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To still see my nan

(18 Posts)
PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 20-Oct-15 23:41:44

I feel like I am causing her more confusion.

My nan has both Alzheimer's and dementia.

My nan does not recognise me and every time I see her it leaves me heartbroken as before the illness took over we had a close bond. I can see her getting frustrated and confused every time I make my visit to the care home.

I feel like it's selfish for me to visit when it only for my benefit.

ilovelamp82 Tue 20-Oct-15 23:45:49

I don't have any experience in that area and it sounds horrible for both of you. Maybe it would be worthwhile having a chat with her carers and ask their opinion.

Sorry to not be more helpful

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 20-Oct-15 23:49:29

I have spoken to Matthew ( not real name) and he said to keep visiting.

I love my nan so much it kills me every time I see her. I missed my nan so much as she is a shell of the old nan.

ilovelamp82 Tue 20-Oct-15 23:52:36

Maybe just see her less for both your sakes and just maybe keep in contact more to see how she is. Are you the only person that goes to see her?

SarahDuckandMummy Tue 20-Oct-15 23:53:04

My nan has advanced dementia, she is very poorly. Since going on maternity leave I have popped in almost every day to see her. We were very close before her illness.

I used to get really upset because she didn't know who I was, but I've figured now that it doesn't matter, making her comfortable and supporting her is all that really matters now.

I hold her hand, feed her, do her hair and her nails. She also sometimes holds the baby. She snuggles him and she seems to really enjoy the time we have together despite not knowing who I am.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 20-Oct-15 23:57:02

I tend to visit at least once a week.

My time with her is borrowed and I want to spend as much time I can with my dear nan before the time I have to say goodbye forever.

mellowheart Tue 20-Oct-15 23:59:30

I know what you're going through. My DM was the same, it was so hard to see the person she became. I missed her vitality and her sense of humour, everything she was. I was always in tears when I left her, you are actually going through a grieving process while they are still alive, because you e lost the person they once was. Think of your nan as she was and take heart from all the happy memories you have of her, but don't stop visiting. flowers

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 21-Oct-15 00:06:56

I have no experience of this but it is a terrifying condition. I often think to myself one day I might be looking at my daughter and may not have a clue who she is.

I do relate though about missing your nsm. I'm the same about my mum. In body she is still with us but her spirit and personality died years ago. It'd like looking at s ghost really . The only difference being with a ghost the personality out lives the body, were as with my mum, her body has out lived her personality. This will seem terrible but I don't think i',ll do much grieving when she goes as I feel. I'm already grieving for the person she once was. I don't who it is in that hospital bed, but I know one thing it isn't my fun loving mum.
Your nan is graced to have such a wonderful GD, as is yours Sarah.

GiddyOnZackHunt Wed 21-Oct-15 00:11:57

I think they like the love and human contact. The last time I saw my nan she met my DS and we have pictures. But more importantly I cuddled her and she thought I was her mum who died when she was a child. That gave both of us comfort.

ChrissieLatham Wed 21-Oct-15 00:14:54

Yes keep going if you can.
The dementia friends website is worth a visit. There are videos on there which explain what your nan is going through and how it's helpful to visit even if she doesn't know who you are, just being there can improve her mood.

JaceLancs Wed 21-Oct-15 00:15:28

I would continue visiting her as often as you feel comfortable with

Having worked with people with dementia (in my rather limited experience) even when they are confused and don't know who you are they still have some sense that you are a person who cares about them, picking up subconsciously that their visitor has warm and loving feeling for them

Sometimes although it may not be apparent to you, your presence may calm them and this benefit can last even after you've gone

steff13 Wed 21-Oct-15 00:18:06

Does it make a different if you visit earlier in the day? My grandmother had dementia, and suffered from sundown syndrome. Before lunch, she was much more likely to remember me than she was after lunch and later in the day.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Wed 21-Oct-15 00:18:29

I will not stop visiting, unless I'm told that it's not for my nan's benefit.

I hate that as a family we had to go through the care option. However she needs 24/7 care and we couldn't provide it.

JaceLancs Wed 21-Oct-15 00:20:24

YANBU and it really isn't just benefitting you ??

JaceLancs Wed 21-Oct-15 00:21:43

Don't know where those stray question marks appeared from apologies - you are a lovely caring GD

TheCatsFlaps Wed 21-Oct-15 00:28:49

When my aunt was dying of Alzheimers, she began slipping into comas. I would sit and read to her, hold her hand or comb her hair. I hadn't seen her in years: she recognised me and sobbed. In one brief luicd episode, she told me she was ready to die and didn't want any more food.

Be there, if only for those fleeting moments that fill you both with joy flowers

sadwidow28 Wed 21-Oct-15 01:39:42


Sadly, I have had a lot of experience with dementia. Two grans when I was a teenager, two aunties now, and now my 91 year old mother is rapidly declining into dementia (although we knew she was very 'muddled' for the last 10 years). My Mam has had to be admitted to a care home recently. She got a kidney infection and had to go to hospital but was discharged to a care home for 3 weeks. She then went back home on the Monday and went 'walk-about' on the Tuesday, fell and broke two vertebrae and knocked at a stranger's door to ask for a lift home! (Thank goodness that the stranger was a good guy!) So Mam is back in the care-home until Christmas at least.

My Mam would say that she doesn't want to be in a care home but, when I asked her why she left her own house on the Tuesday night, she said, "I like the noise of having other people bustling about and my own house was too quiet." My Mam doesn't actually remember when she started the walk-about, but she recalls the panic of being on her own and was so glad to find herself back in the care-home.

If your Nan is calm and non-aggressive with your visits (that is, you don't upset her) then your visits should continue. They bring comfort to you and your Nan may have a 'remembering moment' which will be so precious.

Never expect your Nan to remember you or anything from your past life together. Take her flowers that she can smell (and pull apart as she puts them to her nose), take a cuddly toy and say it has YOUR name. Take some playing cards - but put them in front of her and see if she can remember 'snap', 'gin rummy', 'new market' or 'whist'. If the cards don't engage her - don't worry. Does she remember dominoes?

Talk about whether she is feeling warm enough. Sit quietly next to her and don't feel you have to speak. Hold her hand (they remember physical contact) or take her for a walk to the gardens.

If she has her own private room in the care home, put some music on and listen together. You may find that she will sing/hum as she remembers something from the past.

Long term memory is the last to go - so there may be 'flashes' when she recognises you (or thinks you are her daughter - your Mum).

I hope you and your Nan have many more happy times together.

Take care, SW flowers

AcrossthePond55 Wed 21-Oct-15 03:38:40

My mother has dementia. As of right now she still knows who we are, but that's about it. Lately I'm not sure if she thinks I'm her daughter or her sister at times. She doesn't know where she is (thinks she's in a hotel) nor how she got there (says she rode the train). I go see her every other day and will continue to do so. The key is to not challenge them. When the day comes that Mum no longer knows me, I'll just be 'that nice lady who brings me sweets and watches TV with me'. It'll break my heart, but I'll still go, smile, and bring her treats.

So go, just don't try to make her remember who you are. Be 'the lady who brings flowers', one of the care workers, or whoever she thinks you are. It's not important she knows who you are, just that you are there.

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