Mom is suffering

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help in Texas 

none Mom is suffering

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I am hoping someone can help me to do and say the right things to my mom. We recently moved her to Texas from PA because her dementia was getting worse. She lives in an adult community with some aspects of assisted living. Mostly the people who live there are on their own , but they can get rides, and meals etc. Mom often forgets that she has moved here, and says things about when she goes back to PA. When we remind her that she is here to stay, she remembers that she sold her PA house.
She does not remember that things had gotten difficult in PA, for example dealing with electronics. She could barely work them in PA as well as here, even with the notes that I have written for her (She can still read). Anyway, last night she couldn't get her TV to turn on and because we were so far away at the time, we couldn't help her. Later in the evening, she called and said she was planning on moving back to PA, that things here are too difficult and that she didn't have these problems in PA. She was very serious. I try to explain that she did have these issues in PA but she refuses to agree.
Can someone tell me what I need to be saying to her to gently explain that she has pretty bad dementia and doesn't remember how bad things were in PA? How do we help her to understand her disease. She does understand ALL of our conversations, but she forgets them 5 minutes later... Please help!!!

Posted on 2011/11/14 9:05

none Re: Mom is suffering

Previous post - Next post | Parent - No child |

Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Although you may want to rationalize with your mother about her dementia and why she moved to Texas in the first place, it may be better for her and you if you respond in a way that shows that she’s been heard and that you care about her concerns and will try to help her faster next time and then change the subject. Usually, a person with dementia who is agitated about something does better with a kind response and reassurance than trying to make sense out of what a person is trying to make them understand. If her agitation becomes worse, you may want to take her to a geriatric physician who may prescribe a medication to help her with that agitation.
More importantly, however, is that your mother may need to be in a different type of assisted living center (or a memory care unit) – one that cares for persons with dementia. The staff would be better able to help her with her activities of daily living, help her to get all her medications taken appropriately, and engage her in some activities so that she is not alone as much as she may be now. I wonder how your mother is caring for herself now at this adult community, given what you have said about the level of her memory impairment. Does this community offer varied levels of care? Could you move her from one setting to another while still remaining in the same larger community . . .You may want to consider another setting if not because as her dementia progresses, she will need more involved care from staff members trained in dealing with someone with dementia.
Getting back to your question about communicating with your mother, there are also some really helpful brochures and other informative suggestions about behavior and communication available through the Alzheimer’s Association’s website. In the meantime, please let us know how she is doing and if we can offer any other information about Memory Care facilities across Texas or . . . any other question you might have.
Take care!!
Barb (4Hope)

Posted on 2011/11/23 14:52

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