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Mum has Alzheimer's - feeling very lonely!

(10 Posts)
Fishandjam Thu 13-Oct-11 00:55:30

Hi everyone,

Newbie here so please bear with me smile

My mum is 77 and has Alzheimer's. She was diagnosed this time last year, although in hindsight it had been creeping up for around 3 years prior to that. To cut a very long story short, I managed to get her into a care home in January this year, which is where she is now, with her condition deteriorating all the time. I'm currently clearing her house to sell it for the care home fees.

My position is that I'm still (just) under 40, with a toddler only son. I'm an only child, and my father died years ago. My main friends, that I see the most of, are all fellow mums (we met on the NCT course), who are significantly younger than I am, and with younger parents. So what I'm going through with my mum has no resonance with them at all - they've simply not experienced it for themselves, so don't know how awful it is.

I just feel terribly alone and isolated at the moment. My wonderful DH is a total rock for me, but I'm feeling so down, he doesn't really know what to do or say. Things probably aren't helped by the fact that mum's dementia is merely the worst in a long list of shite that has hit us over the last 18 months - FIL died horribly of cancer last summer, then DH had to have his thumb amputated (cancer again, though the amputation seems to have cleared it), I spent months in pain with a herniated lumbar disc which was operated on this summer, only to then miscarry a much-wanted pregnancy. (And of course many of my ex-NCT mates are now all PG with their second...)

I think I probably need professional counselling, but it would be good to find out if anyone else on here is facing the same kind of blank looks from their friends and acquaintances over a close relative's Alzheimer's/dementia. And how they tackle it with grace and dignity!

Hugs to all,

Tianc Thu 13-Oct-11 01:08:29

Sorry to hear this, and all happening at once, too.

I'm afraid I don't have much experience of Alzheimer's, so only offer sympathy, but I know there are other people here dealing with it. There's a new Mumsnet section called Elderly Parents, where you might find more people sharing similar experiences.

StuckUpTheFarawayTree Thu 13-Oct-11 01:19:56

My sister works for the Alzheimer's society. If you would like her email address shed be more than happy to speak to you. She's very friendly and can give you lots of info.

I feel for you and wish you all the best smile

Fishandjam Thu 13-Oct-11 01:20:15

Aw, thanks Tianc. Guess I'd better go and get some sleep now. Night all!

Fishandjam Thu 13-Oct-11 01:21:12

Tree, thanks - I've already had a lot of good help from the AS but I guess it wouldn't hurt to get in touch with them again.

hidinginthecupboard Thu 13-Oct-11 01:23:54

Can't really help but you sound so low I didn't want you to feel alone. I understand a little in that my nan had Alzheimers so I get what a cruel disease it is and how hard it is for people with no experience of it to understand it. It's like you lose them before you really lose them so you are in a strange kind of limbo and of course you are grieving the whole time whilst trying to get on with things and be cheery and 'normal'.

Have you looked at the Alzheimers society website? They might have some support networks or links. I think you should also try and prioritise some time for you - ask your DH to help you in this, he might if he is like mine welcome something practical that he can do - perhaps make it a regular thing where you can let off some steam or just be, running if you like that kind of thing, walking, cinema or reading in a coffee shop or seeing your friends - who might not understand but could still be a good support network.

I must be off to bed now, hope you get a good nights rest.

StuckUpTheFarawayTree Thu 13-Oct-11 01:25:06

Have PMed you.

hidinginthecupboard Thu 13-Oct-11 01:26:39

Sorry cross-posted re the AS website, I see you've tried that, thought you might have.
Take care

suburbandream Thu 13-Oct-11 10:19:04

Hi FishandJam, wow - it sounds like you have been through such a lot lately!!
My mum was diagnosed with early-onset dementia about 5 years ago and I can totally sympathise with you. She was only 64 when she went into a home as she needed 24 hour care and my dad couldn't manage on his own (my sister and I both live too far away to be able to offer proper help and we both had toddlers at the time). I'm sad to say she has rapidly declined to the point now where she really can't do anything for herself and she certainly doesn't recognise any of us.

I don't know anyone else whose mum has had it so young, and it's so hard to explain to my friends - my mum has missed so much of her grandchildren's lives and of course they have not had a granny in their lives. I can't help feeling envious of my friends who have their mums nearby to help, or just to talk to sad. I'm probably not helping much am I? Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone, and I would definitely recommend counselling. My GP was brilliant and I was lucky enough that there was a psychiatric nurse at our practice who I was able to see once a week for some months. It was great to have a place to just be able to let it all out and to have a sympathetic ear. Hope others can offer you some more practical help.

Fishandjam Wed 19-Oct-11 15:18:51

Hi everyone. Just wanted to say thanks for all your support. Tree, I don't think I'll pester your sister just yet, but thank you so much for the PM.

Dream, I am so sorry to hear about your mum. Doubly heartbreaking for it to have happened at such a young age. I know what you mean about your chilren missing out on having a granny, and feeling envious of your friends who have normal, functioning mothers. Still, I guess we have to play the hand we're dealt in this life!

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