Caregiving- dementia/depression ( my heart is breaking)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Things have become more challenging for me. I live with my Mom and Step dad. My Mom has been diagnosed with dementia, but some of the neurologist think that depression may be the major component of what is going on with her.

She went in for a check up with her doctor and he made changes to her medications. She has been on a medication for quite some time for anxiety/ depression. Recently it did not seem to be very effective. They started weaning her off the antidepressant before changing to another. It has been very bad for her. Her confusion and sort term memory is even worse. It is breaking my heart.

We sometimes make dinner and place things on the kitchen counter and everyone makes their own plate. We did this the other night. I walked out the room and walked back in. Mom was upset, she could note even serve her own plate. She brings me her phone and asks me to dial someone. She says I guess I have forgotten how to use it. She keeps saying she can not remember. I know that this is a very trying time for her as well as us.

Recently she has been very hard on my step-Dad. It seem she feels he can do nothing right. She keeps bugging/pestering/ nagging him to do things. Often when he tries to talk to her about things she just snaps at him. The poor guy. He is such a nice/sweet/ upstanding Man. The other day it was obvious he was at the end of his wits. She does not let him have any peace. She usually want him to be right with her, or pretty close buy.

She really is pretty depressed, because of her own memory problems and is afraid. She is really afraid because her Mom had Alzheimer's/dementia and now her older sister has it. Grand- mom died in a nursing home. Now my aunt is in a nursing home. Right now she is feeling guilty that she has not seen my aunt, but the doctor does not want her to go out of town until the medications are sorted out. She came to me this morning and asked me to take her to see her sister. She said that my step dad would not take her. I had to remind her that he had already said he would take her, and reminded her about what the doctor said. She just sobbed. Again---It just breaks my heart.

I took Mom with me to the Gym on Thursday and signed her up for a year. We went again today. I am going to try to take her to the gym with me every day it is open. She needs the exercise and needs to get out of the house. My step Dad really needs a break.

It is a real challenge. She is alright in the pool for a while but gets to a point where she can not figure out what to do. I usually swim about 30 laps (2 sets of 15 laps) Today I set up some foam pieces to move from one side of the pool to another while I swam some laps after she got stuck with what to do. I ended up finishing my laps and exercised with her for about 25 min. I set up more foam pieces, but she finished before me. She decided to get out and get in the whirlpool. I did not really want her to stay in there to long.

Dementia and depression both stink. The scary thing is someday I might be in the same place and I have no daughter or other family to take care of me. Guess I can not borrow that trouble, and can only do my best to take care of my own health.

I sure wish my two brothers would actually act right and contact her. I hate having to be the nag and tell them what to do. Guess that is often the way it is with families, the daughter gets the care taker roll. To the guys it is - "out of sight out of mind"
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  • JOANN25
    Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. It destroys the persons mind and leave the caregiver upset and wondering what to do.

    My mom is 100 and has had this for several years. It breaks my heart to see her feeling so helpless. I have learned to just go along with whatever she says. If she says her mom and dad are coming (they have been dead for many years), i just smile and say that's great mom. You will enjoy seeing them. When she asks me what my husband does for a living (he has been dead for over five years) I just smile and say, he drives a truck mom. You just learn to go with the flow on certain things. It is mostly left to the daughters to be the caretakers as the men can't seem to cope with it. It's usually not that they don't care but they just don't know what to do. It's a hard job but you will reap your rewards for being a wonderful daughter and taking care of her and your step dad to the best of your ability. You'll go through a lot of phases with her but I always say, "take it one day at a time as each day is different Show her your love in the only way you can. Take care of yourself as well. I had to learn that the hard way. Best of luck.
    688 days ago
    You are an amazing person! I took care of both my mom and dad before they passed away and have no regrets. Its hard and changes you - but you already know that! Take care!
    2032 days ago
    Bless your heart. You are doing a wonderful job keeping your Mom on track. They do get scared and angry when they know that they used to know something. It's good that you and your Step-dad can take turns giving each other breaks. You may want to sign up for an Alzheimer's caregivers support group to get in touch with others who are going through the same experience. Maybe they can give you some tips.

    Stay strong and love yourself.
    2033 days ago
    Terry, you will never regret taking care of your mom and being her source of support. Your brothers will have lots of regrets one day. They are missing out on some really special moments. Although it's difficult to watch her go through this, you are giving her comfort and support and those are things she needs right now. The Lord will bless you for caring for her. Hang in there! One day at a time. Hugs, Sue
    2033 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your experience. Thank god she has you and your stepdad. I think you are doing a wonderful job having your mom exercise. You sound like a very resilient person. You are in my thought s and will send good ones your way.
    2036 days ago
    Your so, right it's a very difficult thing to see a love on go thorough Alzheimer's. You have to make sure you take care of yourself as well. Your going to need a break away from the stresses as well. It's good that your keeping your mom active that's very important for her. It's would be great if the other siblings would step up on help you. It's a lot for one person to bare. emoticon
    2036 days ago
    good luck with your mom. It is really a heartbreaking disease. Most daughters are the ones to cope with an ailing parent. There is an old saying a son is a son til he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter for the rest of your life. I find that it is a true quote most of the time but in all fairness not always. It sounds like your step dad really loves her. You are doing a great job trying to get your mom to exercise. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    2036 days ago
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