It was not, it was cancer that had run rampant because no one would do the necessary tests, they all just chalked it up to the Alzheimer's and moved on. This is typical of Canada's health care system, not sure where you live - but I still felt it was worth mentioning. Had we pushed for more tests instead of trusting her doctor's, she might still be with us today.

Feel free to PM me your email address if you ever need to talk. I've done a ton of research and know a lot about the disease... I also know what it feels like to watch it progress. I'd be happy to lend an ear when you need one.
I too have had two parents with Alzheimer's and dementia, I do feel for you, and also agree with the above poster.

But I do think the earlier the move on your parent's part the better for all concerned. Not like next week but within 6mths to a year. Is there a way to approach it with Mom and Dad that would emphasize how much they would be helping you out? That can work.. ie we both benefit from this arrangement. I say this, because with Alzheimer's stubborness is oft a part of this disease. And while it is true your Mom and Dad want to retain independence , if you have a separate place on your property for their residence they can still maintain that independence.

Sometimes Alzheimer's progresses slowly and sometimes quickly.

And yes you will need tons of patience. Start now to incorporate if not already doing so into your daily/wkly monthly schedule, some time for you, to relax to destress in whatever way works for you. Begin to build your own support team, and never be ashamed to ask for help.

And you will grieve as this disease progresses, for we lose our loved ones, month by month. This is normal, cry, weep, grieve when you feel the need to.

Do now whatever you want to do one more time with your parents. Don't wait. I waited too long to take our "last" vacation together. It was mainly painful as Dad was so disoriented and just wanted to go home.

I too am here to lend an ear, to help in whatever way I can
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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I am so very sorry that your mom has been given this diagnosis. My husband's grandmother had Alzheimer's as well and she lived with his parents for several years when we were first married. She was the sweetest woman and my MIL would bring her over to visit when my son was a baby. I have very fond memories of her times when she would visit. Eventually she moved with her other daughter in FL who was better capable of managing her healthcare. We did go to visit her several times when she was living in FL and both my boys were able to visit her while she was in an assisted living Alzheimer facility. She lived for many years and she passed away when my youngest was a baby. It was sad to see her slipping away but at the same time she was very happy.

So I guess what I am trying to say it that it was many years after her diagnosis that she finally slipped away. My children grew from babies, to toddlers, to school age and were able have wonderful memories about their great grandmother.

I have funny story to share about GG Mertel We went to visit her and the entire staff of the assisted living was in an uproar. Mert's TEETH were missing AGAIN! Turns out that she had already flushed 2 sets down the toilet and now set 3 was gone They never did find those teeth

Take a deep breath and lean on all of those around you for support and like Gemy said never be afraid to ask for help. Take the time to spend together and enjoy good quality time.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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I am so sorry. My sisters FIL was on a medication which seemed to help him. I am sorry I don't know what the name of it is. I will see if I can get more information and let you know. Hugs.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:00 AM   #11
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Default Thank you all

GOSH! I am OVERWHELMED by the outpouring of support here. Thank you all so much. I cannot post on Facebook because my mother is my FB friend , so I reached out to my YT friends and I am glad I did.

Mary, I will take you up on your offer, thank you. And everyone else with anecdotal stories, they really helped.

I do have a sister who is in this with me. I am not dealing with it alone. And my husband is wonderful.

Thanks again for your kind words, everyone.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #12
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Hi Alison, I hope that you could get over it..so sorry.
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