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Mum - Alzheimers - going going gone...

(37 Posts)
TheGoddessBlossom Wed 03-Nov-10 20:45:05


Sure this has been done before to death.

Feel like today has been a bit of a milestone in that I, rather than my Dad, or my sisters (2) or the woman that comes to shower and dress her in the mornings, have had to clean my mum up after she has pooed herself and it has unleashed a bit of a floodgate.

She was diagnosed a year ago with Alzheimers but in the last 4 months has gone so downhill se is now a vegetable to all extents and purposes. I look for my mum but I can't find her. I wash and style her hair, I try and suggest she wears something other than the one sainsburys cardigan she loves (Mum finally found fashion at 40 and was a calorie counting, fashion, salon queen).

She is lost. My Dad is her carer pretty much so he is lost. Dresses her, reminds her how to eat, and wipes her arse. Not the retirement he had in mind.

He will get more help, then she'll be in home.

I, and my sisters, miss our mum. I am so so so sorry my boys will never know their witty, clever, funny, glamourous grandmother.

Shit shit shit and double shit.


I have told DH that I will be dead before it happens to me.

MegBusset Wed 03-Nov-10 20:49:17

Sorry you're going through this. My nan recently died after having Alzheimer's, it's a cruel illness.

blueberrysmoothie Wed 03-Nov-10 20:50:37

I am so sorry TGB, it is such a hideous hideous disease.

SparklePffftBANG Wed 03-Nov-10 20:51:31

so sorry

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 03-Nov-10 20:54:14

Your poor thing. My MIL has Alzheimers - not as advanced as your Mother, but going downhill. It is so sad to see someone who was previously funny, clever and together fall apart with this living death of an illness. I hope you all get the help you need.

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 03-Nov-10 20:57:35

It's been such a rapid decline. I wish I could have benchmarked when I knew she was still compus mentus and just sat her down and said "I LOVE YOU. YOU ARE AMAZING. THANKYOU"

My Dad has recently had a hip replacement and is feeling very sorry for himself. Sent an email yesterday to me and my sisters, entitled "remind me why I am doing this"

springtulips Wed 03-Nov-10 21:01:50

Sorry to hear that you're going through this. Incontinence is a major line in the sand, though. FWIW, my DM has Alzheimer's too, she doesn't know who I am or that the children with me are her grandchildren, she wouldn't wash, dress, eat or drink without being prompted and then doesn't do any of these things properly. My father looks after her and they won't accept any help although they do need it. I don't really recognise her anymore and it's like I've lost her already. I don't feel I can say much to help you except that you are not alone.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 03-Nov-10 21:05:49

My FIL won't accept any help either- and we live 250 miles away and my BIL and wife live abroad. He is almost 80. We keep suggesting things and have got social services in to talk to them, but to no avail.

springtulips Wed 03-Nov-10 21:05:52

x posted. I keep thinking that I wish I'd had a conversation along similar lines with my DM when she was still well too. Sadly, I didn't have my children until after she had become ill and there are so many things about being a mother that I would have liked to have talked to her about but by then the Alzheimer's had already taken hold.

How old are you Blossom and how old are your childre, if you don't mind me asking?

frikadela Wed 03-Nov-10 21:10:00

First off just want to say I'm so sorry for what you and your family are going through but please please please do not give up.

I work with people with varying degrees of dementia and it is a familiar sight to see them come into the home and then never be visited by their families because the families cant handle it or "Its just not my mum/dad anymore so why bother"

Believe me no matter how far gone they are they still crave your company and love.
The key is to stick together as a family and support each other. its not easy but is worth it.

Big hug from me and stay strong.

daffsntulips Wed 03-Nov-10 21:11:33

there is another thread running that you may find helpful, to vent if nothing else.

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 03-Nov-10 21:11:59

I am 35 and my children are 6 and 4.

We ( my sisters) and I have assured my dad he has to have help. Because of his recent op he has agreed to have a carer come in in the mornings to get her dressed and washed. We are persuading him to have much more help. He can afford it. Then she will have to have full time care. Other than financial concerns (which I am not downplaying) I cannot imagine how difficult life would be if you did not accept help. People are different. Some men are more nurturing. My dad is not a carer. Fact.

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 03-Nov-10 21:13:40

Thankyou freakadela. I can assure you she would not be dumped. How sad for you to see people htat are.

Really appreciate everyone writing. Do feel less alone.

TrinityTheTwattyRhino Wed 03-Nov-10 21:13:53

my mum has just been diagnosed

dad is falling apart

I am numb with pain

I'm sorry

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 03-Nov-10 21:15:42

I think one of the worst things is that she lost language almost straight away. Can't talk, tell me' anything, which means phone calls have been out of the question for years...

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 03-Nov-10 21:16:31

Trinity. It is so awful. So sorry.

springtulips Wed 03-Nov-10 21:16:49

You are quite young to have a mother with Alzheimer's too which I think makes it even harder. I don't think many people expect to be in your situation during their thirties when their children are still so young. It must be quite isolating because your peers can't really identify with it. Having your own mother so ill with it at that stage in your life is a very different experience from having elderly grandparents who have it.

It's good that you DF has agreed to accept some help. Does he ever get a break from looking after your mother?

bodiddly Wed 03-Nov-10 21:17:12

My dad is exactly the same as your mum so you have my total understanding and sympathy. On top of that he has advanced parkinsons and has survived 2 different sets of cancer ... only to be hit by this! My mum is ill herself but a full time carer ... it sucks doesn't it? If you ever want to talk then I'm always willing to lend an ear!

daffsntulips Wed 03-Nov-10 21:17:36

sorry - i forgot the link

this one

Have you considered residential care now?
Pehaps if the day-to-day care was the responsability of someone else you could just enjoy spending time with your mum doing nice things rather than 'essential maintenance'. Painting her nails and giving her a hand massage would give you both much more pleasure than clearing up her mess.

Residential care needn't be a last resort.

I'm sorry if this isn't an option. But maybe look at respite to give your dad a rest.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 03-Nov-10 21:19:44

Yes I know what you mean, my MIL has forgotten all nouns, so having a meaningful conversation is very very difficult as we have to second guess what she wants to say.

TrinityTheTwattyRhino Wed 03-Nov-10 21:20:56

my mum can't remember the names of her grandchildren

forgets what she was trying to say, cant remember the right words

she lives in the past, regaling tales of when she was young

is always cold, wears the same things

cant be trusted to drive or look after the kids on her own

she camt answer the phone

they visited recently, she coulsn't remember my best mate that she has met a good few times and I mean from one day to the nmext, she came one day and she didn't know she knew her, fair enough but then came the next day and she just thought she was someone new

TrinityTheTwattyRhino Wed 03-Nov-10 21:22:57

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to crap on your thread, I'm so sorry for what you and your fammily is going thorugh

I'm so not over the shock
I just dont know what to do,I live 454 miles away but my sister who is 20 minutes away doesn't seem to understand

she says mum has alwasy been kooky

yeah, I'm kooky and mum always has been but this is something totally different

I cant support my dad as much as I want over the phone

springtulips Wed 03-Nov-10 21:27:27

Thanks for the link to the other thread daffs, I hadn't seen it.

frikadela Wed 03-Nov-10 21:28:05

Have you been in touch with any support groups. You come across as if the thing that is hurting you most is the loss of not only your mum but also a friend. Unfortumately thats the cruel thing about Alzheimers, its the family and friends of those affected that do the most suffering in the long run.

Is ok every once in a while to just have a moan and say "its not fair" because it isnt.

the Alzheimers society run some fantastic support groups that give people a place to learn more about the disease and just share with others that are being affected by alzheimers. I used to go to a group that was pretty much an hour long woe is me selfish moaning time. But it really helped to just get out all those frustrations and be around people who didnt judge us for it.

thelittlebluepills Wed 03-Nov-10 21:33:56

My FIL had rapidly progressing Dementia - we didn't want him to go into a home but DH has MS and DS1 was only 2 yrs old at the time. Emotionally it was very painful but it soon became evident that the care home did a far far better job looking after him than any of us could have done. He was always comfortable and well looked after. It enabled us to return to our roles as family members rather than carers.

I know every situation is different but I just wanted to let you know that we had a very positive experience of residential care which saved the sanity of all of us.

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